It was a meet for the record books, the No. 10 Arkansas gymnastics team beat the No. 11 Bulldogs for their first win of the season.
The Razorbacks were led by underclassmen performers, and the gymnasts came up in a big way to mark the third time the Hogs have beaten the Dawgs in program history. Freshman Sophia Carter broke a program record on the balance beam with an almost perfect score of 9.975.
“Even in training I could see we were starting to get polished,” said Razorback coach Mark Cook in a press release. “We just have to get in that zone a little bit more. We were close to it tonight, but owning some of those landings. We’re not quite there, but we’re moving in that direction.”
Arkansas started the first rotation on vault while Georgia was on bars. The Hogs were led by redshirt freshman Sarah Shaffer, who scored a 9.875 to tie her career high in any event. The Razorbacks finished the event with a score of 49.100, trailing the Dawgs who scored a 49.175.
As the second rotation came along, Arkansas switched events with Georgia. This time, the Hogs prevailed over the Bulldogs as Shaffer and senior Braie Speed led the Razorbacks with a score of 9.875 each. Arkansas took the lead 98.275 to 98.050, while four of their five scorers tallied over 9.800.
The third rotation started, and Arkansas took the balance beam while Georgia was on the floor event. Once again, the Razorbacks defeated the Bulldogs, scoring a 49.425 while Georgia scored a 49.100. Three Hogs scored over a 9.900, and they were led by Carter with a 9.975 (program record). Sophomores Michaela Burton and Jessica Yamzon both trailed Carter as they tied the previous program record. Coming into the night, the program record had only been met seven times. The last came during the 2012 NCAA Championships. Tonight, the Hogs met it three times and beat it once.
“We’ve been practicing it,” said Carter in a press release. “My coaches have been telling me, just do what you can do, and go out there and be you. I was just happy to go out there and deliver and do that tonight.”
Hogs ended the night on the floor event while the Bulldogs were on the beam. Arkansas clinched the win with a 49.475 while Georgia finished the night with a 48.975. Arkansas ended with a total score of 197.175, marking the seventh time the Razorbacks have scored over 197 in program history.
“All season we’ve been talking about just being us out there and doing what we do,” Carter said. “We knew we could do this. Each performance, everyone went out there and knew they could do their best and we got that 197.”
Up next, the Razorbacks head to Tuscaloosa on Feb. 2 to face No. 7 Alabama for another conference matchup.