Auburn next test for UA gymnasts

Posted: February 9, 2018 at 2:01 a.m.

Arkansas gymnast Sydney Laird performs on the beam during a meet against Georgia on Friday, Jan. 26, 2018, at Barnhill Arena in Fayetteville.

FAYETTEVILLE -- No. 10 Arkansas' run through the nation's best gymnastics teams continues at 7 tonight at Barnhill Arena against No. 16 Auburn.

The Razorbacks (1-4, 1-4 SEC) will complete a season-opening six-week run of dual meets against SEC competition -- all ranked in the top 25 -- for the first time in the program's 16th season.

WHEN 7 p.m.

WHERE Barnhill Arena, Fayetteville

RECORDS Auburn 2-5, 1-3 SEC; Arkansas 1-4, 1-4 SEC

TICKETS Adults $5; 17-under $3; UA students w/ID free

INTERNET SEC Network-plus

RANKINGS No. 10 Arkansas 196.31 average; No. 15 Auburn 196.04

EVENTS Vault: No. 9 Auburn 49.085 average, No. 14 Arkansas 49.0; Bars: No. 11 Auburn 49.035, No. 14 Arkansas 48.98; Beam: No. 5 Arkansas 49.23, No. 12 Auburn 49.07; Floor: No. 14 Arkansas 49.1, No. 35 Auburn 48.85

TOP ATHLETES (top 100)

All-around: No. 30 Jessica Yamzon (Ark) 39.17, No. 64 Sarah Shaffer (Ark) 38.935

Vault: No. 24 Braie Speed (Ark) 9.86, No. 26 (tie) Jada Glenn (Aub), Gracie Day (Aub) 9.855, No. 67 (tie) Sydney McGlone (Ark), Amanda Wellick (Ark) 9.82

Bars: No. 9 (tie) Samantha Cerio (Aub) 9.895, No. 52 Kendal Moss (Aub) 9.83, No. 55 Speed (Ark) 9.825, No. 87 Taylor Krippner (Aub) 9.8, No. 95 (tie) Wellick (Ark), Sydney Laird (Ark) 9.795

Beam: No. 14 Sophia Carter (Ark) 9.88, No. 28 Yamzon (Ark) 9.86, No. 36 Michaela Burton (Ark) 9.845, No. 56 Wellick (Ark) 9.83, No. 81 (tie) Emma Slappey (Aub), Allie Riddle (Aub) 9.805, No. 85 Meredith Sylvia (Aub) 9.8, No. 94 Cerio (Aub) 9.795, No. 99 Shaffer (Ark) 9.79

Floor: No. 48 Abby Milliet (Aub) 9.85, No. 57 Shaffer (Ark) 9.845, No. 68 Yamzon (Ark) 9.835

MEET NOTES

Auburn leads the series 16-15-1 after posting a victory at the SEC Championships and a tie at the NCAA Fayetteville Regional last year. … Arkansas’ longest win streak in the series is five from Jan. 2011 through March 2012. … Auburn responded with six consecutive victories from Feb. 2013 through March 2015.

"The focus is definitely protecting our house," assistant coach Garrett Griffeth said. "We're back home in our environment, in front of our fans. The biggest thing is continuing to progress from week to week."

Auburn (1-5, 1-3 SEC) scored a season-high 197.0 in a home loss to Florida last week.

Two weeks ago Arkansas posted a 197.175, the third-highest score in school history, in a blowout of Georgia at Barnhill Arena. The Razorbacks slipped to 196.35, their highest road score of the season, in a loss at Alabama last week.

"That's definitely a confidence booster to know what we did the last time we were in this building, but the overall thing is just improving week to week," said Griffeth, who handled the team's media availability this week with Coach Mark Cook under the weather. "Taking what we did at Alabama and just looking at the details and trying to pick those pieces up that we left behind, I think that's our biggest focus."

Griffeth said the team's landings and handstands, which had been solid against Georgia, wavered last week.

The Razorbacks are ranked No. 5 on the beam, with an average score of 49.23, and they rank No. 14 on the other three events.

Arkansas' Sarah Shaffer is the reigning SEC freshman of the week after posting a 39.35 for her first all-around title at Alabama. Shaffer and sophomore Jessica Yamzon, the nation's No. 30 all-arounder, will go up on all four events for the Razorbacks.

Sports on 02/09/2018