Gym'Back Gala a success for Arkansas

FAYETTEVILLE – The University of Arkansas gymnastics team opened the 2005 season hosting the Gym’Back Gala in Barnhill Arena Sunday. The third annual event welcomed 1,126 fans for a red-white style intersquad meet. In addition to serving as a practice meet for the Gym’Backs, Arkansas collected pet food and supplies for the Humane Society of the Ozarks during the meet. Judges were selected from the crowd and had six pre-printed scorecards to “score” the meet. The White Team edged the Red Team 119.4 to 118.6 with the mock scoring. “The meet was a success,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “The energy and enthusiasm was great. I was impressed with the vault and floor. We have to fine tune some things before next week but overall it was very successful.” The Gym’Backs return six juniors as the team’s first group of upperclassmen along with five sophomores and three freshmen in the biggest roster in school history. The newcomers got their first look at Barnhill Arena in a competition setting and they were impressed. “The crowd was great,” said freshman Emily Peacock. “They really got us into it.” “I was more excited than nervous,” added Mallory Machnik. “I was nervous,” gushed Samantha Cortez. “We just wanted to do well and show everyone in the crowd how hard we’ve worked. The crowd really got us pumped up.” “I think we can be pretty good,” added Cook. “We’ve added a lot of skills and we have some inconsistency right now but we also have a lot more to look forward to. We have a lot of room to grow.” Veteran and beam record-holder Katie Hardman had this to say after the meet. “It was great. The crowd was awesome. They continue to grow along with us.” Arkansas opens the official schedule Saturday, Jan. 8, at Minnesota. The Gym’Backs have three road meets before hosting Southeastern Conference rival Georgia Jan. 28 at 7:00 p.m. For more information and ticket information please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK.