comscore script

Gym’Backs third in Gainesville

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gym’Backs third in Gainesville

Jump to agate GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The 21st-ranked University of Arkansas finished with a 194.025 and third place in quad meet action at No. 5 Florida Friday. The meet, televised via tape-delay on ESPN2, saw the Gym’Backs count a pair of falls that proved to be the difference in the final score. No. 5 Florida won the meet with a 196.950, followed by No. 32 West Virginia with a 194.200, Arkansas’ 194.025 surpassed No. 22 North Carolina who scored 193.125. “We are disappointed with tonight’s team finish but I’m very pleased with our finish on vault,” said co-head coach Mark Cook. “Once we find our mojo, we’re going to be tough to beat. We’re so close and just need that one little break to get us through.” Sophomore Samantha Cortez tied her school record for the second time this year with a 9.90 on the vault finishing second overall. Senior Katie Hardman made her return to the bars lineup with a nearly flawless routine and solid landing scoring a 9.70 for the Gym’Backs on the opening event. A pair of falls forced Arkansas to count one low score and the Gym’Backs trailed early in the meet. The slow start didn’t rattle Cassie Drew or Melissa Leigh, however, with Drew turning in a season-best 9.80 as Arkansas fought to get back in the scoring. Leigh added a personal season-best 9.850 followed by sophomore Emily Peacock with a 9.875 tying her season-best. Peacock’s mark also ties Arkansas’ individual best this year, a mark Peacock holds. Peacock finished tied for second on the event. Arkansas was in third place overall after the first rotation trailing No. 5 Florida who scored a 49.275 on the vault and No. 22 North Carolina who posted a 48.650 on the floor. Two-time defending NCAA individual floor champion Courtney Bumpers paced the Tar Heels with a 9.925 anchoring the event. The Gym’Backs confidence continued with a solid beam performance resulting in a season-best 48.475. Peacock opened with a 9.70 tying her season-best followed by Drew’s 9.750, a mark that led the Gym’Backs Friday. Junior Rachel Barnett added a 9.650 followed by sophomore Mallory Machnik’s 9.675 in her first beam routine of the season. Senior Dana McQuillin rounded out the beam scores with a 9.70 for the Gym’Backs. Arkansas remained in third place trailing the Gators and Tar Heels after the second rotation, moving to floor. Drew led off the floor exercise with a crowd-pleasing routine that got the Florida student section engaged. Her playful facial expressions and explosive tumbling earned her a 9.75 for the Gym’Backs. McQuillin followed with a season-best 9.70 but a fall on a tumbling pass and a miscue by another Gym’Back made the scoring tough for Arkansas. Machnik finished with a 9.70 on the carpet and Peacock added a 9.675 giving Arkansas a 48.10 for the event. Arkansas moved to the vault in the final rotation finishing on what has been the Gym’Backs’ strongest event all season. Arkansas was just .025 behind West Virginia who finished on bars. Machnik led off with a 9.70 and freshman Breanne Guy followed with a season-best 9.750 but the Mountaineers kept the presser on with a pair of good bar scores to start. McQuillin tied her season-best with a 9.70 and senior Audra Lovelss scored a season-high 9.80 as the gap narrowed. Arkansas continued to make it interesting with Cortez’s 9.90 tying the school record for the second time this season. Drew finished with a 9.875 as Arkansas finished with a season-high 49.025 on the vault. But West Virginia hung in behind a 9.90 from Mehgan Morris edging Arkansas in the final team standings. Arkansas continues both road and SEC action traveling to No. 3 Alabama Friday for a dual meet. Friday’s meet airs on ESPN2 Tuesday, Feb. 14, at 2:30 p.m., Central. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics, log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)