Despite trailing late, the No. 12 Arkansas gymnastics team put on an incredible floor rotation to pull off the upset over defending Southeastern Conference champion Alabama Friday night at Barnhill Arena.
Going into the final rotation, the Razorbacks trailed by 1.3 points and if they wanted any chance of beating the Crimson Tide, they would need to be nearly perfect on the floor. Arkansas delivered. Three 9.925 scores along with a 9.950 not only won Arkansas the meet by a final score of 196.325-196.175, but it broke the school record in the event.
All-American senior Stephani Canizaro, sophomore Samantha Nelson and junior Heather Elswick all recorded a 9.925. And though she only needed a 9.800 to win the meet, sophomore Amanda Wellick closed out the win with her 9.950.
“I told them to go out on the last event and have some fun with it,” head coach Mark Cook said. “I told them to flush what just happened in the previous event and go out and show people how good you are. Take it one pass at a time and show it off. It’s a bit nerve-racking going into that last event and you know you have to hit. When teams finish on floor, teams have a bit more energy and show it off a bit more and that was something our girls really capitalized on tonight.”
In addition to her meet-winning performance on the floor, Wellick won the all-around and floor titles with scores of 39.475 and 9.950, respectively. She also shared the vault title with Elswick as they each scored a 9.950.
It was the first career event title for Elswick and the second all-around title for Wellick this season.
The No. 6 Razorbacks return to action Friday when they face SEC rival Auburn on the road at 7 p.m. The meet will be broadcasted live on SEC Network+ and the WatchESPN App.