FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 14-ranked University of Arkansas women’s gymnastics team put on a dominant display on Friday night, as they posted a season-best score of 196.650 to defeat both Illinois State and Southeast Missouri inside Barnhill Arena.
For the first time this season, Arkansas posted a 49-plus score in all four events, en route to a season-best total. The Razorbacks were once again dominant on the vault and floor, as they recorded a 49.250 and a 49.350, respectively.
The No. 14 team in the nation was led by sophomore Amanda Wellick, who captured three event titles and tied her career-best mark on the vault with a 9.950. Wellick, who entered the night ranked 15th-nationally in the event, matched her career-high from the anchor slot, as her 9.950 helped her team post its sixth-straight 49-plus score this season. Wellick would end her night with 9.925 on the floor exercise to not only capture the floor title, but also lift her to the all-around championship, scoring a 39.425.
The three event titles continues Wellick’s impressive 2015 campaign, as tonight’s total now gives her nine on the year and 10 in her short two-year career.
Senior All-American, Stephani Canizaro, also brought home her second event title of 2015, as she won the uneven bars title for the second time at Barnhill Arena this season, and matched her career-best score of 9.875 along the way. Her total allowed Arkansas to post a 49.050 overall on the bars, which marked fourth time this year the team has posted 49-plus total in the event.
The No. 14 Razorbacks also posted a season-best on the balance beam with a 49.000. The total was sparked by four 9.8-plus scores, as Arkansas did not count a single fall in the event.
Head coach Mark Cook’s team ended their night with another impressive floor exercise routine, as the duo of junior Heather Elswick (9.900) and Wellick (9.925) each posted a 9.9-plus. It was the second time this season that the two gymnasts each recorded a 9.9-plus on the floor in the same meet.
Razorback of the Meet – Amanda Wellick
• Took home three event titles (vault, floor exercise, all-around)
• It was the third time this season that she has won the vault, floor exercise and all-around in the same meet.
• Tied her career-best score of 9.950 on the vault.
• Posted her third 9.9-plus score of the year on the floor exercise.
• Her all-around score of 39.425 marked the fourth time this season she has scored a 39-plus in the all-around.
Vault – Elswick (9.850), MacMoyle (9.850), Zaziski (9.850), Wellick (9.950)
Bars – Freier (9.800), Canizaro (9.875), Wellick (9.800), Zaziski (9.800)
Beam – Freier (9.800), Zaziski (9.800), Nelson (9.825), Dillard (9.825)
Floor – Canizaro (9.825), Dillard (9.825), Nelson (9.875), Elswick (9.900), Wellick (9.925)
Vault: Amanda Wellick (9.950)
Bars: Stephani Canizaro (9.875)
Beam: Samantha Nelson (9.825), Kathleen York (9.000)
Floor: Paige Zaziski, (9.775)
No. 14 Arkansas: 196.650
Illinois State: 192.025
Southeast Missouri: 191.150
Post-Meet Sound: Head Coach Mark Cook
Cook on His Team’s Performance
“We competed much better than we did last weekend, we took care of a few things we were having some issues on and put a complete meet together tonight. We still have a few more tenths we can squeeze out of this team, four or five more tenths and hit a 197 mark, that’s our goal.”
Cook on Season-High Beam Score
“They were tougher mentally tonight. We are still going to squeeze some more tenths out of them. There were a few errors here and there and while staying on is key, you have to command it and own it. We are doing well we just have to keep getting better.”
Cook on Amanda Wellick’s Night
“She is a gamer. She is experienced now, being a sophomore. She is young but she still has last years’ experience of going to nationals. She’s tough and a leader on the team now and she’s proving it.”
Cook on Career Highs in Every Event
“They’ve been working hard. There is no substitute for hard work. The girls continue to work hard and pay attention to detail. Their scores will reflect how close you can get to perfection and that’s all this sport is about, how close you can get to perfection.”
Post-Meet Sound: Sophomore Amanda Wellick & Senior Stephani Canizaro
Wellick on Her Overall Performance
“We started on vault very strong as a team. Moving on from that, we used that energy on bars, trying to hit our handstands and go for clean routines. On beam, we were trying to be aggressive, and same goes for floor, just trying to hype up the energy and finish strong. All of the winning is great, but I wouldn’t have any of that without my team.”
Stephani Canizaro on Bar Performance
“My overall bar performance was good, but I had awesome performances before me. We’ve been training so hard, and working on our handstands on bars, so it felt great to know I succeeded this meet. It means a lot to have performed this well at home, we really needed this for our confidence and rankings.”
The No. 14-ranked Arkansas women’s gymnastics team will jump back into Southeastern Conference action next Friday, Feb. 20, as they travel to the Bluegrass State to take on No. 21-ranked Kentucky. Start time from Memorial Coliseum is set for 6 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas gymnastics, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.