UA gymnasts out to regain balance

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, January 25, 2013
Arkansas' Katherine Grable competes on the floor against Oklahoma Sunday, February 5, 2012 at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by William Moore
Arkansas' Katherine Grable competes on the floor against Oklahoma Sunday, February 5, 2012 at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

— The Arkansas gymnastics team found out last week what the unfortunate combination of injuries, the suspension of its best performer and a young roster can mean.

The Razorbacks, without suspended junior all-arounder Katherine Grable, stumbled to a 193.075, the program’s lowest score since the 2007 season opener, in a loss at Kentucky.

Arkansas (0-2) will look to get back on track at 7 tonight at Barnhill Arena against No. 11 Denver (2-1).

Arkansas Co-Coach Mark Cook said the Razorbacks have to be mentally tougher after having “across the board” breakdowns last week.

FRIDAY'S TICKET

Arkansas (0-2) vs. Denver (2-1)

WHEN: 7 p.m.

WHERE: Barnhill Arena, Fayetteville

NOTABLE: The Pioneers, ranked No. 11, have a 4-1 record vs. Arkansas. Denver’s Melodie Pulgarin Linero is 17th in the NCAA’s all around (39.25).

“That was definitely one of the roughest away meets we’ve had in a long, long time,” Cook said.

Grable, a two-time first team All-American who posted a solid 39.45 all-around score in the season opener, is scheduled to compete after a one-meet suspension.

“I’m not going to say anything more than she broke some team rules,” Cook said. “Sometimes you’ve got to teach kids that you have rules in life.”

Senior Jordan Salsberg, who missed the first two meets with a knee injury, might get the call on the uneven bars for the Razorbacks.

Arkansas freshmen Sydnie Dillard and Heather Elswick are coming off event victories from last week, with Dillard winning the balance beam (9.825) and Elswick winning the vault (9.825).

Denver, led by juniors Moriah Martin and Melodie Pulgarin Linero, has a 4-1 record against Arkansas, although the Razorbacks won their last meeting 196.55 to 195.625 in the 2011 NCAA Denver Regional.

Sports, Pages 24 on 01/25/2013

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