Arkansas gymnastics falls at Florida

Arkansas' Priscilla Park competes on the beam Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, during the Razorbacks' meet with Auburn in Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville. (Andy Shupe/NWA Democrat-Gazette)

The Arkansas Razorbacks dodged their uneven bars downer from last week but could not rebound near enough to knock off powerhouse No. 6 Florida on the road Friday night.

Led by Leanne Wong’s 10.0 on the uneven bars, the Gators powered to a 197.85 to 196.05 win over the Razorbacks before a sell-out crowd at Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Fla.

Florida (6-1, 3-1 SEC) won all four rotations and posted a season-high mark to improve to 11-0 at home against Arkansas (2-2-1, 2-2-1 SEC) and 51-3 in the all-time series.

The No. 13 Razorbacks got past the uneven bars that produced two falls last week but fell behind early and wound up having to count a fall on balance beam for the first time this season.

The 195.05 represented a season-low score for the Razorbacks, who went 197-plus in their first three meets, including a school-record 197.525 at Alabama two weeks ago.

The junior Wong edged freshman teammate Anya Pilgrim for the overall title with a 39.725 to Pilgrim’s 39.6. Arkansas freshman Priscilla Park was in the running for the all-around podium through three events before coming off the balance beam in the anchor spot.

Her fall at the end of a triple layout series followed Maddie Jones’ fall on the beam and led to the Razorbacks’ season-low 48.425 on the event.

Florida scored no lower than 49.45 on any event, but even that score in the third rotation on balance beam edged the Razorbacks’ meet-best 49.425 on the floor exercise at the same time.

Arkansas received three 9.9s or better, led by sophomore Frankie Price’s event-winning 9.95 in the anchor spot on the floor exercise. Sophomore Lauren Williams of Rogers also had a podium finish with a 9.9 to tie Florida’s Lori Brubach for second on the floor.

Arkansas junior Kalyxta Gamiao led off the balance beam with a career-high 9.925 to tie for the event title with Wong and Victoria Nguyen.

Wong has scored seven career 10s and four of them have come in competition against Arkansas.

Florida got out to a huge 99.075-98.2 lead after two rotations by placing the top four finishers in both the vault and the uneven bars.

Arkansas’ Williams broke up the run on vault behind Danie Ferris’ event-best 9.95 with a 9.85.

The Razorbacks’ top finisher on the uneven bars was junior Jensen Scalzo with a 9.875, a strong response after she came off the apparatus last week.

Florida built a lead of 0.3 points after the opening rotation by posting a 49.475 on the vault while Arkansas had a 49.175 on the bars.