FAYETTEVILLE — The University of Arkansas gymnastics team (0-2-0) welcomes the 11th-ranked Denver Pioneers (3-1-0) to Barnhill Arena Friday night. The meet has a scheduled start time of 7 p.m.
Arkansas will feature two gymnasts that are individually ranked in the Gyminfo National Poll event rankings. Junior All-American Katherine Grable is currently ranked sixth in the all-around including a No. 4 ranking on the floor exercise, while freshman Sydnie Dillard is tied for 20th in the nation on the balance beam.
“We had a rough competition at Kentucky,” co-head coach Mark Cook said. “We went out there fresh and warmed up really well. But when the lights came on and the judges put the flag up, we had hiccups across the board on all events. It was an uncharacteristic night for our program. The season is a marathon though not a sprint and we have been addressing things we need to work on in practice.”
Last week against No. 14 Kentucky, Arkansas had two freshmen that tied for individual event titles. Heather Elswick recorded a 9.825 on the vault to win the meet title. Dillard also recorded a 9.825 on the balance beam to tie for the best score in the meet.
Denver leads the all-time series 4-1, with Arkansas winning the last matchup in 2011 when Denver hosted the NCAA Regional. This will be Denver’s first trip back to Fayetteville since 2007 when they topped the Razorbacks 192.975-192.800.
Denver is in the midst of its best start in program history after three meets. The Pioneers have an average of 195.717 through the first three weeks of the season and will feature the reigning Western Athletic Conference Event Specialist of the week in Kaitlin Moorhead on vault.
Denver is a strong program,” co-head coach Cook said. “They are up in the top 20 in the rankings every year. They are more improved this year and will come in and definitely compete hard looking for another road Regional Qualifying Score. We cannot be affected by what they do, instead we have to go out and focus on what we are capable of doing.”
Fans can follow along with the meet with the RazorVision live stream, live results and interactive blog. Following the meet Friday, the Razorbacks will host Florida on Feb. 1 for the Pink Meet promotion.