Jump to results ATHENS, Ga. – University of Arkansas sophomores Michelle Stout and Casey Jo Magee became the Gym’Backs’ first all-Americans leading the 11th-ranked Gym’Backs to a fifth-place finish in Session I of the 2008 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga., Thursday. Stout tied for the first session win with a 9.90 on the vault earning first-team all-America honors while Magee opened the meet with a 9.90 on bars finishing tied for fifth overall. Magee added a tie for fifth on vault as well earning second-team honors on both events. Magee finished 10th in the all-around competition. “Michelle is the first one,” said Arkansas co-head coach René Cook. “What can you say? She just nailed her vault. It’s her strongest event and she really hit it. Jo started the meet for us on bars and scored a 9.90. That’s hard to do in any meet much less the national championships. Her bar performance was phenomenal and we’re proud of both of them. They know that the honor is not just for them as individuals but for this whole team and for the program. We’ve taken a step towards the next level today.” “It was awesome,” said Stout after the meet. “We wanted to go out and have fun and we did that. It (all-America) is an amazing feeling. I just wanted to do my job and I tried to relax and just do what I do in practice.” Arkansas’ fifth-place showing with a 195.825 is one place better than the team’s sixth-place session finish in the program’s first NCAA Championship in 2006. In addition to the all-American honors and the best finish in program history, Arkansas celebrated the conclusion of the careers of seniors Samantha Cortez and Emily Peacock. “Ya know, it was all about having fun today,” said Peacock. “I really just wanted to enjoy the moment and I did. The team did awesome today and I really had a good time.” At 12:19 Eastern, Amy DeFilippo signaled she was ready and the NCAA Championships got underway for the Gym’Backs. Things started with a bang for the Gym’Backs as they posted a 49.125 – their second best mark of the year to open the meet. Magee paced Arkansas with a 9.90 tying both her season and career bests. A 9.85 from Stout and a 9.825 from Peacock helped the team effort. Sophomore Allison Daniels added a 9.80 and sophomores DeFilippo and Sarah Nagashima scored 9.75s with Nagashima tying her season high with the effort. The solid performance gave Arkansas the lead after the first of six rotations in the meet. The Gym’Backs were solid on the beam in the second rotation before moving to a bye scoring a 48.575. DeFilippo led Arkansas with a 9.775 as the scores were tighter on beam than in the first rotation. Junior Alexandra LaChance posted a 9.725 despite not competing on beam for the last six meets. “Beam is so hard at this meet,” said Cook. “It’s hard at the SEC Championship but its different here. We had a couple of wobbles but didn’t count a fall. That score kept us in this meet and I’m proud of the effort on beam today.” Despite having a bye in the third rotation, Arkansas slipped to fifth overall in the team standings as teams evened out with two event scores each. But the Gym’Backs roared back on floor with a 48.975 led by Peacock’s 9.825 in the final routine of her collegiate career. Three consecutive 9.80s from Magee, LaChance and Cortez helped Arkansas score well on the event. Arkansas concluded the meet on the vault – the team’s best event this year. The Gym’Backs scored a 49.150 on vault paced by Stout who tied her season-best and tied for the win with a 9.90 moving on to the finals Saturday. In addition to Stout, Magee tied for fifth on vault with a 9.85 followed by Cortez with a 9.825. LaChance added a 9.80 for Arkansas. Third-ranked Florida won the session scoring a 196.900, followed by No. 4 Alabama with 196.650 and No. 7 LSU with 196.575 as all three Southeastern Conference teams advanced to Friday’s finals. Tenth-ranked Oklahoma was fourth scoring 196.075 with No. 11 Arkansas (195.825) and No. 8 Oregon State (195.475) rounding out the session scores. The NCAA Championships continue with Session II beginning at 6:00 p.m., Thursday, followed by the Super Six Friday evening and individual event finals Saturday. For more information regarding Razorback gymnastics or University of Arkansas athletics please visit www.LADYBACKS.com.