Arkansas Upsets Stanford, Takes First South Central Title
April 5, 2009
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - The 10th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team won the program's first NCAA Regional Championship scoring a 196.300 to advance to the NCAA Championships in Lincoln, Neb., in two weeks.
The Razorbacks won their first team regional title and Arkansas co-head coaches Mark and Rene Cook earned South Central Regional Coach of the Year honors. Assistant coach Dave Kuzara was named South Central Regional Assistant Coach of the Year.
Juniors Casey Jo Magee and Michelle Stout were individual winners, also a program first for the Razorbacks. Magee won the beam title with a 9.90 and tied for the floor win with the same score. Stout captured the vault title with a 9.875.
"I'm extremely excited and proud of the team," said Magee. "We did everything we planned to do. I had a dream last night that we won regionals and it came true. It's awesome."
"Regionals is a tough pressure situation," said Stout. "We were able to come in and hit our routines and of course we're happy with how it turned out. We're ready for nationals."
Arkansas won the meet edging No. 4 Stanford who was second with a 196.200. Sixteenth-ranked Michigan was third with a 195.700, followed by Arizona with 194.350, Arizona State with 193.900 and Southern Utah with 192.650.
"We knew it was a close meet," said Rene Cook. "It was a great competition. The girls felt we could we and it's great to accomplish that goal. It was great to see the team leave it all on the floor and go out and be aggressive."
Arkansas opened the meet on bars scoring a 48.950 and added a 48.975 on beam in a solid routine.
"That was the best beam we've done all year," said Cook. "We competed with a lot of confidence and did what we needed to."
The Razorbacks moved to floor scoring a 49.200 behind Magee's 9.90. Arkansas got 9.85s from Stout, senior Alex LaChance and freshman Molly Lewis as the Razorbacks built scores through three rotations.
"We had a sense it was close," said Cook. "We knew our vault scores were going to be good. We just had to go out there and leave it all on the floor."
Arkansas posted a 49.175 in the final rotation behind a 9.875 from Stout. Magee and freshman Jaime Pisani added 9.85s leading Arkansas to the win.
With the win, the Razorbacks advance to the program's three NCAA Championship. Arkansas will learn it's rotation and competitive order at the beginning of the week.
For more information about Arkansas gymnastics, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.