Razorback gymnastics goes to Texas

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 11th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team hits the road for the final regular season road meet of the 2009 season this weekend. Arkansas travels to Denton, Texas, for the Texas Woman’s University quad meet taking on the Pioneers as well as Pennsylvania and Bowling Green in the final tune-up before the SEC Championship. “This is an exciting meet for us,” said Arkansas co-head coach René Cook. “We have quite a few girls from Texas and it’s great for their family and friends as well as the local clubs to come out and see us. This quad is good preparation for SECs and we can’t wait to get started.” Arkansas is looking for a good away score in the final two meets before NCAA Regionals. The Razorbacks would like to improve on their 195.80 posted at LSU and a better score at TWU or the SEC Championships would help Arkansas move up in the rankings. In addition, Arkansas is competing in the team’s first quad of the season as they head into the seven-team rotation at SECs. “This format is good,” said co-head coach Mark Cook. “It’ll help us prepare for the format at SECs and I think it’s an advantage for us at this point in the year.” Arkansas has had a solid season already in 2009. The Razorbacks have won all but one all-around title and the team has had a balanced effort throughout the year. Juniors Casey Jo Magee, Michelle Stout and Sarah Nagashima along with freshman Jaime Pisani make up much of the lineup with all four usually in the hunt for the all-around title. Senior Alex LaChance and junior Amy DeFilippo along with freshman Mariah Howdeshell and freshman Molly Lewis have also contributed to the team’s success. “We’ve been the same team all year,” said Rene Cook. “I don’t think that we’re doing anything too differently than we did in January – there is just more at stake at this point in the year and other teams are also getting better. We’re working on picking up a quarter of a tenth here and there – that’s the difference at this point of the year.” “We have tweaked the lineup a bit here and there,” added Mark Cook, “but that’s mostly for balance. I like where we’re at right now.”