No. 9 gymnasts at No. 6 LSU Friday

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The ninth-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team competes in the final Southeastern Conference regular season meet traveling to No. 6 LSU Friday. Arkansas (6-3, 3-2 SEC) takes on a tough LSU (10-2, 3-2 SEC) team that has been nearly perfect at home and has won its last three meets. “It’s tough to go to LSU and compete,” said Arkansas co-head coach René Cook. “LSU has a fairly hostile environment for the opposition. It’s a great place for sports fans but it is tough for their opponents.” “We have to go in there and focus on our routines and block out everything else,” added co-head coach Mark Cook. “LSU has a great home-crowd advantage and we’re going to have to stick to our game plan.” The Razorbacks’ game plan has been successful so far this year. Arkansas has notched wins over a couple league opponents picking up the wins for the first time in program history. In addition, the Razorbacks have posted school records in several areas and had personal bests in every meet this year. “We need a good away score,” commented Rene Cook. “We’re counting a 195.40 and we would definitely like to better that and help our RQS but we know it won’t be easy. One of the girls said that she noticed that as we get better, so does our opponent and that is so true. Competition is hard week in and week out and this meet is no exception.” Arkansas has enjoyed a balanced team effort this year. All-Americans Casey Jo Magee and Michelle Stout along with freshman Jaime Pisani have grabbed many of the headlines but solid scores from several others have given Arkansas depth it has not had in the early years of the program. Magee opened the year winning a school-record five consecutive all-around titles. She surrendered the top spot to Pisani who has won two of the next three. Juniors Sarah Nagashima and Amy DeFilippo along with lone senior Alex LaChance have posted impressive numbers as well. Nagashima is competing for the all-around title this year both DeFilippo and LaChance have reached personal bests in several meets. Arkansas returns to Fayetteville next week hosting No. 18 Minnesota in the final regular season home meet of the year. The Razorbacks also host the 2009 NCAA South Central Regional Meet April 4. For more information and tickets please call the Razorback Ticket Office at 575-5151 or log on to