FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (Univ. of Ark.) - Arkansas' gymnastics schedule is set for 2013, and once again one of the premier programs in the nation is facing many of the top teams in the country.
The Razorbacks are coming off their second Super Six appearance in four years and placed sixth in the NCAA Championship. Arkansas has earned nine consecutive NCAA Regional bids, advanced to the NCAA Championship six times in the last seven years and finished in the top 10 three of the last four seasons.
Arkansas finished sixth in the country in 2012, but five other top 10 teams are on this year's slate, including the top three teams from the national championship. Arkansas has meets with defending national champion Alabama, runner-up Florida, third-place finisher UCLA, eighth-place Nebraska and ninth-place LSU. In addition, No. 11 Georgia, No. 15 Auburn, No. 20 Missouri, No. 23 Denver, No. 24 Minnesota and No. 25 Kentucky complete the 10-date regular-season schedule, all against teams in the top 25.
"We are looking forward to having our usual challenging season," co-head coach Mark Cook says.
"I am a firm believer that going against the best either makes you better or humbles you into getting better. We are now considered one of the best programs in the nation after establishing ourselves as such, and it is equally important for us to maintain a level of excellence on par with our most challenging opponents. The 2013 season will be an exciting one, especially with the SEC Championship being held in North Little Rock."
No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Florida, No. 11 Georgia, No. 20 Missouri and No. 23 Denver visit Fayetteville for meets in Barnhill Arena.
Arkansas gets the season underway on Jan. 11 with Georgia. Denver is in town on Jan. 25 followed by Florida on Feb. 1. The Razorbacks face Alabama on Feb. 22. On March 1, Missouri is part of a quad meet along with Centenary and Lindenwood.
Road meets are Jan. 18 at Kentucky, Feb. 8 at Auburn, Feb. 15 at LSU, March 9 at Minnesota and March 17 at UCLA. The meet at Minnesota is a quad along with No. 8 Nebraska and Centenary.
"It's a challenging schedule," co-head coach René Lyst says. "We're excited about the UCLA trip. We love going there and since they are hosting the NCAA Championship, it's a great opportunity for us to compete in and get familiar with the gym. The SEC Championship in North Little Rock is also something we're really looking forward to. Lindenwood is here for a quad meet and we're honored to be a part of their inaugural season."
The SEC Championship is March 23 in North Little Rock. NCAA Regionals are April 6 at campus sites and the NCAA Championship is April 19-21 at UCLA.
For more information regarding Razorback gymnastics or University of Arkansas athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com.