UA gymnasts give Auburn wide loss

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Saturday, February 10, 2018
Arkansas' Jessica Yamzon competes Saturday, April 1, 2017, in the floor portion of the NCAA Gymnastics Fayetteville Regional in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Jessica Yamzon competes Saturday, April 1, 2017, in the floor portion of the NCAA Gymnastics Fayetteville Regional in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks gymnasts broke back in the win column Friday, dismantling No. 15 Auburn by the widest margin in their 16-year series.

The Razorbacks (2-4, 2-4 SEC) ended a run of six consecutive conference meets with a 196.75 to 194.875 victory before an announced crowd of 3,308 at Barnhill Arena. The 1.875 margin surpassed the previous high of 1.675 in a victory for the Razorbacks on Jan. 6, 2012.

AUBURN (194.875)

Bars (48.275): Katie Becker 9.025, Drew Watson 9.825, Taylor Krippner 9.8, Kendal Moss 9.775, Abby Milliet 9.0, Gracie Day 9.85

Vault (48.775): Ashley Smith 9.725, A’Mircal Phillips 9.675, Krippner 9.75, Watson 9.825, Day 9.8, Jada Glenn 9.25

Floor (48.9): Smith 9.675, Watson 9.8, Glenn 9.725, Emma Slappey 9.8, Day 9.65, Milliet 9.9

Beam (48.925): Allie Riddle 9.85, Watson 9.075, Meredith Sylvia 9.85, Slappey 9.525, Milliet 9.9, Krippner 9.8

ARKANSAS (196.75)

Vault (48.975): Jessica Yamzon 9.7, Hailey Garner 9.7, Sarah Shaffer 9.875, Amanda Wellick 9.85, Braie Speed 9.875

Bars (49.45): Yamzon 9.825, Shaffer 9.9, Sydney Laird 9.75, Wellick 9.9, Speed 9.9, Garner 9.9

Beam (49.05): Yamzon 9.825, Laird 9.775, Wellick 9.85, Shaffer 9.125, Sophia Carter 9.75, Michaela Burton 9.85

Floor (49.275): Mia Bargiacchi 9.725, Garner 9.8, Yamzon 9.875, Burton 9.875, Shaffer 9.9, Carter 9.825

All-Around: 1. Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.225; 2. Sarah Shaffer (Ark) 38.775; 3. Drew Watson (Aub) 38.525

The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville pulled down three of the four event titles, including a four-way tie on the uneven bars en route to a 49.45, the second-highest score in program history on the event.

The Razorbacks, who won every rotation, tied the all-time series 16-16-1 with the Tigers (2-6, 1-4), who posted a 197.0 last week.

Arkansas could not recapture the momentum of its 197.175 from two weeks ago against Georgia, but the Razorbacks got off to a fast start and never looked back.

"We started off on vault dialed in, and we just kept the momentum going tonight," said Arkansas senior Amanda Wellick, who scored no lower than 9.85 on her three events.

The Razorbacks overcame the loss of Sydney McGlone to an undisclosed practice injury, with Hailey Garner joining the vault lineup and turning in a 9.7.

"Hailey Garner vaulted today for the first time in two years, which was a great positive," Arkansas Coach Mark Cook said. "We're gaining momentum."

Sophomore Jessica Yamzon won her fifth career all-around title. Senior Braie Speed won the vault with a 9.875, followed by teammates Wellick and Sarah Shaffer, who had 9.85s.

Wellick, Speed, Shaffer and Garner tied on the uneven bars with 9.9s, followed closely by teammate Sydney Laird, who scored 9.85.

Shaffer posted a 9.9 on the floor exercise to tie Auburn's Abby Milliet, who won the Tigers' only title with a 9.9 on the beam.

Auburn struggled out of the gate, with lead bars worker Katie Becker losing her grip on a high bar catch and landing on her back. After Drew Watson and Taylor Krippner put up counting scores, Milliet could not hold on to the high bar and fell prone on her face. Milliet's 9.0 made the Tigers have to count Becker's 9.025.

The Razorbacks posted a 48.975 on the vault to take a lead of 0.7 points after the first rotation. It grew to a spread of 1.375 after Arkansas put up its season-high 49.45 on the bars and the Tigers struggled to 48.775 on the vault.

Arkansas sealed the victory on its best event, the balance beam, when freshman Sophia Carter (9.75) and Michaela Burton (9.85) posted solid scores after Shaffer came off the apparatus. She was the first Razorback to come off the beam all season.

"We were a little bit tired on balance beam," Cook said. "We had two errors on the beam. On bars, we were lights out."


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