Arkansas Falls to Reigning SEC Champs in Florida

GAINESVILLE – The University of Arkansas gymnastics team traveled to Gainesville, Fla., for its season opener, dropping the evening meet to the reigning SEC champs, 197.350-194.400.

Senior Jessica Yamzon and sophomore Kennedy Hambrick compete all-around, scoring a 38.825 and 38.950 respectively. Yamzon led off on all four events for the Gymbacks, making it the second consecutive season she did so in the season opener after leading off all-around against Oklahoma in 2019.

Rotation One | Bars
Hambrick showed lots of poise on the bars in the fourth position for Arkansas, scoring a 9.825 after a fluid routine and solid full twisting double-back dismount. Redshirt-freshman Bailey Lovett walked away with a 9.825 as well with a strong performance in her 2020 debut. Hambrick and Lovett’s back-to-back 9.825s helped Arkansas to a 48.625 start.

Rotation Two | Vault
Sarah Shaffer showed her strength on the vault, coming through for Arkansas with a team-high score of 9.750 after completing a beautiful Yurchenko layout half. Staffer and the Gymbacks added 48.525 points to their score and after two events, trailed the Gators 98.475 to 97.150.

Rotation Three | Floor
Junior Sophia Carter was the anchor for the Gymbacks on the floor and closed out the rotation with a strong 9.875, complete with beautiful presentation and a sky-high double pike as a last pass. The third rotation was the best showing of the night for the Gymbacks, combining three routines of 9.825 or higher for a total of 49.000.

Rotation Four | Beam
It was freshman Kiara Giafagna who would step up in the final rotation on the beam. Giafagna entered the final event scoring a 9.725 on both the vault and floor, but came out with a solid 9.800 on the beam nailing her back handspring layout series. With Gianfagna’s performance, the Gymbacks finished with a 48.250 team score on the beam.

Up Next
The Gymbacks prepare for top ranked Denver next week, as Arkansas opens its home slate in Barnhill Arena on Friday, Jan. 17 for Pack the Barn. The Razorbacks will have a quick turn around as they travel to Oklahoma for a road meet in Sooner territory on Monday, Jan. 20.

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