Gymnastics team advances to final

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FAYETTEVILLE — The 10th-seeded Arkansas Razorback gymnasts claimed two event titles and continued their late-season roll to win the afternoon semifinal at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional on Thursday at Walton Arena.

The Razorbacks broke their program record score for a regional with a 197.325, their 10th score of 197-plus this season, outpointing seventh seed Kentucky (197.1), Nebraska (196.6) and Arizona (195.6).

Arkansas and Kentucky advanced to Saturday’s regional final at 5 p.m. at Walton Arena.

“Overall, just really, really pleased,” fifth-year Arkansas Coach Jordyn Wieber said. “Our main goal was just to come in today and be normal and be ourselves and do what we’ve been doing all season.

“I’m just really proud of the team. The name of the game right now is survive and advance and we did our job today.”

Said sophomore Frankie Price, “This was a huge accomplishment for us all and I think it’s a great stepping stone for the next step moving forward.”

LSU and XXXXXXXXX Minnesota advanced out of the night session to set up Saturday’s final with three SEC teams against the Golden Gophers. The top two teams from the final will advance to the eight-team field for the NCAA Championships on April 18-20 in Fort Worth.

Arkansas sophomore Lauren Williams won the vault title with a perfect landing on her Yurchenko 1 1/2 in the anchor position and sophomore Cally Swaney captured the balance beam with a 9.925, tying her career high.

“Really pleased with that,” Wieber said. “It’s just what she does every day in practice. … I’m just excited to see it come to fruition in competition.”

Williams won her 10th title of the season and Swaney her third.

Price had the day’s best floor exercise score at 9.925 until Kentucky’s Raena Worley posted a 9.95 in the final routine of the competition. Worley also won the all-around title in the session with a 39.45.

Arkansas posted a program-best score for an NCAA regional on the balance beam (49.35) and tied its record on the vault (49.375).

The Razorbacks got out to a hot start on their top event, the floor exercise, with a 49.45, and led throughout the meet, though Kentucky closed the gap after the third rotation with its 49.35 on the beam while Arkansas was posting a 49.15 on the uneven bars.

There was a moment of concern when senior Sirena Linton fell on the uneven bars in the fourth spot. However, senior Jensen Scalzo and junior Maddie Jones picked up the slack and notched a 9.875 and a 9.9, respectively.

The Razorbacks posted eight scores of 9.9 or better, including Jones on the floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam with 9.9s on each apparatus.

Cami Weaver led off the vault with a 9.9 and Williams added a 9.9 on the floor exercise.…Read more by

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