Tom Murphy is a sports 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. He was the 2017 Arkansas Sportswriter of the Year.
Gym'Backs send 2 to NCAA meet
Arkansas' Norah Flatley competes Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, in the bar competition of the Razorbacks' meet with Alabama in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Freshman Lauren Williams and senior Norah Flatley of the University of Arkansas qualified for the NCAA Championships as individuals following their performances at the NCAA Norman (Okla.) Regional last weekend.
This will mark the fourth consecutive year the Razorbacks will send two gymnasts to the national meet under Coach Jordyn Wieber.
Flatley and Williams will compete along with the Utah team in the evening session of the semifinals at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, on April 13.
Flatley, a graduate transfer from UCLA, scored 9.95 on the balance beam, tying for the day’s high score in Norman to qualify for nationals. She will be making her second appearance as an individual after qualifying as an all-around competitor last year. She earned All-America honors for finishing seventh in the all-around and fourth on the balance beam.
Flatley, who will carry a 9.905 National Qualifying Score (NQS) into the championships, is the seventh Razorback to qualify on the balance beam, the first since Hailey Garner in 2019.
Williams made a big debut this winter, particularly on the floor exercise and vault. She qualified for nationals on the vault with a 9.9 in the regional. Williams has a season high of 9.925 on the vault and a 9.880 NQS.
Individual titles and the top eight placements will be recognized at the conclusion of the two NCAA semifinals on April 13. The top four performers on each event will be first-team All-Americans and the fifth-through-eighth place finishers will be second-team All-Americans.
California, Denver, Florida and LSU will compete in the afternoon session, while Kentucky, Oklahoma, UCLA and Utah will compete at night. The top two finishers from each regional will compete for the national title on April 15 at 3 p.m.
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