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. Murphy was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
No. 21 Arkansas heads to Auburn
Arkansas gymnast Kennedy Hambrick competes on the floor against Alabama during an NCAA Gymnastics meet, Feb. 8, 2019 in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
FAYETTEVILLE -- The University of Arkansas gymnastics teams will enter a rowdy environment tonight not conducive to breaking out of a stretch of inconsistency.
The No. 21 Razorbacks will travel to face No. 11 Auburn at Auburn Arena tonight in the final home meet of the season for the Tigers.
At a glance
No. 21 Arkansas gymnastics at No. 11 Auburn
WHEN 7 p.m. Central today
WHERE Auburn Arena, Auburn, Ala.
RECORDS Arkansas 1-7, 0-4 SEC; Auburn 5-1, 4-1
SERIES Arkansas leads 17-16-1.
COACHES Mark Cook (17th year at Arkansas); Jeff Grabo (ninth year at Auburn)
EVENTS Vault: No. 10 Auburn 49.075, No. 13 Arkansas 49.025; Bars: No. 6 Auburn 49.279, No. 33 Arkansas 48.638; Beam: No. 15 Auburn 48.917, No. 26 Arkansas 48.729; Floor: No. 13 Arkansas 49.108, No. 28 Auburn 48.888
TOP ATHLETES (top 100)
ALL-AROUND No. 18 Derrian Gobourne (Aub) 39.35, No. 37 Drew Watson (Aub) 39.188, No. 42 Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.096, No. 63 Sarah Shaffer (Ark) 38.908, No. 64 Kennedy Hambrick (Ark) 38.894
VAULT No. 15 Watson (Aub) 9.867, No. 22 Gobourne (Aub) 9.858, No. 26 Sydney McGlone (Ark) 9.854, No. 39 Taylor Krippner (Aub) 9.838, No. 48 Hambrick (Ark) 9.829, No. 70 Amanda Elswick (Ark) 9.805, No. 73 Shaffer (Ark) 9.8
BARS No. 29 Samantha Cerio (Aub) 9.867, No. 32 Abby Milliet (Aub) 9.865, No. 38 Gracie Day (Aub) 9.854, No. 42 Gobourne (Aub) 9.846, No. 56 Krippner (Aub) 9.825, No. 67 Watson (Aub) 9.813, No. 78 Katie Becker (Aub) 9.8
BEAM No. 37 Milliet (Aub) 9.84, No. 44 Meredith Sylvia 9.833, No. 47 Hambrick (Ark) 9.829, No. 51 Yamzon (Ark) 9.829, No. 68 Michaela Burton (Ark) 9.808,
FLOOR No. 11 Carter (Ark) 9.904, No. 28 Gobourne (Aub) 9.879, No. 48 Milliet (Aub) 9.855, No. 56 Shaffer (Ark) 9.85
The series is tied 4-4 in meets held in Auburn, Ala. … The Tigers have a 5-4-1 edge in the last 10 meets dating to 2014. … Auburn’s lone loss this year was a 197.85 to 196.7 decision at Florida last week.
Arkansas (1-7, 0-4) has won three consecutive regular season meets against Auburn, but the Razorbacks have struggled with injuries and uneven performances that have produced just one score of 196-plus.
"That's part of the learning process," Arkansas Coach Mark Cook said of last week's score of 195.8, which was not good enough to beat No. 8 Alabama.
"We're having a missed routine here and a missed routine there and we can't afford to do that. ... Our potential is high, but we're not performing it well."
The Razorbacks are expected to have all-arounder Sarah Shaffer back after the sophomore missed last week's meet with a mild concussion.
The Razorbacks blitzed Auburn last season with a 196.75 for a winning margin of 1.875 points, the largest in the series.
Auburn is 3-0 at home and had sellouts in their last two meets at Auburn Arena in upsets of No. 4 LSU and No. 6 Georgia.
"Arkansas is a thorn in Auburn's side for the last five or six years, and they're definitely coming in to get their act together," Auburn Coach Jeff Graba said. "I think they're a little under-ranked right now. I think we are as well."
Arkansas sophomore Sophia Carter posted a 9.9 on the floor exercise last week to post her fifth title in six meets on that event this season. Freshman Kennedy Hambrick posted her first all-around title last week with a 39.175 versus Alabama.
Arkansas senior Sydney McGlone has scored no lower than 9.8 on the vault this season and has a 9.9 on at least one event in three consecutive meets.
Sports on 02/15/2019
Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.