April 16, 2024

Arkansas “Gymbacks” Shine in Season Opener with a Record-Setting Display

Arkansas “Gymbacks” Shine in Season Opener with a Record-Setting Display

In a thrilling display of athleticism and poise, the Arkansas Razorbacks, affectionately known as the “Gymbacks,” launched their 2024 gymnastics season with a groundbreaking victory over the Georgia Gymdogs. The meet, held in the vibrant atmosphere of the Gymbacks’ home turf, set the stage for a season-themed “UPGRADE,” and the athletes did not disappoint, posting a record season-opening score of 197.150 to 196.425.

The Gymbacks embraced their new season motto, “UPGRADE,” which resonates with their pursuit of constant improvement and elevated performance. This ethos was evident from the outset and remained a consistent thread throughout the competition.

Great start so far, first week jitters and having a lot of fun,” Gymback coach, Jordyn Wieber, articulated, capturing the essence of the evening. The Gymbacks balanced the pressure of competition with the sheer joy of performing, an alchemy that translated into an exceptional meet.

Rotation 1 saw the Gymbacks setting a solid foundation on Vault with an impressive team score of 49.225. Cami Weaver led the charge with a stunning 9.900, earning the coveted career high recognition for her performance. Cilla Park and Makenzie Sedlacek each contributed a strong 9.825, while Leah Smith and Lauren Williams were close behind. Frankie Price had a shaky start, but the team’s depth ensured a strong finish. Meanwhile, the visiting Georgia Gymdogs put up a fight on Bars with a formidable team score of 49.425.

By Rotation 2, Arkansas trailed by a mere .225. The Gymbacks, however, remained undaunted as they took to the Bars. Cally Swaney’s 9.800 set the pace, followed by consistent scores from Sirena Linton and Cilla Park. Jaime Pratt and Jensen Scalzo both notched impressive 9.900s, while Maddie Jones’s 9.875 helped the Gymbacks close the gap, bringing the team score up to 98.550 against Georgia’s 98.175 on Vault.

Photo Credits – Wes Pruett/ 4 Star Sports Media, LLC

The third rotation was where Arkansas began to assert its dominance. Beam’s performances were nothing short of stellar. Kalyxta Gamiao and Maddie Jones each earned a 9.875, with Sirena Linton topping the event with a 9.900. The team’s collective focus and technical precision pushed Arkansas into the lead by .325 with a cumulative score of 147.675.

The final rotation was a showcase of the “Gymbacks'” prowess and spirit. On Floor, Arkansas extended their lead with a series of spectacular routines. Kalyxta Gamiao and Hailey Klein each earned a solid 9.850, while Maddie Jones’s 9.925 and Lauren Williams’s 9.95 electrified the crowd. Frankie Price matched Williams’s score, cementing the team’s position at the top. Georgia’s Beam routines were commendable, but they couldn’t close the gap.

The final tally reflected the evening’s competitive spirit and Arkansas’s commitment to its theme of “UPGRADE.” The Gymbacks emerged victorious with a final score of 197.150, while the Georgia Gymdogs finished with a respectable 196.425.

The Gymbacks’ record-setting season opener is a testament to their talent, hard work, and the strategic vision of their coaching staff. The Razorbacks now hit the road to Tuscaloosa, Alabama as they will meet the Alabama Crimson Tide, next Friday, January, 19, as they look to start 2-0. 

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