GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Arkansas’ No. 1-ranked gymnastics team lost for the first time this year on Friday at No. 8 Florida, but the Razorbacks recorded one of the top scores in program history.
The Gators won the meet with a 197.775, but Arkansas’ 196.70 ties for the ninth-best score in program history, and is the third-best ever for a road meet.
The meet was actually a quad with No. 24 Maryland and Bridgeport. Florida won, followed by Arkansas, and Maryland and Bridgeport both with a 192.975.
Arkansas, which moved to No. 1 in the nation last week after its 197.225-point performance at home in the win over LSU, is now 8-1-0 overall and 2-1-0 in the Southeastern Conference.
"I thought the team performed very well," co-head coach Rene Cook said. "We were very consistent. We did have a few minor mistakes, but for being on the road in a tough environment, I thought we competed well. This is a great road score for us, which will help us out as far as our Regional Qualifying Score (RQS)."
Last year, the Razorbacks beat Florida twice when the Gators were No. 1, including in Fayetteville with the same point total as this year’s matchup, 196.70.
Florida, meanwhile, easily recorded its best score of the season after opening with 196.025, 196.175 and 196.275.
The meet was televised for tape-delay purposes by ESPNU with a broadcast date of Feb. 2 at 5:30 p.m.
Arkansas opened the first rotation on bars, an event in which the Razorbacks are ranked No. 1 in the nation, and posted a 49.30, which ties for the fourth-best score in program history.
Sophomore Shelby Salmon led the way with a career-best 9.925, which ties for the third-best score in school history. Senior Mariah Howdeshell, ranked No. 2 in the nation coming in, had a 9.875, followed by sophomore All-American Katherine Grable with a 9.85, and then a 9.825 by Jordan Salsberg, Stephani Canizaro and senior All-American Jaime Pisani.
Florida posted a 49.175 on vault, led by Marissa King’s 9.875. Maryland had a 48.65 on beam and Bridgeport a 48.575 on floor.
In the second rotation, Arkansas went to beam and had a 49.05 while Florida posted a 49.625 on bars.
Grable, ranked second in the nation, had a 9.925, followed by Pisani with a 9.85, sophomore Scarlett Williams with a 9.80, Salsberg a 9.775 and Salmon and 9.70.
Florida was led by Mackenzie Caquatto’s 9.95.
Through two rotations, Florida led with a 98.80, followed by Arkansas with a 98.35, Maryland 97.10 and Bridgeport 96.75.
For the third rotation, Arkansas went to floor and had a 49.25.
Pisani had a 9.90, Grable a 9.875, Borsellino a 9.85, sophomore Bailee Zumwalde a 9.825 and sophomore Kelci Lewis a 9.80.
Florida, led by King’s 9.975, had a 49.475 on beam and led the meet 148.275-147.600.
For the final rotation, Arkansas was on vault and finished with a 49.10. Grable had a 9.90, Borsellino and Lewis a 9.825, Pisani a 9.80, and Salsberg and Williams a 9.75.
Grable won the individual event title on vault with her 9.90.
"We started on bars and hit routine after routine," Cook said. "On beam we were a little tight and had a few small errors, but we didn’t count a fall and had our high score for the year. Floor and vault were much of the same. We’re disappointed we didn’t handle Florida a little better, but we’re very proud of our effort and this gives us confidence that we can go anywhere and compete."
The Razorbacks are home for two meets next week, hosting No. 16 Auburn on Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 5 Oklahoma on Sunday at 2 p.m. The Auburn meet is being televised with a tape-delay broadcast on Feb. 11 at 8 p.m. on Fox Sports Net (Fox Sports Southwest in Arkansas) and the Oklahoma meet is being televised with a tape-delay air date of Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. on Cox Sports Television.
No. 1 ArkansasNo. 8 Florida 197.775, No. 1 Arkansas 196.70, No. 24 Maryland and Bridgeport 192.975
Jan. 27, 2012Gainesville, Fla.Att.: 6198
ArkansasBars: 49.30Jordan Salsberg 9.825, Stephani Canizaro 9.825, Katherine Grable 9.85, Jaime Pisani 9.825, Shelby Salmon 9.925, Mariah Howdeshell 9.875
FloridaVault: 49.175Rachel Spicer 9.775, Nicole Ellis 9.725, Alaina Johnson 9.85, Ashanee Dickerson 9.825, Marissa King 9.875, Kytra Hunter 9.85
ArkansasBeam: 49.05Jordan Salsberg 9.775, Shelby Salmon 9.70, Scarlett Williams 9.80, Jaime Pisani 9.85, Kelci Lewis 9.025, Katherine Grable 9.925
FloridaBars: 49.625Nicole Ellis 9.90, Ashanee Dickerson 9.925, Kytra Hunter 9.35, Marissa King 9.925, Mackenzie Caquatto 9.95, Alaina Johnson 9.925
ArkansasFloor: 49.25Bailee Zumwalde 9.825, Amy Borsellino 9.85, Jordan Salsberg 9.75, Kelci Lewis 9.80, Katherine Grable 9.875,Jaime Pisani 9.90
FloridaBeam: 49.475Randy Stageberg 9.80, Rachel Spicer 9.85, Alaina Johnson 9.925, Ashanee Dickerson 9.90, Kytra Hunter 9.85, Marissa King 9.975
ArkansasVault: 49.10Amy Borsellino 9.825, Kelci Lewis 9.825, Jordan Salsberg 9.75, Scarlett Williams 9.75, Jaime Pisani 9.80, Katherine Grable 9.90
FloridaFloor: 49.50Amy Ferguson 9.85, Randy Stageberg 9.875, Marissa King 9.75, Alaina Johnson 9.875, Ashanee Dickerson 9.95, Kytra Hunter 9.95