Protocols could affect UA matching

University gymnastics

No. 10 Kentucky at No. 14 Arkansas

WHEN 7 p.m. today

WHERE Barnhill Arena, Fayetteville

RECORDS Kentucky 5-1, 2-1 SEC; Arkansas 2-2, 0-2

SERIES Arkansas leads 24-13

LAST MEETING Kentucky won 196.825-195.6 at the 2021 SEC Championships

Television None

STREAMING SEC Network-Plus

COACHES Tim Garrison (11th season at Kentucky); Jordyn Wieber (third season in Arkansas)

NOTE The Razorbacks will host their annual Empowerment Night, focusing on women’s accomplishments and recognizing the 50th anniversary of Title IX. … The Razorbacks’ first win on Feb. 7, 2003, came against Kentucky. … Arkansas has won 18 of the first 19 meetings with the Wildcats, while Kentucky has won 8 of the last 9. … The Razorbacks’ last win over Kentucky came at the 2019 SEC Championships with a 196.475-196.225 decision in New Orleans.

TEAM RANKINGS

10 Kentucky 196.925; 14. Arkansas 196.544

Jump: 7. Kentucky 49.288, 13. Arkansas 49.113; Uneven Bars: 8. Kentucky 49.319, No. 26 Arkansas 48.9; Balance beam: 9. Arkansas 49.244, 20. Kentucky 49.0; Floor exercise: 9. Kentucky 49.319, 11. Arkansas 49.288.

Allrounders: 6. Raena Worley (UK) 39.681, 23. Kennedy Hambrick (UA) 39.431; 35. Leah Smith (UA) 39.3

Razorbacks in the top 100

Jump: 44. Sarah Shaffer 9.85, 51. Kennedy Hambrick 9.844, 61. Amanda Elswick 9.837

Uneven bars: 56. Maddie Jones 9.85, 76. Leah Smith 9.833

Beam: 10. Hambrick 9.919, 18. Elswick 9.894

Floor Exercise: 38. Bailey Lovett 9.894, 50. Hambrick 9.881, 54. Makenzie Sedlacek 9.875, 85. Smith 9.85, 98. Jones 9.838

FAYETTEVILLE — Covid-19 protocols are back in the news for the University of Arkansas gymnastics team as the No. 14 Razorbacks prepare to host No. 10 Kentucky.

Coach Jordyn Wieber did not specify which gymnasts might be in the protocols as the Razorbacks take on the Wildcats tonight at 7 a.m. at Barnhill Arena.

“Generally we’re going to see lineup changes, first and foremost due to the covid protocols within the program, and with some healthy, returning athletes,” Wieber said during a videoconference Thursday. “There are still question marks and pending things. We won’t finalize the line-ups until tomorrow.”

The Razorbacks, who exit a short week after a win over West Virginia on Sunday, will look to surpass 197 straight meetings for the first time this season while dealing with roster issues that have lurked since the season opener. Arkansas will also be looking to turn a streak in the series with Kentucky, which has won five straight doubleheaders and eight of the last nine meetings with the Razorbacks.

Arkansas rookie Leah Smith is fresh off her first all-around title with a 39.425 against West Virginia, just ahead of senior Kennedy Hambrick (39.375), who scored better than 9.925 on all bars asymmetric, including a school record tying 9.975 on the balance beam.

“[Leah] had very solid consistency, but she can still score higher,” Wieber said. “As soon as she gets back in the gym, she asks, ‘Where were my deductions and where do you think I can improve?’ which is a great quality in athletes. I’m excited to see how she’s improving this week after her first all-around win, because I feel like her feet are still wet.

“Kennedy also had a great week of training. They’re feeling great. We’re trying to balance a short week with a good amount of rest and still doing the things we need to do in the gym.”

The Razorbacks will face national gymnast No. 6 all-around in Kentucky junior Raena Worley, who has an average of 39.681 and scored 39.6 or better in all four meets, including a school record tying 39.75 ago. two weeks.

Kentucky has topped 196.2 in all of its competitions and has scored 197.45 in each of its last two competitions — a double SEC win over Missouri on Jan. 29 and a four-game sweep of Georgia, Utah. Illinois and central Michigan last Friday. The Wildcats have only competed away once, in a 197.65–196.275 loss at Alabama on Jan. 21.

Wieber said super senior Sarah Shaffer would likely add vault and possibly balance beam to her duties tonight after being strategically restricted to uneven bars last week, which she won with a 9.925.

While senior events specialist Abby Johnston is still questionable with an unspecified injury, rookie Kalyxta Gamiao could be healthy enough to make her college debut, possibly on balance beam.


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