Razorbacks out for dual success

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018
Arkansas' Sophia Carter competes Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in the bars portion of the 11th-ranked Razorbacks' meet with sixth-ranked Kentucky in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas' Sophia Carter competes Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in the bars portion of the 11th-ranked Razorbacks' meet with sixth-ranked Kentucky in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The No. 10 Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team appears on the rebound in 2018 with a healthy Amanda Wellick and a huge jump last week with a 196.525 home score against Kentucky.

What the Razorbacks (0-2, 0-2 SEC) need now is a dual-meet victory. Coach Mark Cook's squad has lost its last six dual meets dating to a victory by 0.3 points at No. 17 Auburn last season. The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville has lost to the last 12 SEC teams it has faced since defeating Auburn.

At a glance

Arkansas gymnastics at Missouri

WHEN 7:01 p.m. Central

WHERE Hearnes Center, Columbia, Mo. (capacity 13,611)

RECORDS Arkansas 0-2, 0-2 SEC; Missouri 0-1, 0-1 SEC

RANKINGS No. 10 Arkansas (195.938); No. 24 Missouri (194.875)

EVENTS Vault: No. 8 Arkansas 49.05, No. 13 Missouri 48.98; Bars: No. 14 Missouri 48.95, No. 19 Arkansas 48.85; Beam: No. 4 Arkansas 49.2, No. 42 Missouri 48.175; Floor: No. 27 Arkansas 48.838, No. 31 Missouri 48.8

TOP ATHLETES (top 100)

All-around No. 38 Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.013, No. 43 Aspen Tucker (MU) 38.95, No. 90 Sarah Shaffer (Ark.) 38.375

Vault No. 13 (tie) Sydney McGlone (Ark), Allison Bower (MU) 9.875, No. 30 (tie Braie Speed (Ark), 9.9, No. 47 (tie) Amanda Wellick (Ark), Tucker (MU) 9.825, No. 98 (tie) Kennedi Harris (MU), Madeleine Huber (MU) 9.775

Bars No. 14 (tie) Wellick (Ark), 9.875, No. 31 (tie) Huber (MU) 9.85, No. 57 (tie) Shauna Miller (MU), Becca Schugel (MU) 9.825, No. 80 Speed (Ark) 9.813, No. 86 (tie) Sydney Laird (Ark) 9.8

Beam No. 6 (tie) Sophia Carter (Ark) 9.9, No. 14 (tie) Wellick (Ark) 9.875, No. 33 (tie) Brooke Kelly (MU) 9.85, No. 71 (tie) Yamzon (Ark) 9.813, No. 81 (tie) Michaela Burton (Ark), Tia Albritten (MU) 9.8

Floor No. 35 (tie) Mary Nicholson (MU) 9.85, No. 55 (tie) Harris (MU) 9.825, No. 80 Burton (Ark) 9.813, No. 98 (tie) Yamzon (Ark.) 9.8

MEET NOTES

All of Arkansas’ 10 dual or tri-meets are against teams currently ranked in the top 25. … Arkansas leads the all-time series 12-7, including 8-2 since Missouri joined the SEC in 2013. … Missouri won both meetings last year, a 195.8-193.5 dual-meet victory at Barnhill Arena, and a 195.825-194.9 victory at the SEC championships in Jacksonville, Fla. … Former Arkansas All-American Casey Jo Magee (MacPherson) is in her fifth year as an assistant coach at Missouri.

The Razorbacks' schedule continues at 6:45 p.m. today against No. 24 Missouri at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo.

"It's time to go win a meet," said Wellick, who suffered a torn Achilles during floor-exercise warmups before a loss to then-No. 6 Missouri last year. "We have Mizzou this weekend. We're just going to focus on us and go after that win."

Cook pointed out the importance of dual-meet conference victories, as the SEC uses that record to determine placement in the two four-team sessions at the SEC championships.

"We want to be in that top session at the SEC championships, and part of that is beating our opponents in the conference head to head during the season," Cook said.

"The focus is to stay calm. We need to replicate the home meet to an away meet, and we've had that discussion with our team. ... We dialed it in at home and we know what we have to do now."

The Razorbacks improved by nearly 1.2 points last week after debuting with a 195.35 in a loss at No. 3 LSU to open the season.

Wellick, a senior, did her part, tying for the bars title at 9.9 and scoring no lower than 9.825 on her three events. Freshman Sarah Shaffer had a big meet in the all-around with nothing lower than 9.8. Additionally, junior Sydney McGlone, who is nearly back to full speed from an early ankle injury, placed second on the vault (9.9) and freshman Sophia Carter tied for the title on the beam (9.9).

Cook said a big score of 197, last achieved in a home victory over Kentucky with a 197.225 on Feb. 26, 2016, is within the Razorbacks' sights.

"I have a lot of confidence in this team," he said. "We have a lot more room for improvement. We made improvements in some of our landings and some of our execution, so this team definitely is capable of breaking a 197."

Arkansas enters the meet ranked in the top 10 on two events. The Razorbacks are No. 4 on the balance beam with an average score of 49.2 and No. 8 on the vault (49.05).

Missouri (0-1, 0-1) debuted last week with a losing score of 194.875 at Auburn.

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