Arkansas Gymnastics:

Seniors have final go-round at home

By: Tom Murphy
Published: Friday, March 16, 2018
Arkansas gymnast Amanda Wellick performs on the beam during a meet against Georgia on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Charlie Kaijo
Arkansas gymnast Amanda Wellick performs on the beam during a meet against Georgia on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- Fans of the No. 11 Arkansas Razorbacks gymnastics team will celebrate the careers of the team's three active seniors, led by Amanda Wellick and Braie Speed, tonight in the regular season tri-meet finale at Barnhill Arena.

However, Coach Mark Cook knows the first focus has to be on a clean meet after the Razorbacks stumbled last week at No. 1 Oklahoma's quad meet with a chance to nail down a top 10 spot and push into the prestigious evening session of the SEC championships.

Arkansas gymnastics

vs. Iowa State, Denver

WHEN 7 p.m.

WHERE Barnhill Arena

RECORDS Arkansas 3-10-1, Denver 14-4-1, Arizona State 18-4

RANKINGS No. 11 Arkansas 196.66, No. 15 Denver 196.525, No. 26 Iowa State 195.945

EVENTS Vault: No. 11 Denver 49.185, No. 21 Arkansas 49.045, No. 24 Iowa State 49.025; Bars: No. 8 Arkansas 49.265, No. 11 Denver 49.225, No. 28 Iowa State 49.05; Beam: No. 10 Arkansas 49.25, No. 14 Denver 49.165, No. 26 Iowa State 49.01; Floor: No. 14 Denver 49.27, No. 18 Arkansas 49.24, No. 36 Iowa State 49.05.

TOP ATHLETES (top 100)

All-around: No. 6 Maddie Karr (Den) 39.6, No. No. 28 Haylee Young (ISU) 39.31, No. 36 Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.245, No. 43 Sarah Shaffer (Ark) 39.195, No. 45 Mia Sundstrom (Den) 39.19, No. 54 Meaghan Sievers (ISU) 39.1, No. 56 Kelsey Paz (ISU) 39.095

Vault: No. 7 Karr (Den) 9.915, No. 18 Braie Speed (Ark) 9.885, No. 30 Meaghan Sievers (ISU) 9.875, No. 36 Nikole Addison (Den) 9.865, No. 43 (tie) Shaffer (Ark), Young (ISU) 9.86, No. 68 Amanda Wellick (Ark) 9.84, No. 81 (tie) Diana Chesnok (Den), Sophia Steinmeyer (ISU) 9.83, No. 99 Sundstrom (Den) 9.82.

Bars: No. 20 Karr (Den) 9.9, No. 28 Emily Glynn (Den) 9.885, No. 32 (tie) Wellick (Ark) and Speed (Ark) No. 53 (tie) Shaffer (Ark), Lynnzee Brown (Den) and Hilary Green (ISU) 9.865, No. 83 Sievers (ISU) 9.85, No. 92 Sydney Laird (Ark) 9.84

Beam: No. 14 (tie) Karr (Den) and Kaitlyn Schou (Den) 9.905, No. 17 Sophia Carter (Ark), No. 41 Young (ISU) 9.875, No. 59 (tie) Yamzon (Ark) and Sundstrom (Den) 9.86, No. 85 Wellick (Ark) 9.84, No. 92 Paz (ISU) 9.835

Floor: No. 12 Karr (Den) 9.915, No. 21 Shaffer 9.9, No. 34 Addison (Den) 9.89, No. 75 (tie) Schou (Den) and Young (ISU) 9.865, No. 96 (tie) Yamzon (Ark) and Michaela Burton (Ark) 9.855

MEET NOTES

The Razorbacks are one of four teams to score 49.575 or better on the bars. … Arkansas has scored 49.0 or better on an event 29 times this season after hitting that mark 18 times last year. … Arkansas will celebrate senior night and recognize Amanda Wellick, Braie Speed, Mia Bargiacchi and Leah MacMoyle, a student assistant who retired due to injuries this year. … The Razorbacks lost to Denver in the OU Quad meet last week and trail the all-time series 2-6. … Arkansas has a 2-1 record against Iowa State, with the last meeting coming in Fort Worth on Jan. 31, 2015.

"As a coach, this is another meet," Cook said. "I don't want to downplay it, but I don't want us to be focusing so much on our last meet in Barnhill that we don't concentrate on our gymnastics. So it's important that we perform normal.

"But at the same time I want to celebrate it with them because it is a milestone and celebrate it after the competition."

The Razorbacks will host No. 15 Denver and No. 26 Iowa State in the 7 p.m. meet. Arkansas lost to No. 1 Oklahoma and Denver last Friday while tying Arizona State in Norman, Okla.

Wellick, a two-time All-American on the vault, has 33 career event titles and has been solid this season after returning from surgery on her Achilles tendon early last season. Speed has been a mainstay on the vault and uneven bars with a 9.95 on the bars this year tying the school record.

Mia Bargiacchi, a walk-on who has contributed on the floor exercise, and Leah MacMoyle, a former vault specialist who has been a student assistant in 2018 after retiring due to injury, will also be honored on senior night.

The Razorbacks have been strong at home this season with two scores over 197, including a school-record 197.275 in a victory over Arizona on March 2.

Cook would like a quality score today to carry into the SEC championships, which will be held March 24 at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. The Razorbacks' goal down the home stretch is securing a spot in the final top 12 to assure a No. 2 seed for an NCAA regional.

"The big one is going to be at the SEC championships because we have an away score we're counting that is pretty low right now," Cook said. "We need to replace it. That's why it was critical to score well at OU, which we didn't do."

Wellick, sophomore Jessica Yamzon and freshman Sarah Shaffer are expected to compete in the all-around tonight, where they will be up against Maddie Karr of Denver, who is ranked No. 6 in the nation.

The Razorbacks will likely get 17 of 24 routines tonight from freshmen and sophomores, with Michaela Burton, Sophia Carter, Hailey Garner and Sydney Laird contributing along with Shaffer and Yamzon.

Sports on 03/16/2018

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