CORVALLIS, Ore. – Junior All-American Katherine Grable wins three event titles as the third-seeded Razorbacks scored a program best at an NCAA Regional of 196.950 to clinch a trip to the NCAA Championship meet for the sixth-straight year.
Grable started the meet by matching her career-best marks on the floor and the vault with 9.95’s, each of the marks were worthy of first-place finishes on the events. Grable finished with a season-best 39.650 to win the all-around competition as well.
Arkansas finished second in the meet behind Georgia with a 197.425, and ahead of Arizona State with a 195.700, Oregon State with a 195.375, Boise State with a 195.350 and California with a 195.125
“I am just so shocked right now,” co-head coach Rene Lyst said. “We thought coming into the meet that Oregon State would win as the host and we would be in a two-way battle with Georgia.”
The Razorbacks would start on the floor in the second rotation with the second-highest score in regional history with a 49.250. Grable anchored the lineup while matching her career-high score of a 9.95, followed by Amy Borsellino with a 9.875. Senior Kelci Lewis went on to post a 9.85 while freshman Heather Elswick added a 9.825.
Arkansas would match its floor score in the rotation three with a 49.25 on the vault, a mark that ranks third in program history at a regional. Again, Grable would lead the way with her second 9.95 of the meet which also matches her career high for the event. Elswick and Lewis each tallied a 9.85 for the event, followed by Baille Zumwalde with a 9.80 and Erin Freier would count her first vault of the season with a 9.80 as well.
At the halfway point, Georgia would lead the meet with a 98.525, followed by Arkansas with a 98.500, Boise State 97.825, Arizona State 97.325, Cal with a 96.975 and Oregon State with a 96.800.
On the bars, the Razorbacks posted a 49.150 which is good for the fifth-best score in regional history. Junior Shelby Salmon led the way with a 9.875, followed by Katherine Grable with a 9.85. Freier and Borsellino would each add 9.825’s to the team score as well.
Arkansas would just need five clean routines to punch their tickets to the NCAA Championship Meet, and the Razorbacks posted a 49.300 good for the best beam score in regional history. Grable and Freier would anchor the rotation with a pair of 9.90’s. Freshman Sydnie Dillard and Borsellino each recorded a 9.85 followed by Salmon and Glover with a 9.80 each.
“It was just awesome to finish the way we did on the beam,” Lyst said. “This was a really fun meet for us the throughout the whole time. Everyone competed extremely well for us and I still can’t describe the feeling right now about making it to the National Championship meet.”
The Razorbacks will return to competition in two weeks’ time at the NCAA Championship Meet in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 20.