Florida Preview: Practice Hard, Compete Hard
WHO: No. 9 Arkansas at No. 2 Florida
WHAT: Link to Pink Meet
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 12 at 6:00 p.m. CT
WHERE: Gainesville, Florida
VENUE: O’Connell Center
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — In the best gymnastics conference in the country, there are no off weeks.
Of its first seven opponents of the season, Arkansas has faced five top 10 teams, and their eighth will be SEC foe No. 2 Florida on Friday, Feb. 12 in Gainesville. At the top of the charts for three consecutive weeks, the Gators dropped down one spot after their first loss of the season last week at No. 11 Georgia.
Following back-to-back conference victories over No. 4 Alabama and No. 9 Auburn, the Razorbacks visited Baton Rouge last week and fell 197.425-196.150 to No. 6 LSU. Arkansas’ first SEC win streak since 2012 came to a halt against the Tigers, and that spurred a focused week of practice to get back on the right track.
“This week in practice we focused on the little details that can really take our routines to the next level,” senior Sydnie Dillard said. “As a team, we plan to come back strong this weekend by performing to our potential and posting a solid away score.”
The Razorbacks have the opportunity to do just that at the O’Connell Center, a venue where visitors have averaged 197.225 in two meets against host Florida this season. Leading the way for Arkansas has been lone all-arounder Amanda Wellick, who tied a career high with a 39.500 vs. No. 9 Auburn on Jan. 29, then followed it up with a 39.350 last week at No. 6 LSU.
At No. 9 with a 196.200 team average, the Razorbacks remain in the top 10 for the fourth consecutive week. The team attributes their success in large part to the mental strength of the team throughout the season. After a subpar score in the Cancun Classic, Arkansas has responded with four strong meets over 196 and one just below, a 195.900 vs. No. 3 Oklahoma on Jan. 15.
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