FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The 10th-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team will travel to Norman, Oklahoma for the OU Quad meet against the top-ranked Sooners and top 15 teams Arizona State and Denver this Friday at 7 p.m.
“This is going to be a big challenge,” said head coach Mark Cook. “It’s very competitive competition. This is one of the most competitive years I remember with teams 7-20 within a tenth or two of each other as far as the parity.”
The Razorbacks come into the week with a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 196.660, the highest in team history.
Arkansas’ freshmen recorded seven scores over 9.800 last week against Arizona, the highest among Southeastern Conference programs last weekend. Freshman Sarah Shaffer has continued her tear through her first full season as a Razorback, recording at least one score of 9.900 in each of the last six meets, the only freshman in the conference to do so. Fellow freshman Sophia Carter is the highest-ranked individual on the team, coming in at No. 13 on the balance beam after she tied her own program record of 9.975 on the event last week.
Senior Amanda Wellick has regained her form since her return from injury this season, posting scores of 9.800 or higher in 82.7% of her routines.
“We’re feeling good,” said Cook. “We have Amanda back in the all-around and it’s been a bit of a boost to us, but we’re trying to make some adjustments here and there. The girls did really well last week.”
Friday’s meet is Arkansas’ third road trip in four weeks and first since recording its second highest road score in program history of 196.875 at No. 5 Florida Feb. 23. It’s the Razorbacks’ second quad meet of the season, after placing fourth at GymQuarters last month.
After posting its record high 197.275 against Arizona, The Razorbacks have now scored multiple scores of 197 or higher twice in one season for just the second time in program history, joining the 2012 season. Arkansas posted a 197.175 against Georgia earlier this season. Its the first time in program history that Arkansas has posted multiple 197’s during the regular season.
As a team this season, the Razorbacks have recorded event scores of 49.000 or higher 26 times, after recording similar scores just 18 times last season.
Friday’s meet is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The meet will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma and the Fox Sports Go app.
For more information on Arkansas gymnastics, including in-meet updates, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.