FORT WORTH, Texas – Freshman Paige Zaziski set a new career-high in four events to help the No. 8-ranked Arkansas gymnastics team post its third-straight 196-plus score with a 196.250 to finish third at the 2015 Metroplex Challenge.
The reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, Zaziski followed her award-winning performance last week with another strong meet, as she set three career-highs and tied her personal-best mark in another and led the Razorbacks in two events.The Chesterfield Township, Michigan, native set a new career-high in the floor exercise (9.750), bars (9.875) and all-around (39.275). She also tied her career-best mark on the vault with a 9.900 to lead Arkansas in the rotation.
Tonight’s 196.250 score gives the Razorbacks their third straight 196-plus total for the first time this season. The tally also marked the second-straight week that the eighth-ranked team in the nation scored a 196.250. The three-week stretch is the longest for the Arkansas team since the beginning of the 2014 season when they posted six-straight 196-plus scores.
Sophomore Amanda Wellick had another strong meet for the Razorbacks, as she scored a 39.350 in the all-around after collecting three 9.8-plus totals on the floor exercise, vault and uneven bars. The Wheaton, Illinois, native collected back-to-back 9.875’s on the floor and vault and concluded the night by tying her season-best on the bars with a 9.825.
Sophomore Samantha Nelson also set a career-high on the vault with a 9.850 on just her fourth collegiate attempt in the event.
Razorback of the Meet – Freshman Paige Zaziski
• Set a career-high in the all-around with a 39.275
• Set a personal-best in the floor exercise (9.750) and uneven bars (9.875)
• Tied her career-best on the vault with a 9.900
• Scored a team-best on the vault and bars
9.80 Plus Routines
Bars – Erin Freier (9.850), Amanda Wellick (9.825), Paige Zaziski (9.875)
Vault – Samantha Nelson (9.850), Heather Elswick (9.875), Paige Zaziski (9.900), Amanda Wellick (9.875)
Floor – Sydnie Dillard (9.800), Samantha Nelson (9.850), Heather Elswick (9.825), Amanda Wellick (9.875)
Beam – Sydnie Dillard (9.850)
Amanda Wellick: 39.350
Paige Zaziski: 39.275
Vault: Samantha Nelson (9.850)
Bars: Cailee Ellsworth (9.775), Paige Zaziski (9.875)
Floor: Paige Zaziski (9.750)
All-Around: Paige Zaziski (39.275)
No. 1 Oklahoma, 197.700
No. 2 LSU, 197.435
No. 8 Arkansas, 196.250
Iowa State, 193.400
Post-Meet Sound: Head Coach Mark Cook
On Tonight’s Performance and Competing in a Quad-Meet
“This was a really good meet for us. We had some errors again, but we didn’t count a fall. When you’re on this stage competing with four teams instead of two, it can definitely distract you, so this was a great practice for the SEC Championships. It was great to be on the podium and have four events go on at the same time, it will be invaluable experience moving forward. But once again, it was a very good performance overall for us.”
On Paige Zaziski’s Career-Night
“She is calming down. She is a very talented young lady. We adjusted her floor routine a bit by slowing it down so she could focus on her tumbling passes. That’s an event that has hampered her a little bit, but she performed it well tonight, along with being solid in the three other events.”
On Samantha Nelson Setting a Career-High on the Vault
“She is a very powerful young lady and she is only going to get better at that event.”
On Amanda Wellick’s Night
“She is just solid. She can score a little bit higher by adjusting a few little things, but she was outstanding on the floor and vault again tonight. She is just solid and does a great job every meet.”
• The scored its third-straight 196-plus score.
• Arkansas scored a 196.250 for the second consecutive week.
• Tonight’s meet counted as a conference meet between LSU and Arkansas.
• Tonight’s 49.250 on the vault marked the fourth-straight meet this season that the Razorbacks have posted a 49-plus in the event.
• Arkansas posted 49-plus scores in three of the four events for the third-straight meet.
Arkansas will be back in action next Friday, as they host No. 3 Florida in Barnhill Arena. It will be ‘Light Up The Night’ at Barnhill Arena, as the first 1,000 people in attendance will receive a pair of free glow-in-the-dark glasses. Also, a select 20 fans will be able to compete in a handstand contest to win a pair of free braces, courtesy of Arkansas Braces. Events are scheduled to begin at 6:45 p.m.
For more information on Arkansas gymnastics, follow @RazorbackGym on Twitter.