Tom Murphy is a reporter for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A graduate of Louisiana Tech University, he is a member of the Football Writers Association of America, and voter for the Heisman Trophy and AP Top 25 football poll.
Grable runs table in Arkansas’ victory
Arkansas' Katherine Grable competes in the beam during a meet with Kentucky Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Arkansas gymnast Katherine Grable nearly tripped on a table leg in the interview room Friday night.
It was Grable’s only stumble on a record-breaking night at Barnhill Arena as the senior won all four events for the first time in her career, tying Arkansas’ school record in the all-around to lead the No. 13 Razorbacks to a 197.1 to 195.975 victory over Kentucky.
Grable’s 39.725 in the all around, sparked by 9.95s on the floor exercise and vault, equaled the record she already held with Jaime Pisani and helped Arkansas snap a four-meet losing streak.
“It was great to finish as strong as I did,” Grable said. “All the girls on the team did an unbelievable job tonight.”
Arkansas, which was averaging 196.125 entering the meet, broke 197 for the first time this season.
“We competed with a little more intensity tonight,” Arkansas co-Coach Rene Lyst said. “They finally broke out of that shell and did some of the things we’ve been doing in training and it paid off in the end, scoring over 197.”
The Razorbacks had been consistent all season, scoring 196-plus in all six meets, but their season high had been 196.275 in a loss to No. 3 LSU two weeks ago.
“This is the team we are, and we can even do better,” Arkansas freshman Amanda Wellick said.
Grable, of Oshkosh, Wisc., increased her career event titles to 65 while posting the 10th and 11th scores of 9.95 in her career. She also won the uneven bars with a 9.9 and the balance beam with a 9.925.
“Katherine is on fire,” Lyst said.
Grable had won three events the first time she scored 39.725.
“Last time I just felt it and I knew it was going to be a good night,” she said. “Today was like a regular day. I just went through my routine and it turned out good.”
Wellick notched a career-high all-around score (39.45) for the second consecutive meet, tying for third on all four events.
The Razorbacks won all four events and finished strong on the floor with a 49.45, the second-best score in school history.
“Our team on floor was phenomenal and we just kicked butt,” Wellick said. “Going out there on every event, we just did really well.”
ARKANSAS 197.1, KENTUCKY 195.975 WHEN Friday WHERE Barnhill Arena, Fayetteville
ARKANSAS (197.1) VAULT (49.25): Heather Elswick 9.725, Bailee Zumwalde 9.75, Stephani Canizaro 9.8, Scarlett Williams 9.875, Amanda Wellick 9.875, Katherine Grable 9.95 BARS (49.125): Erin Freier 9.725, Canizaro 9.85, Wellick 9.825, Grable 9.9, Salmon 9.825 BEAM (49.275): Salmon 9.775, Freier 9.675, Wellick 9.875, Sydnie Dillard 9.875, Samantha Nelson 9.825, Grable 9.925 FLOOR (49.45): Nelson 9.875, Dillard 9.9, Zumwalde 9.85, Canizaro 9.85, Wellick 9.875, Grable 9.95
KENTUCKY (195.975) BARS (48.85): Amy Roemmele 9.825, Shelby Hilton 9.7, Kayla Sienkowski 9.8, Kayla Hartley 9.8, Audrey Harrison 9.35, Marissa Beucler 9.725 VAULT (49.15): Holly Cunningham 9.8, Harrison 9.825, Hilton 9.75, Shannon Mitchell 9.9, Kenzie Hedges 9.875 FLOOR (49.05): Hilton 9.75, Taylor Puryear 9.825, Tiara Phipps 9.725, Hedges 9.775, Harrison 9.85, Hartley 9.85 BEAM (48.9): Sienkowski 9.775, Harrison 9.3, Roemmele 9.75, Cunningham 9.825, Beucler 9.65, Mitchell 9.9 ALL-AROUND 1. Grable (Arkansas) 39.725, 2. Wellick (Arkansas) 39.45, 3. Harrison (Kentucky) 38.325.
Sports, Pages 19 on 02/22/2014