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. 4 Gators top Arkansas
Arkansas gymnast Amanda Elswick performs on the beam against Auburn during an NCAA gymnastics meet on Friday, Jan. 14, 2022, in Fayetteville. (AP Photo/Michael Woods)
The Arkansas Razorbacks finished with a flourish by posting a school record on the balance beam, but the No. 13 University of Arkansas could not hang with No. 4 Florida on Friday night at Gainesville, Fla.
The Gators (6-0, 3-0 SEC) posted a pair of 10s from Trinity Thomas and Leann Wong and soared to a 198.25 to 196.475 win over the Razorbacks (1-2, 0-2) before a crowd of 9,173 at the O’Connell Center. No NCAA team had scored higher this season than Oklahoma’s 197.9 entering Friday.
The Razorbacks got off to a wobbly start with a 48.775 on the uneven bars as the Gators scored 49.55 on the vault, counting nothing less than a 9.85 behind the event-winning Thomas (9.975).
However, Arkansas bounced back to score 49 or better on the remaining rotations, including 49.2 on the floor exercise and the record 49.475 on the beam.
The Razorbacks’ beam effort featured a trio of 9.925 scores from Kennedy Hambrick, Amanda Elswick and Bailey Lovett. Those scores tied Wong for third behind Thomas’ 10 and a 9.975 by the Gators’ Leah Clapper.
Wong scored her 10 on the bars en route to her first all-around title with a 39.625. Hambrick placed second in the all-around (39.475), followed by Florida’s Megan Skaggs (39.4) and Arkansas freshman Leah Smith, whose 39.3 was highlighted by a 9.9 on the beam.
The Razorbacks are scheduled to host West Virginia next Friday at 6:45 p.m.
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