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Gym’Backs edge Auburn in upset win

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs edge Auburn in upset win

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FAYETTEVILLE – There really wasn’t anything fancy about the 20th-ranked University of Arkansas’ performance but it was good enough for the upset win over No. 13 Auburn in Southeastern Conference gymnastics action Friday in Barnhill Arena. Arkansas (6-9, 2-4 SEC) scored a 195.375 downing the Tigers (7-9, 1-5 SEC) who posted a 194.950 in a meet that could only be described as consistent. The score was the second best for Arkansas this year. “The scores will always fluctuate depending on the judging panels and we had some balance issues tonight,” said co-head coach Mark Cook. “But we fought through them and that was great to see. We’ve been training like we are competing and that’s great. We focused tonight on one event at a time, one routine at a time.” Arkansas waited until the final event to seal the deal and got a crowd-pleasing 9.825 from senior Katie Hardman to clinch the win. Hardman changed her floor music to all Arkansas-themed songs and the crowd of 2454 responded with a standing ovation. The Gym’Backs opened the evening on vault behind a season-high 9.775 from freshman Breanne Guy for a 48.775 on the event. Auburn, however, struggled on the bars in their opening event scoring just a 47.850 behind a fall and four wobbles. The Tigers roared back on the vault notching a 49.025 while Arkansas managed a 48.775 on the bars. Junior Cassie Drew tied her season-high with a 9.80 but Auburn had closed the gap after two rotations. Arkansas moved to the beam with a 48.80 paced by junior Rachel Barnett who tied her season-high with a 9.775. Hardman added her season-best 9.825 but the Tigers countered with a 49.175 on the floor pulling within .50 of the Gym’Backs heading into the final rotation. Arkansas opened the last event with a 9.75 from Drew, followed by a 9.725 from senior Dana McQuillin. Sophomore Mallory Machnik tallied a season-best 9.85 followed by Hardman. Junior Rachel Barnett added a 9.775 and sophomore Emily Peacock rounded out the Arkansas scores with a 9.825 giving Arkansas the win. Drew and McQuillin handled the all-around duties for the Gym’Backs with Drew finishing second overall with a 39.550. McQuillin was fourth with a 38.625. Arkansas breaks from conference action hosting Washington next Sunday.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)