Gymbacks Earn First Nationals Berth in Six Years, Score Second-Highest Mark in Program History

Arkansas is headed back to the NCAA Gymnastics Championships for the first time since 2018 and first time under head coach Jordyn Wieber as the Gymbacks finished in second place at Saturday’s regional final at Bud Walton Arena.

Arkansas broke through as one of the top two teams on the day with a score of 197.825, the second-highest in program history and a new regional record. The Razorbacks advanced to the national championship along with SEC counterpart LSU, and the Tigers scored 198.250 to win the session.

The berth to nationals is Arkansas’ ninth ever as a program, and first since the format changed from 12 teams to eight teams in 2019.

In addition to the new team regional record, the Gymbacks also matched regional highs on vault (49.375) and bars (49.450), and achieved a new best of 49.525 on beam, which broke the previous record, just two days old and set in Thursday’s semifinal.


A solid Yurchenko full from Cami Weaver set the tone well for Arkansas and she scored 9.875. Leah Smith was up next and she delivered a perfect vault that went 9.950, the highest possible mark for a Yurchenko full, and the second time in her career that she’s earned the score. Frankie Price kept up the pace with a 9.850 midway through the lineup, which brought up the final three vaulters, all Yurchenko 1.5s. Dakota Essenpries, Hailey Klein and Lauren Williams scored 9.800, 9.850, and 9.850, respectively, which brought Arkansas’ total to 49.375 on the event.


After a slightly shaky performance on bars in Thursday’s semifinal, Arkansas recovered very well and match its program regional high of 49.450 on bars. It started with Cally Swaney and Jaime Pratt, who scored matching 9.850s in the first and second spots. Fellow sophomore Reese Drotar went third and earned a 9.950, which matched the Arkansas regional high on bars. Freshman Priscilla Park looked poised and nothing like a rookie as she delivered a clean set complete with stuck dismount for a 9.900 up fourth. Senior Jensen Scalzo provided a 9.850 next, and junior Maddie Jones capped the rotation with a 9.900.


The Gymbacks’ rock-solid beam lead-off Kalyxta Gamiao was stellar in her start to the rotation and racked up a 9.950, a new career high that matched the Arkansas regional record set by Norah Flatley in 2023. After a 9.800 from Jones, Swaney and Weaver got Arkansas back in business with matching 9.900s in the third and fourth spots. Klein kept the pace with a 9.850 next, and graduate transfer Sirena Linton came to anchor, looking to drop the 9.800. She did the job and then some with a gorgeous routine that went 9.925 and sealed the regional record 49.525 on beam.


Arkansas’ best event was last, and the Hogs brought the house down as usual. The first three scores built as they went on, with marks of 9.850 from Gamiao, 9.875 from Klein and 9.900 from Jones. Smith got a 9.875 in the fourth spot, which brought the powerhouse of Williams and Price left to go. Williams all but clinched Arkansas’ nationals berth with a 9.925 in fifth, and Price’s 9.900 officially punched the ticket.

Up Next

Arkansas will compete at either 3:30 or 8 p.m. in the semifinal sessions of the national championships on Thursday, April 18 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth. The top two teams from each semi will advance to the national final on Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m. Both semifinal sessions will be televised live on ESPN2, and the national final will air on ABC.

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