FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Gymbacks made their return to Bud Walton Arena on Friday night and put on a show in front of a program record 11,031 fans.
No. 18 Arkansas fell to No. 2 Florida 197.400-197.875, but the team had plenty of high points on the day. The score is the Hogs’ third highest ever as a program, and a new record in Bud Walton Arena. Arkansas also earned a new beam best for 2023 with a 49.350, and outscored Florida on floor 49.475-49.250.
Freshman and SEC Freshman of the Week Lauren Williams earned a share of the floor title with a personal high of 9.950, and fellow freshman Cally Swaney earned new career bests on both bars and beam. Her 9.925 on beam was good for third place.
For the second consecutive year, the Hogs set a new attendance high at Bud Walton Arena, and the meet is the fourth highest-attended women’s event ever held at the venue.
Redshirt freshman Cami Weaver shined in her return to Bud Walton Arena after suffering a season-ending injury last season in The Palace. She nailed her Yurchenko full and tied her career high of 9.875 to get the Hogs off to a strong start. Fellow redshirt freshman Frankie Price brought the house down in the fourth spot with a 9.900, which tied her career high, and Makenzie Sedlacek and Williams’ 1.5s scored 9.825 and 9.850, respectively. Arkansas finished the rotation with a 49.275 on vault.
Freshman Cally Swaney got the bars rotation rolling with a career high 9.850, followed by a solid 9.900 by junior Jensen Scalzo, capped with a stuck double layout. Reese Drotar and Maddie Jones scored match 9.850s in the third and fourth spots to keep the momentum going, and Norah Flatley finished the rotation off with a 9.850 for a team total of 49.300 on bars.
Sophomore Kalyxta Gamiao showed grace and consistency in the leadoff position with a 9.850 on beam, bringing up senior Kiara Gianfagna. Kiara showed all of the veteran poise, nailed every skill, and earned a new personal best 9.900. The career highs kept coming as Swaney earned a 9.925 with a stuck dismount halfway through the lineup. Weaver muscled her way through her set and capped it off with a stick for a 9.875, and Kennedy Hambrick followed with a 9.800. The Hogs posted a 49.350 on beam on the night.
Arkansas didn’t disappoint in the team’s first Bud Walton floor party of the season, which kicked off with a 9.900 routine from Jones. Fellow sophomore Leah Smith posted a big 9.875 in the third spot with two stuck passes and a routine full of energy. Williams rose to new heights again up fourth, as the rookie crushed another floor routine for a personal best of 9.950. Price closed out the rotation with a bang as she nailed every skill and danced big for a 9.925 score. One judge gave Price a perfect 10, and the mark is a new personal high.
Arkansas hits the road for a quad meet next week in Fort Worth, Texas. The Metroplex Challenge with the Hogs, Stanford, Oklahoma and Alabama is set for Saturday, Feb. 11 at 7:15 p.m.
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