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Gymnastics falls at Auburn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
Gymnastics falls at Auburn

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AUBURN, Ala. – The seventh-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team turned in solid performance but it wasn’t enough to overcome a near-perfect performance by No. 6 Auburn in Southeastern Conference action at Auburn, Ala., Friday. Arkansas (6-2, 3-1 SEC) fell 196.175-195.400 to the Tigers (4-3, 2-2 SEC) in the road meet. It was the first time this year that a Razorback failed to one at least one individual title. “We went 24-for-24 with a few minor bobbles,” said Arkansas co-head coach Mark Cook, “but nothing we can’t correct in the gym. We fought hard in a tough environment and I’m proud of our efforts.” Senior Michelle Stout finished third in the all-around with a 39.175 as the Razorbacks’ top finisher. Freshman Jaime Pisani was fourth followed by junior Sarah Nagashima and junior Casey Jo Magee in sixth. The meet was close through the first three rotations but Auburn tied its season-best with a 49.30 in the final event to win the contest. The first rotation opened with Arkansas on bars and Auburn on the vault. The Razorbacks got 9.85s from All-Americans Stout and Magee along with a 9.825 from Nagashima leading the team to an early 49.100-48.925 lead after one event. Auburn’s A.J. Mills paced the Tigers with a 9.90 on vault winning the individual title and snapping Arkansas’ streak of a share of six consecutive event wins. The Tigers’ scores went through the roof on bars with six stuck landings helped them to a season-best 49.275. The mark was also the second-highest score in Auburn history. Arkansas got 9.80s from Stout and senior Alex LaChance but scored a 48.80 falling behind, 98.200-97.90 after two events. The scores continued to be tight in the third rotation. Arkansas opened with a 9.70 from freshman Molly Lewis followed by a 9.725 from Nagashima. LaChance added a9.775 but the Razorbacks struggled to break the 9.80 barrier. Stout’s explosive routine finally netted a 9.85 followed by a 9.75 from Pisani. Magee stumbled out of bounds after her final tumbling pass for the second week in a row scoring a 9.70. Auburn opened with a solid 9.80 on beam but the next two gymnasts fell forcing the Tigers to count a 9.30. But Auburn rebounded and finished strong with a 48.675 on the beam and held a 146.875-146.70 lead going into the final rotation. Nagashima stepped up first on beam for Arkansas as the Razorbacks needed a push on the final event. Her well-executed routine gave Arkansas a 9.80 for the first competitor. Auburn countered that with a 9.70 on floor, on event on which they rank third in the SEC this week. Arkansas continued to perform well on beam getting a 9.675 from Stout and a 9.775 from junior Amy DeFilippo. Sophomore Stacy Bartlett added a 9.675 but Arkansas’ beam scores could not keep pace with the escalating floor scores of the home team. Pisani kept the meet close with a career-best 9.775 on the beam and Magee wrapped up the event with a 9.65 giving Arkansas a 48.70 on the event. Auburn’s Mills scored a 9.925 on floor winning the event and sealing the Tiger win, however, as the Razorbacks were solid but unable to catch the home team. Arkansas returns home hosting No. 3 Georgia, Friday, Feb. 20, in Barnhill Arena. For more information or tickets, log on to ArkansasRazorbacks.com.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)