FAYETTEVILLE – In one of the closest meets in school history the 20th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team narrowly missed an upset win over No. 2 Georgia suffering a 0.025 loss against the defending national champions in Barnhill Arena Friday. Arkansas missed out on the upset falling 196.100-196.075 to a team loaded with Olympians. “Wow! What a great competition,” enthused a happy co-head coach Rene Cook. “We worked hard from the first rotation to the last routine and fought hard throughout the entire competition.” Junior Emily Peacock captured the bars win while freshman Casey Jo Magee tied for the beam win in a meet that saw nearly every Gym’Back tally a season-high score. “We don’t really know the score as the meet is going on,” said Peacock, “but to end that close to Georgia is great. “We were a bit slow to start this year but we know what to expect now and were ready to go for each meet.” Arkansas opened the meet tying a school record with a 49.075 on the vault behind six season-best performances. Freshman Michelle Stout scored a career-best 9.875 while sophomore Alexandra LaChance and junior Samantha Cortez added 9.825s in the rotation. A solid performance on the bars paced by a 9.875 from Peacock kept Arkansas close to Georgia who counted a 9.925 from Tiffany Tolnay on the vault and 10 9.80s or better in the first two rotations. Georgia rallied on the floor in the third rotation posting a 49.275 including a 9.925 from Tolnay but the Gym Dogs ran into trouble opening the door for the Gym’Backs on the final event. The Gym Dogs had two falls on beam and counted a disappointing 48.50 on the final event while Arkansas’ scores soared with a 49.150 on the floor. The Gym’Backs’ score tied the 10th-best floor score in school history as five gymnasts recorded season-bests. “This team has a lot of grit,” said co-head coach Mark Cook. “They deal well with adversity well. The team continues to show a lot of maturity and while we expected that, it’s great to see in a meet.” “We performed our routines like we do in practice,” continued Rene Cook. “We expect to be a 196 team and this meet is a good step toward building that confidence and consistency.” The Gym’Backs continue Southeastern Conference action traveling to No. 14 LSU Friday, Jan. 26. Arkansas returns home hosting No. 1 Florida Feb. 9 in Barnhill. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics please log on to LADYBACKS.COM.
No. 2 Georgia 196.100No. 20 Arkansas 196.075Site: Barnhill ArenaFayetteville, ArkansasJanuary 19, 2007ROTATION 1ArkansasVault: 49.075Casey Jo Magee 9.75, Cassie Drew 9.80, Alexandra LaChance 9.825, Samantha Cortez 9.825, Michelle Stout 9.875, Breanne Guy 9.075.GeorgiaBars: 49.025Paige Burns 9.650, Nikki Childs 9.800, Grace Taylor 9.725, Tiffany Taylor 9.850, Katie Heenan 9.800, Courtney Kupets 9.850.ROTATION 2ArkansasBars: 49.075Cassie Drew 9.825, Amy DeFilippo 9.725, Michelle Stout 9.80, Casey Jo Magee 9.75, Sarah Nagashima 9.825, Emily Peacock 9.875. Allison Daniels – EXH.GeorgiaVault: 49.300Megan Dowlen 9.80, Ashley Kupets 9.875, Marcia Newby 9.825, Courtney Kupets 9.825, Katie Heenan 9.85, Tiffany Tolnay 9.925.ROTATION 3ArkansasBeam: 49.775Emily Peacock 9.725, Sarah Nagashima 9.725, Cassie Drew 9.775, Michelle Stout 9.675, Samantha Cortez 8.150, Casey Jo Magee 9.875.GeorgiaFloor: 49.275Abby Stack 9.825, Ashley Kupets 9.775, Grace Taylor 9.875, Courtney McCool 9.725, Tiffany Tolnay 9.925, Katie Heenan 9.875.ROTATION 4ArkansasFloor: 49.150Casey Jo Magee 8.975, Alexandra LaChance 9.775, Michelle Stout 9.850, Rachel Barnett 9.850, Samantha Cortez 9.775, Emily Peacock 9.90.GeorgiaBeam: 48.500Grace Taylor 9.875, Nikki Childs 9.400, Tiffany Tolnay 9.750, Courtney McCool 9.650, Courtney Kupets 8.80, Katie Heenan 9.825.