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 floors crowd, but Oklahoma earns victory
Katherine Grable is recognized prior to Friday's gymnastics meet against Oklahoma at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE - Haley Scaman hit a 10.0 on the vault as No. 2 Oklahoma surged past No. 16 Arkansas to claim a 197.425 to 196.65 victory Friday night before a season-high crowd of 3,583 on Senior Night at Barnhill Arena.
Arkansas’ Katherine Grable’s big floor exercise routine, with three virtually flawless tumbling passes, had the crowd chanting for a 10, but only one of the two judges complied as Grable capped the meet with a 9.975 that drew boos from the crowd.
“I’m not sure what that would be,” Arkansas co-Coach Rene Lyst said of the deduction Grable had on the floor.
“I was told that one of the judges gave off on a foot placement on one of my tumbling passes,” Grable said. “Ireally didn’t want to look at the score, so I just turned around and waited.”
Grable claimed her ninth all-around title in 10 meets this season with a 39.625. The senior from Oshkosh, Wisc., also made the podium with a second-place showing on the balance beam with a 9.925 behind Oklahoma’s Taylor Spears (9.95) and a third place finish on the vault with a 9.925.
Oklahoma (15-2), which started slowly with a 49.125on the uneven bars, has scored 197 or better in all six of its road meets.
“The slow start didn’t seem to inhibit us at all on vault,” Oklahoma Coach K.J. Kindler said. “We had one of our best performances in at least a month.”
The Razorbacks had been hoping to surpass 197 for the second time but didn’t get there with falls on two events and various other deductions, although they did not count a fall.
“We definitely need to get better if we’re going to make it back to the national championships, and we’ve got three weeks until we’re back here to get that done,” Lyst said. “Obviously we had a few mistakes that we’re not real thrilled with right now, especially this part of the season.”
Arkansas (5-6) had one opening to get back in contention when Oklahoma’s third competitor on the balance beam, Erica Brewer, came off and scored a 9.225. But Chayse Capps (9.9), Spears and Rebecca Clark (9.9) posted 9.9s or better in succession to close out the victory.
“They’re good,” Lyst said of the Sooners. “They had some mistakes too. They have some kids who really step up when they have mistakes. To have a mistake and come back with a couple of 9.9s right behind it, you know those kids are tough.”
Arkansas (5-6) held a slender lead of 49.25 to 49.125 after one rotation as all five scoring Razorbacks posted 9.8 or better on the vault, led by Grable (9.925), Amanda Wellick (9.875) and Scarlett Williams (9.85). Heather Elswick and Stephani Canizaro each scored 9.8.
The Sooners quickly jumped into the lead with a 49.575 on vault, their second-best score of the season, with Scaman nailing her landing on a powerful Yurchenko full to net the 10.
“We’ve been waiting for Haley to hit a vault like that all year,” Kindler said. “She waited until the last regular-season meet, and that’s OK with us.”
Oklahoma, the nation’s top team on the floor exercise and the balance beam, increased its lead with a 49.35 on the floor as Arkansas was posting a 49.05 on the balance beam.
The crowd of 3,583 was the most for a women’s event on campus this season.
“That’s awesome,” said Williams, who tied for fifth on the vault with a 9.85. “I’m glad we could get the crowd going. We definitely feed off their energy.”
The Razorbacks are back in action in eight days at the SEC Championships in Birmingham, Ala.
OKLAHOMA 197.425, ARKANSAS 196.65
OVERALL RESULTS VAULT 1. Haley Scaman (OU) 10.0, 2. Maile’ana Kanewa (OU) 9.95, 3. Katherine Grable (UA) 9.925 UNEVEN BARS 1. Keely Kmeciak (OU) 9.85, 2. (tie) Salmon and Wellick (UA), Scaman, Spears and Wofford (OU) 9.825 BEAM 1. Spears (OU) 9.95, 2. Grable (UA) 9.925, 3. (tie) Capps and Clark (OU) 9.9 FLOOR 1. Grable (UA) 9.975, 2. Scaman (OU) 9.95, Kanewa (OU) 9.875 ALL-AROUND 1. Grable (UA) 39.625, 2. Wellick (UA) 38.925
OKLAHOMA (197.425) UNEVEN BARS (49.125) Rebecca Clark 9.8, Charity Jones 9.2, Haley Scaman 9.825, McKenzie Wofford 9.825, Keely Kmieciak 9.85, Taylor Spears 9.825 VAULT (49.575) Madison Mooring 9.825,Jones 9.85, Kara Lovan 9.875, Maile’ana Kanewa 9.95, Chayse Capps 9.9, Scaman 10.0 FLOOR (49.35) Spears 9.725, Capps 9.825, Lovan 9.85, Lara Albright 9.85, Kanewa 9.875, Scaman 9.95 BEAM (49.325) Mooring 9.75, Lovan 9.825, Erica Brewer 9.225, Capps 9.9, Spears 9.95, Clark 9.9
ARKANSAS (196.65) VAULT (49.25): Heather Elswick 9.8, Bailee Zumwalde 9.775, Stephani Canizaro 9.8, Scarlett Williams 9.85, Amanda Wellick 9.875, Katherine Grable 9.925 UNEVEN BARS (49.0): Erin Freier 9.75, Canizaro 9.8, Wellick 9.825, Grable 9.8, Shelby Salmon 9.825, Keara Glover 9.75 BEAM (49.05): Williams 9.7, Freier 9.75, Wellick 9.325, Sydnie Dillard 9.85, Samantha Nelson 9.825, Grable 9.925 FLOOR (49.35): Nelson 8.95, Dillard 9.85, Zumwalde 9.8, Canizaro 9.825, Wellick 9.9, Grable 9.975
Sports, Pages 28 on 03/15/2014