FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – A freshman stole the show on Senior Night, as Paige Zaziski matched the University of Arkansas uneven bars record, set three personal-best and won a pair of event titles against UCLA on Friday night. Her performance led Arkansas to a 195.900-performance in the regular season finale.
Zaziski, who performed from the anchor spot on the uneven bars, scored a 9.950 to tie the program’s best score in the event. The 9.950 also sets the freshman record for the event, breaking a three-way tie at 9.925, which she was included in. The freshman joins Emily Peacock and current assistant coach Jaime Pisani as the only gymnasts in Razorback history to score a 9.950 on the bars.
The score also allowed Zaziski to win the uneven bars title, marking the fourth time in the last six meets she has captured a victory on the bars.
The freshman set three personal-best on Friday, as she tallied a 9.825 on the floor exercise and a 39.450 in the all-around to go along with her record-tying 9.950 on the bars. The 39.450 in the all-around led her to the second career title in the event, and gives her seven event titles for the 2015 season.
Arkansas got the night started with a 49.150 on the vault. The Razorbacks had four gymnasts post a 9.8-or-higher in the rotation, led by Wellick’s 9.900. The 9.900 for Wellick marked the sixth-straight meet she has scored a 9.9-or-better on the vault.
The Razorbacks posted a 48.975 and 48.475, respectively, on the uneven bars and balance beam. Junior Sydnie Dillard scored a team-best 9.850 on the beam. Her score was one of three 9.8-plus totals on the balance beam.
The 16th-ranked team in the nation ended the night with a 49.300 on the floor exercise. Arkansas had all six gymnasts in the rotation post a 9.825-or-better, leading to the team’s ninth-straight 49-plus score of the year.
UCLA posted a road score of 197.175 to win the season finale over the Razorbacks. The Bruins were led by Samantha Peszek, who captured a pair of event titles on vault and balance beam.
Razorback of the Meet – Freshman Paige Zaziski
• Tied the program’s record for highest uneven bars score (9.950)
• Set the freshman record for highest score on the uneven bars (9.950)
• Set a personal-best in the uneven bars (9.950), floor exercise (9.850) and all-around (39.450)
• Won the uneven bars title for the fourth time in the last six meets
• Captured her second career all-around title
Vault – Canizaro: 9.800, Elswick: 9.825, Paige Zaziski: 9.850, Wellick: 9.900
Bars – Freier: 9.825, Zaziski: 9.950
Beam – Wellick: 9.825, Zaziski: 9.825, Dillard: 9.850
Floor – Canizaro: 9.850, Dillard: 9.850, Zaziski: 9.825, Nelson: 9.825, Elswick: 9.900, Wellick: 9.875
Paige Zaziski: 39.450
Amanda Wellick: 39.375
No. 8 UCLA: 197.175
No. 16 Arkansas: 195.900
Vault: Samantha Peszek, UCLA, 9.925
Bars: Paige Zaziski, Arkansas, 9.950
Beam: Samantha Peszek, UCLA, 9.950
Floor: Sadiqua Bynum, UCLA, 9.925
All-Around: Paige Zaziski, Arkansas, 39.450
Post-Meet Sound: Mark Cook
On His Team’s Performance
“We were good but we weren’t great. I told the team after the meet, you guys are really good, you’re just not allowing yourself to be great because of the little mistakes. We are a young team and we’re learning, but we have to be able to be aggressive and confident.”
On Zaziski’s Night
“Paige is really coming on. She really squared away on floor tonight. That’s her best floor routine this season, and she won the all-around, so she’s putting the pressure on Amanda Wellick. It’s a really good push between those two. She evolving really well. She’s a competitor who hates to lose, and that type of personality is going to lead this program.”
On His Seniors
“I love both those girls with all my heart. They give all their heart to the sport, to this team, and this university. For that, I will always remember and appreciate them.”
The No. 16-ranked Razorbacks opens the postseason next Saturday, March 21, as they will compete at the 2015 SEC Championships in Duluth, Georgia. Arkansas will compete in the afternoon session of the championship, which will begin at 2 p.m. CT.
For more information on the Arkansas women’s gymnastics team, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.