McQuillin named SEC McWhorter finalist

FAYETTEVILLE — University of Arkansas senior gymnasts Dana McQuillin is a finalist for the 2005-06 H. Boyd McWhorter SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award the Southeastern Conference announced today. McQuillin, a senior all-arounder from West Orange, N.J., joins one male and one female representative from each of the 12 SEC members. Each of these finalists receive a $5,000 post-graduate scholarship with the winner awarded a $10,000 post-graduate scholarship provided by the ALLTEL Corporation. Dana’s fabulous. We are so proud of Dana and the things that she’s accomplished both in and out of the gym," said co-head coach Rene Cook. "She’s one of those people who do everything right and it’s nice for her to be recognized." A double major in interior design and sociology, McQuillin secured an internship with a design firm after graduation and would like to work in designing home and work space for those in need. The postgraduate McWhorter gift will assist her in her internship studies. As a gymnast, McQuillin is a member of the inaugural class joining the program in 2003. She has competed for the all-around title in 40 of Arkansas’ 47 meets over four seasons and became the first Gym’Back to earn a trip to the NCAA Championship last year. A four-time team captain, McQuillin won four individual titles to date, and holds seven of the top 10 all-around scores including a school-record 39.500 set last year at No. 11 Denver. Her personal bests include: a 9.875 on vault, a 9.9 on bars, a 9.925 on beam, and 9.9 on floor. In the classroom, McQuillin is a three-time National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women scholar athlete, a two-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll and a four-time selection to the Bumpers College of Agriculture, Food and Life Sciences honor roll. Former volleyball all-American Jessica Field won the SEC’s top honor in 1998 becoming the first University of Arkansas student-athlete to win. Softball player Tiffany Woolley became just the second a few years later. The SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards were first presented in 1986 and this year’s winner’s will be announced at the SEC spring meetings in Destin, Fla., this May. McQuillin and the Gym’Backs return to the gym this Saturday hosting the program’s first NCAA South Central Regional April 8. The meet begins at 6:00 p.m., and tickets are available at the Lady Razorback Ticket Office.