No. 21 Gym'Backs travel to No. 3 Alabama Friday

FAYETTEVILLE — The 21st-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team faces a tough challenge traveling to No. 3 Alabama as Southeastern Conference action continues Friday. Arkansas has been troubled by more than their average number of falls this year and the scores have not been as high as the Gym’Backs would like. This week, Arkansas travels to a nearly perfect Alabama site and faces a team that has been getting a lot of high numbers this year. "Alabama is a fun place to go," said co-head coach Mark Cook. "There is always a lot of energy in gym and they’ve been drawing gigantic crowds. We hope that they have a big crowd again this week and that we can draw a lot of energy from the meet." The Gym’Backs have made subtle changes to routines all season long and things are starting to come together for the team. "We feel like we’re turning a corner," said co-head coach Rene Cook. "We want to get down there and compete well. We were on the way home from our last trip and already the team was talking about going to Alabama. It’s a great environment." Arkansas has been excelling at the vault this year, an event that has historically been weak for the Gym’Backs. Arkansas posted a season-best 49.025 at Florida and it’s a mark they hope to continue improving on. "The vault (at Florida) was phenomenal," said Mark Cook. "We are still making a few errors but when we hit our routines, we are really good. We were 24 of 24 in practice this week and it was the best workout we’ve had all season. We have to practice like we compete and compete like we practice." Arkansas is wrapping up a two-meet road swing and returns home next week for three in a row as they glide passed the mid-point of the year. The Gym’Backs host Kentucky Feb. 24, Auburn March 3 and Washington March 19, as the home portion of the season concludes. Arkansas then travels to Nebraska March 19 and is at the SEC Championship March 25. The Gym’Backs then host the South Central Regional April 8, in Barnhill Arena. For tickets to any of the upcoming home events, please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.