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Razorbacks look for more regional success

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Razorbacks look for more regional success

FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas’ 10th-ranked gymnastics team is competing in an NCAA Regional on Saturday for the ninth straight year and looking to continue its success in the post-season by advancing to the NCAA Championship for the sixth time.

The Razorbacks are one of six teams competing in Barnhill Arena on Saturday at 4 p.m. The field, in order of seeding, includes No. 3 UCLA, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 15 Boise State, No. 19 Missouri, No. 29 New Hampshire and No. 34 Maryland. The top two teams from each of the six regionals advance to the NCAA Championship in Duluth, Ga., April 20-22.

Arkansas has earned a spot in a regional every year the program has existed with the exception of the first in 2003. The Razorbacks have advanced to the NCAA semifinals five times, including each of the last four years.

Arkansas made its first NCAA appearance in 2004, finishing fourth in the South Central Regional in Tucson, Ariz. In 2005, the Razorbacks traveled to Durham, N.H., for the East Regional and again finished fourth.

In 2006, Arkansas hosted the South Central Regional for the first time and earned its first spot in the NCAA Championship. The Razorbacks finished behind No. 3 Florida, but upset No. 9 UCLA to finish second and advanced to Corvallis, Ore., for the NCAA Championship.

In 2007, Arkansas just missed consecutive trips to the NCAA semifinals after finishing third in the Northeast Regional behind No. 1 Florida and host Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.

The Razorbacks earned the first of four straight trips to the NCAA Championship in 2008 by placing second in the North Central Regional in Minneapolis, Minn. Arkansas finished behind No. 2 Utah, but beat host Minnesota and No. 14 Arizona. Arkansas went on to finish 10th in the country.

The South Central Regional was back in Fayetteville in 2009 and Arkansas claimed its first regional title by upsetting No. 4 Stanford and also beating No. 16 Michigan, No. 25 Arizona, No. 31 Arizona State and No. 27 Southern Utah. The Razorbacks went on to the NCAA Championship in Lincoln, Neb., and finished second in the Session II semifinal to advance to the Super Six for the first time and finished fifth in the nation.

In 2010, Arkansas finished second in the West Regional at No. 3 UCLA, topping No. 17 Iowa State and No. 21 Arizona. The Razorbacks advanced to the NCAA Championship in Gainesville, Fla., and tied for 11th in the nation.

Last year, Arkansas won its second regional title by winning the North Central Regional in Denver, upsetting No. 1 Florida. Arkansas also finished ahead of No. 13 Boise State, which is competing in Fayetteville this year, No. 19 Denver, No. 20 Arizona and No. 27 Brigham Young. The Razorbacks advanced to the NCAA Championship in Cleveland and tied for ninth in the country for their third top 10 finish in four years.

Arkansas has finished ranked among the top 15 teams in the country seven straight years.

Individually, four Razorbacks have combined to win six regional championships, including two on this year’s roster.

Senior All-American Jaime Pisani, the SEC Gymnast of the Year who is ranked No. 1 in the nation on floor and in the all-around, won the floor title at the North Central Regional in Denver last year. Sophomore All-American Katherine Grable won the vault title in Denver.

Former All-American Michelle Stout won the vault title in 2009 in Fayetteville.

Former All-American Casey Jo Magee won three NCAA Regional titles, including floor and beam in Fayetteville in 2009, and beam in 2010 in Los Angeles.

Tickets for the regional are $10 for adults. The first 500 UA students will be admitted free with a valid university ID. For others, a $5 ticket is available for youth/students, everyone 18 and younger or with a valid UA student ID. A family plan is also available, including two adult and two youth tickets for $25.

Tickets can be purchased at the UA Ticket Center on Razorback Road, by calling 479-575-5151 or 800-982-4647, or online at ArkansasRazorbacks.com.

Arkansas’ All-Time NCAA Regional Results(Top two teams advanced to the NCAA Championship)

2004April 3 — Tucson, Ariz.NCAA South Central Regional#5 Utah197.625#8 Florida197.050#18 Arizona196.375#25 Arkansas195.550#39 Illinois195.400#40 Illinois-Chicago193.875

2005April 21 — Durham, N.H.NCAA East Regional#3 LSU197.125#10 Oklahoma195.550#41 New Hamp.194.700#15 Arkansas193.950#51 Pittsburgh193.100#52 Rutgers191.350

2006April 8 — Fayetteville, Ark.NCAA South Central Regional#3 Florida196.375#18 Arkansas195.400#9 UCLA195.175#30 Illinois193.125#42 Illinois-Chicago191.125#49 Southeast Mo.189.050

2007April 14 — Ann Arbor, Mich.NCAA Northeast Regional#1 Florida197.325#12 Michigan196.050#13 Arkansas195.875#43 New Hamp.192.925#41 Pittsburgh192.550#51 Rutgers190.875

2008April 12 — Minneapolis, Minn.NCAA North Central Regional#2 Utah196.950#11 Arkansas196.125#28 Minnesota 195.275#14 Arizona194.275#27 Southern Utah193.575#23 Iowa192.450

2009April 4 — Fayetteville, Ark.NCAA South Central Regional#10 Arkansas196.300#4 Stanford196.200#16 Michigan 195.700#25 Arizona194.350#31 Arizona St.193.900#27 Southern Utah192.650

2010April 10 – Los Angeles, Calif.NCAA West Regional#3 UCLA197.825#9 Arkansas196.675#21 Arizona195.100#17 Iowa St.194.325#32 Arizona St.193.900#26 Brigham Young193.400

2011April 12 – Denver, Colo.NCAA North Central Regional#12 Arkansas196.55#1 Florida196.425#13 Boise St.196.40#19 Denver195.625#20 Arizona195.40#27 Brigham Young194.65



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)