UA has tough task with No. 5 Florida

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, February 23, 2018
Arkansas Razorbacks Sarah Shaffer high-fives teammates during a gymnastics meet, Friday, January 26, 2018 at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas Razorbacks Sarah Shaffer high-fives teammates during a gymnastics meet, Friday, January 26, 2018 at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The No. 11 Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team will aim to bounce back from its worst performance of the season when it takes on No. 5 Florida tonight at 5:45 p.m. Central at the ExaTech Center in Gainesville, Fla.

The Razorbacks posted a season-low 195.575 during their fourth-place finish last week at the Mardi Gras Invitational in St. Charles, Mo., which included two falls on the floor exercise.

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Arkansas at Florida

WHEN 5:45 p.m. Central

WHERE ExacTech Arena, Gainesville, Fla.

RECORDS Arkansas 2-7, 2-4 SEC; Florida 6-1, 4-1

TV None

INTERNET SEC Network-plus

RANKINGS No. 11 Arkansas 196.268 average; No. 5 Florida 197.1

EVENTS Vault: No. 4 Florida 39.318, No. 20 Arkansas 48.982; Bars: No. 4 Florida 49.293, No. 9 Arkansas 49.071; Beam: No. 4 Arkansas 49.207, No. 6 Florida 49.182; Floor: No. 5 Florida 49.307, No. 25 Arkansas 49.007

SERIES Florida leads 39-3

TOP ATHLETES (top 100)

All-around: No. 8 Alicia Boren (Fla) 39.482, No. 14 Amelia Hundley (Fla) 39.4, No. 39 Alex McMurtry (Fla) 39.15, No. 44 Jazmyn Foberg (Fla) 39.125, No. 51 Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.082, No. 62 Kennedy Baker (Fla) 39.025, No. 82 Sarah Shaffer (Ark) 38.908

Vault: No. 1 McMurtry (Fla) 9.936, No. 15 Boren (Fla) 9.871, No. 19 Braie Speed (Ark) 9.864, No. 30 Baker (Fla) 9.856, No. 57 Amanda Wellick (Ark) 9.836, No. 60 Hundley (Fla) 9.833, No. 68 (tie) Maegan Chant (Fla), Foberg (Fla) 9.825, No. 77 Sydney McGlone (Ark) 9.82

Bars: No. 6 McMurtry (Fla) 9.918, No. 23 Hundley (Fla) 9.864, No. 39 Boren (Fla) 9.843, No. 45 Rachel Gowey (Fla) 9.839, No. 54 Speed (Ark) 9.829, No. 59 Wellick (Ark) 9.825, No. 68 Foberg (Fla) 9.82, No. 81 Sydney Laird (Ark) 9.807

Beam: No. 20 Boren (Fla) 9.868, No. 24 Alyssa Baumann (Fla) 9.864, No. 27 Sophia Carter (Ark) 9.857, No. 28 (tie) Michaela Burton (Ark) and Yamzon (Ark) 9.854, No. 33 Hailey Garner (Ark) 9.85, No. 42 Megan Skaggs (Fla) 9.842, No. 52 Wellick (Ark) 9.829, No. 55 Hundley (Fla) 9.825, No. 70 Gowey (Fla) 9.814

Floor: No. 3 Baker (Fla) 9.945, No. 5 (tie) McMurtry (Fla) 9.925, No. 10 Skaggs (Fla) 9.912, No. 13 Boren (Fla) 9.9, No. 57 Rachel Slocum (Fla) 9.85, No. 88 Shaffer (Ark) 9.829

MEET NOTES

Florida’s Alex McMurtry scored a 10 on the balance beam on Jan. 26 in a 198.15 to 198.125 victory over Oklahoma. Florida’s Kennedy Baker scored a 10.0 on the floor exercise in a Feb. 9 victory at Kentucky. … Florida will hold its 12th annual “Link to Pink” meet for breast cancer awareness and both teams will wear pink. … Florida’s Alicia Boren tied for the all-around title at Georgia with a 39.475 last week, her fourth all-around championship of the season. … Arkansas sophomore Jessica Yamzon has been one of the featured gymnasts on the website roadtonationals.com, which tracks college gymnastics rankings, this season.

Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) is coming off a season-best road score of 196.96 in a victory at No. 14 Georgia in which the Gators had to count a fall on the beam.

Arkansas (2-7, 2-4 SEC) also will try to snap a 15-meet losing streak to the Gators. The Razorbacks' arduous schedule will stretch to an eighth-consecutive week of meeting a team ranked in the current top 20.

"We have the second-hardest schedule in the country behind Georgia," 16th year Arkansas Coach Mark Cook said. "We're used to it. ... You have to be. The fact our win-loss doesn't really affect our rankings is the one solace.

"The object is to go there and try to win. Even though Florida is ranked higher than us, we're still going in there with the attitude we want to win."

Florida's only loss came at home on Jan. 12 in a 197.25 to 197.125 setback against LSU.

Florida has won 15 in a row in the series since April 2, 2011, when the Razorbacks upset the No. 1 Gators 196.55 to 196.425 to win the NCAA Denver Regional.

Arkansas is 1-14 in dual meets against Florida. The lone victory came on Jan. 23, 2009, when the Razorbacks won 196.375 to 195.425 at Barnhill Arena.

Cook said the Razorbacks have moved past last week's disappointment, which was held on a raised podium like their postseason meets.

"Just looking at the end of the season, we have four more opportunities to determine if we're going to be in the first session or the second session at SECs," Cook said. "We're going to focus on one meet at a time, one routine at a time for the next four weeks. Then from there focus on SECs. This week it's being more consistent in training."

Sports on 02/23/2018

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