No. 13 Gym'Backs set records at No. 4 LSU

Jump to agate BATON ROUGE, La. – The 13th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team scored a season-best 195.725 while freshman Emily Peacock tied the school record on bars as the Gym’Backs fell at No. 4 LSU in Southeastern Conference action at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center Friday. First-time all-arounder Peacock paced the Gym’Backs finishing third with a 39.050 stepping into the four-rotation role for junior Dana McQuillin who did not vault after aggravating a knee strain. She captured first in the bars tying the school record with a 9.925 for the Gym’Backs. Junior Katie Hardman also captured an individual title on the beam tying for the win with a season-best 9.90. Freshman Samantha Cortez added a 37.900 in the all-around competition finishing fourth for the Gym’Backs. With a large contingent of Arkansas supporters on hand thanks to Monroe, La., native Mallory Machnik, the Gym’Backs fell to 3-2 overall and evened their SEC mark to 2-2 with the loss to LSU (4-3, 2-1 SEC). Peacock wrapped up Arkansas’ best bar performance of the year tying the school record with a 9.925 helping the Gym’Backs to a season-best 49.125. Junior Dana McQuillin, sophomore Cassie Drew and junior Melissa Leigh Leigh also set season bests while Cortez tied her season/career best on the night. Arkansas, who is ranked 28th on the bars this week, just missed the program-best 49.375 on the apparatus. “Our bar routines rocked,” enthused co-head coach Rene Cook. “We’ve been working really hard and it was evident in the first rotation tonight.” The Tigers, who rank seventh this week on the vault, lived up to their billing with three gymnasts with 9.90s or better leading Arkansas after one rotation, 49.375-49.125. Drew opened the vault for the Gym’Backs with a 9.650 followed by junior Hannah McLeod’s return to the lineup after injury had sidelined her. McLeod added a 9.70 for Arkansas. The Gym’Backs’ success continued on vault with a pair of career-bests from Machnik and Cortez. Machnik notched a 9.750 followed by a 9.825 from Cortez. Audra Loveless tied her season-best with a 9.775 as Arkansas recorded a 48.70 on vault. Arkansas was having a great meet despite trailing the nationally-dominate Tigers, 98.600-97.825, after two rotations. The Gym’Backs moved to floor where they are 16th in the country this week and opened with sophomore Rachel Barnett’s 9.750. Machnik tied her second career-best of the night with a 9.825 including the execution of a nearly perfect second tumbling pass that included a front full and back-to-back front layouts. First-time all-arounder Peacock added a 9.750 followed by a 9.725 from McQuillin. Junior Katie Hardman topped things off with an Arkansas meet-best 9.850 giving the Gym’Backs a 48.90 on the floor. Arkansas moved to the final rotation, the beam, where the team has been strongest since in the inaugural season in 2003. Ranked eighth on the beam this week, McQuillin opened with a season-best 9.775 for the Gym’Backs. Scores improved as the night went on with a pair of 9.80s from Peacock and Drew while Hardman turned in a season-best 9.90 for the Gym’Backs. LSU however, used nearly perfect landings and clean routines in the league win over the Gym’Backs. “It was a great meet,” Cook continued. “We were really consistent and had some people step up under pressure. We had some of our best performances of the year here tonight and we’re pleased as a coaching staff.” The Gym’Backs return to road action traveling to Seattle, Wash., for the team’s first quad meet of the year hosted by Washington. Also competing will be Oregon State and Seattle-Pacific. Arkansas returns home hosting SEC-rival Florida Feb. 18, in Barnhill Arena. For more information or tickets please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.