ATHENS, Ga. – The No. 18-ranked University of Arkansas women’s gymnastics team saved its best Southeastern Conference performance of the year for its conference regular season finale, as the Razorbacks tied their season-best score of 196.650 on Saturday evening at No. 10 Georgia.
The Razorbacks were able to hit on all four events, as they collected a quartet of 49-plus scores for the second time this season en route to the 196.650 score. The vault and floor exercise rotations once again led the way for Arkansas as they posted a 49.275 and a 49.200, respectively, in each event. The Razorbacks were able to master the balance beam on Saturday, as the team posted a season-high score of 49.100 in the event.
Sophomore Amanda Wellick had a phenomenal performance against the 10th-ranked Gymdogs, as she tallied a career-best in the all-around with a 39.500. Wellick began her night with a 9.825 on the uneven bars and followed that up with a 9.900 on the vault. Her performance was even stronger in the second half of the meet, as she collected her second 9.900 of the night on the floor exercise and tied her career high on the balance beam with a 9.875.
Wellick’s 39.500 in the all-around was good enough to earn her fifth all-around event title of the year. Tonight’s win marks the fourth-straight meet that the Wheaton, Illinois native, has won at least one event title. Over that stretch, Wellick has won eight titles, pushing her season total of 14.
Arkansas got the night started with a 49.075 on uneven bars. The quartet of Erin Freier, Stephani Canizaro, Paige Zaziski and Wellick each recorded a 9.825 to conclude the rotation, as the Razorbacks were able to score a 49-plus on the bars for the second-straight meet.
The No. 18-ranked team in the nation once again had a strong showing on the vault, as all five gymnasts in the rotation posted a 9.8-or-better to help Arkansas score its ninth-straight 49-plus in the event with a 49.275. Saturday’s total marked the highest vault score by the Razorbacks in over a month, as they had a pair of 9.9’s from Heather Elswick and Wellick. It was the third time this season that the duo has posted a 9.9-plus in the same meet. The 9.9 for Wellick extends a streak of 9.9-plus scores on the vault, as she has now hit the mark in each of her last five meets.
On the floor, the Razorbacks were able to score its eighth-consecutive 49-or-better by posting a 49.200. Wellick once again led her team on the floor, as her 9.900 from the anchor slot helped Arkansas to a 147.550-147.225 lead heading into the final rotation.
In the night’s final event, Head Coach Mark Cook’s team put together a season-best performance on the balance beam, as they kept a clean sheet in all five scoring routines to post a 49.100. Junior Sydnie Dillard led the way for the Razorbacks, as she tied her career best in the event with a 9.900. It is the second time Dillard’s career she scored a 9.900 on the beam. Wellick also matched her career high on the beam with a 9.875.
The strong beam rotation allowed Arkansas to tie its season-best team score, matching the 196.650 posted against Illinois State and Southeast Missouri back on Feb. 13 in Barnhill Arena. Unfortunately for the Razorbacks, Georgia also turned in a season-best score on the night’s final rotation, as the Gymdogs collected 49.500 on the floor exercise to capture the 196.775-196.650 come-from-behind victory over Arkansas.
Razorback of the Meet – Sophomore Amanda Wellick
• Scored a career-best 39.500 in the all-around.
• Captured her fifth all-around title this season, giving her a grand total of 14 event titles in 2015.
• Recorded a 9.8-or-better on all four events for the second time in four meets.
• Tied her career-best score of 9.875 on the balance beam.
• Posted her fifth-straight 9.9-or-better on the vault.
• Collected her fifth 9.9-or-higher score on the floor exercise this season.
Vault – Nelson (9.800), Canizaro (9.800), Elswick (9.900), Zaziski (9.875), Wellick (9.900)
Bars – Freier (9.825), Canizaro (9.825), Wellick (9.825), Zaziski (9.825)
Beam – Wellick (9.875), Zaziski (9.800), Dillard (9.900)
Floor – Canizaro (9.800), Dillard (9.850), Nelson (9.825), Elswick (9.825), Wellick (9.900)
Amanda Wellick: 39.500
Paige Zaziski: 39.200
No. 10 Georgia: 196.775
No. 18 Arkansas: 196.650
Vault: Chelsea Davis, Georgia, 9.950
Bars: Brittany Rogers, Georgia, 9.950
Beam: Brittany Roger, Georgia, 9.925
Floor: Gigi Marino/Mary Beth Box, Georgia, 9.950
All-Around: Amanda Wellick, Arkansas 39.500
Post-Meet Sound: Mark Cook
On His Team’s Performance
“Our goal for this meet was to hit on all four events, and we did that tonight, so it was a major accomplishment. It was a high score on the road and we earned it by hitting good routines. We can still get better, we had a few little errors here and there, but I’m satisfied with the girl’s performance overall. We had the balance beam as the last event and we really attacked it well tonight and got a good result from it.”
On Scoring a 196.650 on the Road
“This score is very important this late in the season. We were right there at the end. We only lost by a tenth and a quarter against Georgia in their home arena in front of 9,000 people. We are going to take the confidence from this meet and try to repeat it. We have to do it over and over again, and just try to rediscover that confidence every meet from here out and try to gain more each time.”
On Amanda Wellick’s Career-Best All-Around Score
“She was awesome tonight. She attacked everything and had a lot of confidence on her routines. It was nice to see her put a full meet together and finish so strong.”
The No. 18-ranked Razorbacks conclude the 2015 regular season next Friday, March 13, as they’ll entertain No. 8 UCLA at Barnhill Arena. Events are scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m. CT, while the live webcast on the SEC Network+ is set to start at 7 p.m. CT.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s gymnastics team, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.