FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 8th-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team will hit the road for the third time this season for a top-10 matchup in Tuscaloosa, Alabama against the 10th-ranked Crimson Tide this Friday at 7:30 p.m.
After scoring its second highest score in program history against Georgia, the Razorbacks will look to continue their hot streak at Alabama. The Razorbacks posted a 195.350 at LSU to open the season, and has since recorded scores over 196 in three consecutive meets including the 197.175 against the Bulldogs.
“We’re enjoying the performance we had but we’re also realizing that we have some more work to do and we can still improve our position.” said head coach Mark Cook. “It’s important to get up to this meet in Alabama and to be ready.”
Against Georgia, Freshman Sophia Carter secured the nation’s third best beam score of the season with a 9.975, making her the 10th-ranked gymnasts in the nation in the event. Carter’s performance earned her the Southeastern Conference Specialist of the Week honors, becoming just the second Razorback in program history to win the award.
The Razorbacks upped their average on the beam to 49.256, giving it the fourth-best beam squad in the nation for the third-consecutive week. Four gymnasts hold spots in the top-60 of the individual rankings, including sophomores Jessica Yamzon and Michaela Burton who are tied for 22nd and 27th, respectively.
Vault remained the Razorbacks second-best event, jumping two spots to No. 9 in this week’s rankings with an average of 49.044. Senior Braie Speed is the highest ranked individual on the event, coming in at No. 22, while junior Sydney McGlone and senior Amanda Wellick come in at No. 50 and No. 56, respectively.
Arkansas made huge strides on bars and on the floor against Georgia, moving them up six spots to No. 13 on bars and up 10 spots to No. 19 on the floor.
How They Compare (Season Averages)
Vault: Arkansas- 49.044, Alabama- 48.906
Bars: Alabama- 49.206, Arkansas- 48.956
Beam: Arkansas- 49.256, Alabama- 49.013
Floor: Alabama- 49.069, Arkansas- 49.044
Total: Arkansas- 196.300, Alabama- 196.194
The Razorbacks and the Crimson Tide will meet as top-10 teams for the sixth time this Friday. Coming in at No. 8 with a 196.300 average, the Razorbacks are ranked ahead of Alabama in the matchup for the first time since 2012. Arkansas has defeated Alabama in three-straight regular season meetings. Friday’s meet will be Arkansas’ third against a top-10 opponent, after traveling to then No. 3 LSU and hosting No. 6 Kentucky earlier in the year.
“We have to go in there and not be distracted, absorb the environment and stay calm,” said Cook. “We just have to go out there and perform on the road like we do at home.”
The meet against Alabama is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. and will be streamed on the SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN app.’
For more information on Razorback gymnastics, including in-meet updates, follow @Razorbackgym on Twitter.