Arkansas takes down Georgia in SEC finale
Despite a change in venue and day, the No. 17 Gymbacks showed grace under pressure in their final SEC meet of the regular season and defeated the No.18 Georgia Bulldogs 197.150-196.875.
The team score was Arkansas' fourth over 197 this year, which ties the program record for most in a season.
Graduate transfer Norah Flatley claimed her second all-around title in her time at Arkansas with a score of 39.550, and she also tied for first on beam with a 9.925.
The Gymbacks earned at least a share of first on three of four events, as redshirt freshman Cami Weaver tied Flatley on beam, freshman Lauren Williams claimed vault with a 9.850, and sophomore Maddie Jones ended in a three-way tie for first on bars with a 9.950 mark.
The Hogs set a new season high of 49.475 on bars. Arkansas edged Georgia on vault and beam and tied the Bulldogs on bars.
Arkansas got off to a great start on the day as freshman Cally Swaney matched her career high of 9.850 in the lead-off spot with a stuck double layout dismount. Junior Jensen Scalzo earned a 9.875 to keep the momentum going, and sophomore Maddie Jones had a huge 9.950 in the fourth spot with a stuck dismount, which matched her career high. Freshman Jaime Pratt sustained the pressure with a stellar routine for a career high 9.900 up fifth, and Flatley matched it as the anchor to seal Arkansas' new season best of 49.475.
The Hogs had a clean and consistent vault rotation, which saw scores of 9.800 for redshirt freshman Cami Weaver and sophomore Leah Smith, and 9.825s for Flatley, redshirt freshman Frankie Price and sophomore Makie Sedlacek. Williams was the winner of Arkansas' rotation and the day with a 9.850 in the anchor spot, and she took just a small step on the landing of her Yurchenko 1.5.
After an uncharacteristic floor rotation last week, Arkansas bounced back nicely and didn't count a score under 9.800 on the event. Jones led the Gymbacks off with a 9.825, followed by Arkansas' second Maddie, Maddie Hickey, with a 9.800. Smith kept the party going with a routine full of power and performance quality, and she scored a 9.875 in the third spot. Flatley and Williams were up next, and both delivered 9.900s to pace the Hogs toward a 49.325 on the event.
Arkansas has had a few rough outings finishing on floor this season, but the Gymbacks didn't let it get to them Sunday in a rotation that built as it went on. Sophomore Kalyxta Gamiao put up a solid set that scored 9.775 to start, and senior Kiara Gianfagna and Swaney followed with matching 9.800s. After two recent falls on beam, Weaver showed how important her impact is on the event as she nailed all of her acro and stuck her round-off 1.5 dismount for a huge mark of 9.925 for Arkansas up fourth. Flatley closed the rotation with a beautiful routine, composed from the start, and matched Weaver's score to sew up her all-around win and the team win for the Gymbacks.
The Hogs conclude their regular season at home as they take on the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Friday, March 10. The meet will be the team's second at Bud Walton Arena and is set for 6:45 p.m. It will also serve as Senior Night and Women's Empowerment Night for the Gymbacks.