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.
Gym'Backs keep eye on 197-plus
Arkansas coach Jordyn Wieber watches Friday, Jan. 13, 2023, during the Razorbacks' meet with Alabama in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.
FAYETTEVILLE — Falling concrete at Stegeman Coliseum threw a curve ball into the University of Arkansas gymnastics team’s SEC meet at Georgia.
The date and venue had to be changed, moving the Razorbacks (3-7, 1-5 SEC) SEC finale from Friday to 1 p.m. today at Gas South Arena, formerly Gwinnett Arena, in Duluth, Ga., site of the SEC Championships on March 18.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution citing sources, said some concrete has fallen from the ceiling at the 60-year-old Stegeman Coliseum in recent days.
Coach Jordyn Wieber is hopeful the Razorbacks can put together four events today, as they have been unable to do the last two meets, and push past the 197 level again.
Arkansas scored 197 or better in three consecutive meets from Jan. 27 to Feb. 11, but the Razorbacks faltered on the balance beam in a road loss at Kentucky and on the floor exercise in a home loss to Missouri the last two weeks.
Arkansas needs to push into the top 16 of the National Qualifying Score to earn a national seed for the NCAA Tournament coming in late March.
“We have [two] really great opportunities for our team to keep pushing team scores, gaining confidence, developing those scores that are going to help our NQS at the end of the day,” Wieber said last week.
Georgia, a 10-time NCAA champion, has fallen off over the last dozen years following the end of their five-peat under Suzanne Yoculan from 2005-09.
Georgia leads the all-time series by a wide margin of 37-8-1, but Arkansas is 6-5 in the last 11 meets. The Razorbacks notched their first win in Athens, Ga., in school history with a 196.875 -195.95 decision in their last visit on Jan. 29, 2021.
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