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No. 12 Arkansas vaults to win at No. 14 Auburn

BY ANDRES FOCIL
No. 12 Arkansas vaults to win at No. 14 Auburn

Jump to meet results AUBURN, Ala. – The 12th-ranked University of Arkansas gymnastics team rocked No. 14 Auburn earning its second consecutive Southeastern Conference win of the year, 196.325-195.400. Arkansas (5-10, 2-4 SEC) set or tied four individual season-bests and two team bests including the top score of the year behind four individual wins in the SEC road win over Auburn (4-6, 1-5 SEC). “We came in with a lot of determination and purpose to get the job done,” said co-head coach Rene Cook. “We wanted to do our job and let the chips fall where they may. We did a great job of staying focused and working hard.” Arkansas vaulted its way to the win taking control of the meet in the second rotation where the Gym’Backs posted a school record 49.125 on the event. Freshman Michelle Stout tied for the individual title with a 9.875 as the event really separated the two teams. “It was great to get that bit of separation,” said Cook. “Auburn struggled a bit and its sad to see that but we did get some confidence from that knowing they had to chase us.” Senior Rachel Barnett tied for the floor win while senior all-arounder Cassie Drew and freshman Amy DeFilippo tied for the beam win. “Amy rocked the beam,” smiled Cook. “Those back-to-back 9.90s took some of the pressure off of use and gave us confidence. That’s how we’ve been training and it’s nice to see that in competition.” Freshman Sarah Nagashima paced Arkansas in the first rotation tying her season/career-best with a 9.825 on the bars in her lone event for the meet. A pair of 9.8s from freshman Casey Jo Magee and junior Emily Peacock helped the Gym’Backs to a 48.925, their fourth best bars mark of the year. Auburn, however, tied its season-best with a 49.150 on the vault to lead after the first rotation. Arkansas, ranked 12th in the nation on vault this week, was solid scoring a school-record 49.125 to take the lead. Sophomore Alexandra LaChance led the Gym’Backs with a season-best 9.85 followed by a season/career-best from Springdale, Ark., native Ashly McPherson with a 9.80. Stout, competing in just one event Friday, added a 9.875 followed by a 9.825 from junior Samantha Cortez. Auburn came into the meet ranked 11th on the bars but the first three gymnasts fell or had near falls to hurt the Tiger scoring. Arkansas opened a 98.050-97.225 lead after two rotations. But the scoring tightened up as Auburn moved to the beam where the Tigers rank fourth in the nation behind Julie Dwyer who is third in the country this week. The Tigers posted a season-best 49.175 with a pair of 9.90s but Arkansas Barnett also had a season-best with a 9.875 leading the Gym’Backs on the floor in the third rotation. Barnett and her teammates counted a 49.10, keeping the lead, 147.150-146.400 as Drew tied her season-best with a 9.85. Peacock added a 9.825, followed by a 9.80 from LaChance and a 9.75 from Cortez. Drew opened the beam with a season-best 9.90, Arkansas’s second 9.90 or better on the event this year. Not to be outdone, freshman Amy DeFilippo matched that with a season/career 9.90 of her own as the Gym’Backs began to control the meet. Barnett was solid with a 9.675 and Peacock added a 9.70 scoring well after a perfect flight routine. Cortez came back with a season-best 9.825 as the Gym’Backs continued to rock the meet. Auburn mounted a solid rally on the floor exercise but Arkansas’s beam scores allowed the Gym’Backs to get the win. Arkansas returns home hosting the first of two quad meets. The Gym’Backs welcome No. 21 West Virginia, No. 35 New Hampshire and Pittsburgh Friday, March 9 in a 7:00 p.m. start. For more information about Arkansas gymnastics or for tickets to home events please call the Lady Razorback Ticket Office at 57-LBACK or log on to LADYBACKS.COM.



Sports Category : Gymnastics (W)