UA gymnastics team closes strong at SEC Championships

The University of Arkansas gymnastics team finished strong on the vault, but the big finish came after a couple of early stumbles as the No. 16 Razorbacks finished third in the afternoon session of the SEC Championships on Saturday at Duluth, Ga..

The Razorbacks, who scored 196.825, notched a 49.425 on the vault in the final rotation, the highest score on that event in the session, propelled by 9.9s from Cami Weaver, Norah Flatley, Frankie Price and Lauren Williams.

"I loved the way our team fought through every single rotation and didn't let one mistake turn into multiple," Arkansas Coach Jordyn Wieber said. "That finish on vault, just one 9.9 after another, was really amazing.

"I think this team is really starting to come together and meshing more than I've ever seen them. I think this is a really big confidence booster going into regional competition."

No. 12 Auburn won the early session with a steady 197.1, just edging No. 17 Missouri (197.0). No. 18 Georgia was fourth with a 196.6.

The night session at the SEC Championships featured powerhouses in No. 3 Florida, No. 6 LSU, No. 8 Kentucky and No. 10 Alabama.

Flatley and Williams were standouts for the Razorbacks, with the senior and freshman both scoring 9.9 on the floor exercise to share the event title with Auburn's Cassie Stevens, Missouri's Alisa Sheremeta and the Georgia duo of Haley De Jong and Soraya Hawthorne.

Flatley added a 9.875 on the uneven bars and 9.825 on the balance beam to place second in the all-around at 39.5 behind Stevens (39.65).

Arkansas, which opened on the uneven bars, scored 49.175 on that event and the floor exercise. The Razorbacks had a couple of technical issues on the balance beam from Kiara Gianfagna and Cami Weaver and recorded a 49.05 on that event in the second rotation.

The Razorbacks competed without sophomore standout Leah Smith, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, for the second week in a row.

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