Drew second in the all-around in Gym'Back victory at Kentucky

Jump to meet scores FAYETTEVILLE —Several season-bests in the final rotation lifted the 14th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team to a Southeastern Conference road win at Kentucky Friday in Memorial Coliseum. Arkansas posted it’s highest road score of the year with a 195.80 downing Kentucky who posted a 193.650. In a meet of contrast, Kentucky competed four seniors while Arkansas sent five freshmen into the fire coming away with an SEC win improving to 8-0-1 against the Wildcats. Senior Cassie Drew was second in the all-around title with a 39.00 while freshman all-arounder Michelle Stout was third. Junior Samantha Cortez picked up the vault title while junior Emily Peacock won both the bars and beam titles. “It was a good all-around meet,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “We achieved our goal of staying on the equipment and we really stepped up at the end of the meet when we needed to.” Arkansas opened the meet on bars and scores were tight with the Gym’Backs fighting to break a 9.80. Drew set the tone with a 9.725 followed by Amy DeFilippo’s 9.775. Stout hit her routine earning a 9.750. Peacock’s routine was nearly flawless scoring a 9.875 followed by Sarah Nagashima’s 9.700, giving Arkansas a 48.90. Kentucky had to count a fall (9.25) on vault finishing with a 48.125 as Arkansas lead after the first rotation. Arkansas moved to the vault, one of the team’s strongest events of the 2007 season, and swept the top three places. Anchored by three freshman, the Gym’Backs posted a 49.00 behind a season-best tying 9.875 Yurchenko vault from Samantha Cortez A brief pep talk from Cortez spurred Casey Jo Magee to a 9.85 out of the gates for the Gym’Backs. Drew added a 9.70, followed by Alexandra LaChance with a 9.80. Stout scored a 9.725 and Springdale, Ark., freshman Ashly McPerson tallied a 9.750 in the second meet of her collegiate career. Kentucky again had to count a fall this time on bars as the Gym’Backs opened a 97.90-96.30 lead after two rotations. Arkansas’ 97.90 was the third-best mark after two events all season. Cortez opened the floor with her Michael Jackson-themed routine earning a 9.675 followed by senior Rachel Barnett’s patriotic-scored 9.750 for Arkansas. Drew matched that and LaChance was close behind with a 9.725. Stout’s 9.825 just missed her career-best and Peacock finished with a 9.625 giving Arkansas a 48.725 on the floor. The Gym’Backs moved to the final event leading 146.675-145.050 after Kentucky posted a season-best 48.750 on the beam. As Arkansas moved to the beam and Kentucky to the floor, the sparse crowd came to life for the final Wildcat home meet of the season. The Gym’Backs got a season-best 9.825 from Drew but a fall, the first of the night, forced Arkansas to re-focus. Barnett rebounded with a season-best 9.85 but Kentucky kept things close as their floor scores climbed. Peacock answered the call with a season-best 9.875 followed by a season-best 9.80 from Cortez and a 9.825 from Magee as the Gym’Backs scored a season-high 49.175 to win the meet. The Gym’Backs continue SEC road action traveling to No. 12 Auburn Friday, March 2, before returning to Barnhill Arena hosting the first of a pair of quad meets March 9 with West Virginia, Pittsburgh and New Hampshire. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics, please log on to LADYBACKS.COM or call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACKS.