Hardman named SEC Gymnast of the Week

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas senior Katie Hardman earned Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week the league office announced today. The honor comes on the heels of three consecutive home meet wins and the program’s celebration of the first-ever senior class of which Hardman is a member. "Wow!" said co-head coach Rene Cook of the accomplishment. "That’s very exciting. This is a very well deserved honor for Katie. Obviously, Katie has meant a lot to the program and it was a special night for Katie and all of the seniors." Hardman had identical season bests last week with 9.90s on the beam and floor exercise leading Arkansas to a 196.350 team score tying the season high. The Buda, Texas, native returned to Arkansas’ lineup against No. 11 LSU, the fourth meet of the season, after being sidelined early by knee surgery and a serious car accident. She slowly worked her way back, first competing just the beam, then two events and finally three events. Hardman has posted a season-best 9.825 on bars this year and has season-high 9.90s on both the beam and floor. The school-record holder on the beam with a 9.95 set at No. 11 Arizona in 2004, Hardman has recently wowed the Arkansas faithful with her floor exercise featuring several cuts from the fight song and other Razorback favorites. The conference gymnast of the week selection is the first for Hardman and the second for the program. Current senior Dana McQuillin has also earned SEC Gymnast of the Week honors after winning the program’s first-ever all-around title in early January 2004. Arkansas returns to the gym Sunday traveling to No. 11 Nebraska for the final meet of the regular season. Arkansas remains on the road traveling to the 2006 SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala., March 25, and hosts the 2006 NCAA South Central Regional Meet April 8, in Barnhill Arena. For tickets and more information please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.