July 14, 2024

Arkansas Gymnastics Vaults Into 2024

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

Arkansas Gymnastics Vaults Into 2024

The Arkansas Razorback Gymnastics team, affectionately known as the Gymbacks, is a force to be reckoned with in the Women’s College Gymnastics Association. Under the leadership of head coach Jordyn Wieber, the team has consistently ranked in the top 15 of the preseason poll for four consecutive seasons. This consistent record is a testament to Wieber’s coaching prowess and the determination, resilience, and sheer talent of the Gymbacks.

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

The 2023 season was a record-breaking year for the Gymbacks. They finished their 19th straight regional with a new team score record of 197.275 and a new regional floor record of 49.500. While they narrowly missed the regional final, they held their position as 17th in the country, keeping the program’s 18-year streak in the top 20.

Arkansas was represented at the nationals thanks to the outstanding performances of graduate transfer Norah Flatley and freshman Lauren Williams. Both gymnasts earned berths to the NCAA Championships as individuals, extending Wieber’s unblemished national appearance streak in each eligible year.

The Gymbacks also achieved significant milestones in the postseason. They set the SEC Championships team score record at 196.825, the SEC Championships vault record at 49.425, and the SEC Championships bars record at 49.175. Five Gymbacks, namely Norah Flatley, Lauren Williams, Reese Drotar, Frankie Price, and Cami Weaver, earned All-SEC or All-SEC Freshman honors at the meet. This was the highest number of honorees since 2018 and the second-most ever for Arkansas.

The regular season saw the Gymbacks breaking program records. They set a new program score record of 197.475 against LSU, a new program vault record of 49.525 against Kentucky, and a new program beam record of 49.525 against Missouri. For the second time in program history, they posted five scores above 197 in the 2023 slate, replicating the feat first achieved in 2021 under Wieber’s guidance.

Looking ahead to the 2024 season, the Gymbacks have a star-studded roster. Notable returners include Frankie Price, Jensen Scalzo, Leah Smith, Cami Weaver, and Lauren Williams. The team also welcomed beam All-American Sirena Linton as a graduate transfer from Arizona. Additionally, four freshmen – Chandler Buntin, Dakota Essenpries, Hailey Klein, and Priscilla Park – have joined the squad, promising to boost all events.

The excitement for the upcoming season is palpable. Fans will get their first glimpse of the 2024 team at the annual Gymback Preview on Sunday, December 17, at Barnhill Arena. The event is free and welcomes public participation. It lets fans get a sneak peek of the Gymbacks’ preparation and potential before the season officially starts.

With the combination of Wieber’s transformative leadership and the gymnasts’ unique blend of talent, determination, and experience, the Gymbacks are primed for a successful 2024 season. They have consistently shown that they can compete with and challenge the very best in the country, and this year promises to be no different. The stage is set, the athletes are ready, and the Gymbacks are poised to make their mark in the 2024 season. The journey to the top is never easy, but the Gymbacks have proven time and time again that they are more than up for the challenge.

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