Potential Lineups: Arkansas

By Caroline Medley


In part two of our potential lineups analysis of the SEC teams, we take a look at the Razorbacks. Arkansas lost four seniors at the end of the 2016 season, meaning a lot of key routines will need to be replaced. Stephani Canizaro, Sydnie Dillard, Erin Freier and Keara Glover were all part of either the bars or beam lineup (or both), so those will likely become their weak spots. In addition, it’s also now lost three-event star Paige Zaziski to a transfer to Michigan. And the 2015 SEC Co-Freshman of the Year won’t be easy to replace.

The vault lineup shouldn’t be too hard to set up  — none of the now-alumnae were in the vault lineup. So the only routine missing is Zaziski’s. Two incoming freshmen bring full-twisting Yurchenkos to the table with Jessica Yamzon and Sarah Shaffer. Yamzon has competed the full, so she’s more likely to be ready for the lineup by start of season. Shaffer is definitely training it, but from her YouTube channel it looks like she hasn’t competed it yet. As far as upperclassmen, the lineup should stay pretty much the same. Leah MacMoyle, Braie Speed, Sydney McGlone and Samantha Nelson all have Yurchenko fulls, and Amanda Wellick has the Gymbacks’ only 10.0 vault with a Yurchenko 1.5.

The bar lineup is where the Gymbacks will feel the loss of the seniors the most. Going by last season’s lineup, Arkansas only returns two of six routines to the group: Wellick and Speed. This means more gymnasts will have to step up. In 2015, Heather Elswick competed bars, so as a super-senior this year, she may step back up to the plate. Going back even further, MacMoyle,

McGlone and Nelson all had decent bar routines back in their J.O. days, so it’s possible at least one of them may rise to the occasion and add bars to their college repertoire. In addition, incoming freshmen Hailey Garner and Jessica Yamzon both have great bars, so look for them to sneak into lineups as well. Garner’s geinger release would be the only one on the team, and Yamzon’s full-twisting double layout dismount should impress enough to earn a spot.
Beam, too, becomes questionable without Zaziski and the seniors. Arkansas will have to comprise half of their lineup with newcomers. Their best bets are Michaela Burton in addition the aforementioned Garner and Yamzon. Also expect to see 2016 lineup stalwarts Wellick, McGlone and Nelson, but don’t be surprised if now-junior Mia Bargiacchi sneaks into a lineup or two. In her one appearance last season, she scored a 9.8, which Arkansas could definitely use this time around.

On floor, the Gymbacks may have a few more options. Sophomore Makenzie Anderson routinely pulled 9.8s last season, and McGlone, Nelson and Wellick all regularly hit 9.8+ throughout the season as well. MacMoyle made the floor lineup a few times, but after she suffered an injury on the event at Florida, she was forced to sit out the rest of the season. As

far as the incoming freshmen go, Yamzon again looks to contribute with a double pike and electronic music that will make her right at home in an NCAA floor lineup, and Kirby Rathjen may also be able to contribute with her clean twisting form and jazzy dance.
As far as the all-around, there’s a 99.9 percent chance Wellick will continue to do AA in her senior year. But the question then remains will anyone join her, and if so, who? That question largely depends on what happens with the bar lineup. Since there are so many holes there, if MacMoyle, McGlone, or Nelson steps up to do bars for the first time in college, they could very well end up doing AA. Judging by what their bar routines looked like in J.O., McGlone looks like the most likely choice for that role, especially considering her other three apparatus are so strong — she hit at least a 9.85 on vault, beam and floor multiple times last season.

Stay tuned for SEC part three tomorrow when we cover Auburn! To view a breakdown of these potential lineups on each event, visit our potential lineups page.

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