FAYETTEVILLE – Arkansas travels for its first Southeastern Conference road meet this week when the No. 13 Razorbacks take on No. 27 Kentucky in Lexington on Friday at 6 p.m.
In two meets this year, the Razorbacks have scored 195.075 points at then-No. 4 Oklahoma and 194.90 points last week at home against then-No. 9 Alabama.
Arkansas’ team average is 194.913 while Kentucky comes in at 193.625.
"Kentucky is always a challenge," co-head coach René Cook says. "They compete hard. We’re on the road and it’s essential that we do well."
In the individual events, the Razorbacks are No. 5 on floor, No. 8 on vault, No. 22 on bars and No. 23 on beam. Arkansas had season-high scores of 49.125 on vault and 49.025 on floor last week to move up in those two events. UK is No. 3 on floor, No. 15 on vault, No. 25 on bars and No. 48 on beam.
"Our biggest competitor isn’t just Kentucky," co-head coach Mark Cook says. "It’s also ourselves."
Arkansas is led by junior All-American Jaime Pisani and freshman Katherine Grable, who are both ranked in the top 20 nationally in the all-around.
Grable, the Junior Olympic Level 10 all-around national champion, has won all-around titles in her first two collegiate meets.
"There’s no timetable on success," Mark Cook says. "When you have the mental and physical ability, that’s what we expect."
Last week in Barnhill Arena, she tied for the title with Pisani. Grable is ranked No. 14 in the nation while Pisani is tied for No. 17. Pisani is also ranked No. 6 on floor and No. 9 on vault.
In last week’s meet, Pisani also won bars with a 9.775 and floor with a 9.90. Pisani now has 35 individual event wins for her career.
"We had a few ups and downs," René Cook says. "We vaulted well and finished okay on floor. We were not as aggressive as we could have been. We played it safe rather than attacking. It was disappointing being that close and we’re looking forward to learning from it."
Other highlights were senior All-American Michelle Stout’s 9.825 on vault, freshman Bailee Zumwalde’s 9.825 on floor, and sophomore Amanda Siebert recording season highs of 9.775 on vault and 9.75 on floor.
"The pendulum swings both ways," Mark Cook says. "Sometimes you edge out the competition and sometimes you get edged out."
Arkansas leads the all-time series with Kentucky 15-0-1. The Razorbacks won both meetings last year, 196.750-195.325 during the regular season in Fayetteville when Arkansas was No. 10 and UK No. 12. Arkansas also recorded a 195.275-194.80 victory at the SEC Championship when Arkansas was No. 8 and the Wildcats No. 18.
Following the Kentucky meet, Arkansas travels to Auburn for a 7 p.m. meet on Jan. 28. The next home meet is Feb. 4 against Georgia at 7 p.m. in Barnhill Arena.