LEXINGTON, Ky. – The University of Arkansas gymnastics team came out strong in Lexington, but Kentucky’s strong beam and floor rotations were too much to overcome as the Gymbacks fell to the Wildcats on the road, 197.000-196.675.
The Gymbacks opened with a solid rotation on the bars, registering a 49.375 as a team and tying their season high. Graduate transfer Maggie O’Hara shined, as she does, sticking her double-layout dismount and scoring a 9.900 in the anchor spot. Junior Kennedy Hambrick’s full-twisting double-back dismount wowed the judges and earned her a matching 9.900, tying her season-high. Both freshman Kiara Gianfagna and redshirt-senior Sarah Shaffer contributed 9.875s to the lineup as well.
Arkansas kept the energy high in the second rotation, posting a season-best 49.275 on the vault. The team’s consistency gave them a two-rotation score of 98.600 mid-way through the meet, the highest by the Gymbacks since 2014.
Junior transfer Abby Johnston stuck her Yurchenko full, scoring a career-high 9.875 for the Gymbacks. Hambrick solidified her spot in the anchor position, beautifully executing her Yurchenko 1.5 for a career-high as well, earning a 9.925 from the judges.
Hambrick continued her night of bests, scoring a 9.950 on the floor, sticking each of her passes including her double-pike last pass. Arkansas rolled into the final rotation leading 147.925 to Kentucky’s 147.775.
The Gymbacks struggled to close it out on the beam, finishing with a 48.650 as a team. Kentucky’s floor lineup combined for a 49.225 in the final rotation to rally the Wildcats to the win.
Arkansas returns home for the first of back-to-back home meets next Friday night against Missouri at 7:30 p.m.