FAYETTEVILLE — The No. 19 University of Arkansas gymnastics team (1-5, 0-5 SEC) welcomes the fourth-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (4-2, 4-2 SEC) to Barnhill Arena Friday night for the beginning of its final home stand of the season. The meet has a scheduled start time of 7 p.m.
Arkansas is currently ranked No. 18 on the bars in the Gyminfo Women’s Gymnastics National Event rankings, as well as No. 21 on the beam and No. 23 on the vault.
Individually, junior All-American Katherine Grable is tied for No. 24 in the all-around (39.200), tied for No. 24 on the vault and No. 25 on the beam. Freshman Sydnie Dillard is ranked No. 18 on the balance beam.
“We had a solid competition at LSU,” co-head coach René Lyst said. “We were definitely much better in terms of not counting mistakes and falls for the meet. We were a little bit short on scores with hand-stands when it comes to bars, and the landings on our vault rotation weren’t super sharp. I thought our floor and beam rotations were outstanding, especially to end on the road with beam and to pick up some solid routines.”
Last week against LSU, Arkansas’ Dillard picked up her second event title on the beam in her young career. Dillard nailed her front aerial to a one-handed back-hand spring for a 9.85 and claimed the event title. Dillard led her team to a 48.95 on the balance beam to finish out the meet.
Alabama leads the all-time series (26-2). This will be the first meeting this season between the two squads, last season the two teams faced-off four times including twice at the NCAA Championship. Once in session II where the Razorbacks finished second behind the Crimson Tide to advance to the Super Six competition where the Razorbacks finished sixth.
The Crimson Tide are coming to the meet having posted a season-high score last week at Auburn of 197.650, which was also the highest score in the nation for the week. Alabama is led by All-American Kim Jacob, who won the all-around in each of their first four meets this season.
“We have to come in and hit another clean meet,” Lyst said. “We have to not count a lot of mistakes, and be sharper on the things that we were not as sharp on last week. Obviously we have high expectations when we compete against the, they are very strong program. We want to come in and be aggressive from the very first vault and give them a run for their money, while making our routines as clean as possible. ”
Promotions for the meet include free schedule posters and schedule magnets. There will also be 2013 Arkansas gymnastics trading cards and a fan pack that will be given away during the meet. Also t-shirts will be thrown into the stands each time the Razorbacks score a 9.8 or higher.
Fans can follow along during the meet with the RazorVision live stream, live results and interactive blog. Following the meet Friday, the Razorbacks will return to competition next week to host a quad meet featuring Missouri, Centenary and Lindenwood.