LIVE BLOG: No. 13 Arkansas at No. 4 Florida

It’s your other favorite Florida-based editor’s turn to be inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center tonight. The last time we were here, Florida was in the national limelight with an ABC broadcast in a meet that delivered three 10.000 performances. Tonight’s Link to Pink meet should be just as exciting as the Arkansas Razorbacks come to town after an unexpected week off.  

With most of the Razorback freshmen out with COVID the first week and the entire team being unable to compete last week, we still haven’t seen the full picture of what Arkansas can do. However, their most recent team score of 197.200 is higher than Florida’s last two totals. It was also a top ten total in history for Arkansas, so the team is hot coming into Gainesville tonight. Can they upset Florida for only the third time in program history?

Speaking of the Gators, they will be reeling from the unfortunate news of two Achilles injuries which will sideline sophomore Ellie Lazzari and senior Halley Taylor for the remainder of the season. While Lazzari hadn’t been a major factor this season, Taylor’s loss will force the Gators to find a new addition to the floor lineup, which nosedived last week after two strong performances to start the season. There are plenty of options, so we’ll see how Rowland shuffles things tonight. 

Lineups are out. Florida’s will be the same as last week except for floor, where Chloi Clark and Leanne Wong will be in this week. As for Arkansas, Sarah Shaffer is back on vault.

Stats for the evening here.

Rotation 1: Florida vault, Arkansas bars

Edwards (UF): Well this is a sub in. Chest pretty low on her full. 9.750

Scalzo (Ark): Floaty Jaeger to bail. Last handstand short into DLO, pikes second flip and it’s a little squatty. 9.775

Skaggs (UF): Lovely full, not the biggest but stuck. That happening while “Thot Sh*t was playing in the arena was very 💅✨ 9.875

Gianfagna (Ark): Tkatchev to bail good, short last handstand, full-in chest a little down and a tiny step. 9.625

Schoenherr (UF): Legs in the air were a little wonky but it’s another stick and she held it for a minute! 9.950!

Smith (Ark): Pretty Maloney, nice lines overall, pikeyyyy DLO tiniest shuffle back. 9.800

Reed (UF): Looked like the 1.5 would be stuck but she takes a hop forward. 9.900

Hambrick (Ark): Big piked Jaeger, short last handstand, giant full-in small hop. Good one. 9.850

Wong (UF): Pod vault, tiny movement back. 9.850

Shaffer (Ark): Pretty form on the Maloney, bail, arches over on the final handstand but saves it, good distance on DLO hop forward. The arena gasped for that one. 9.725

Thomas (UF): Ooooop stuck 1.5. Wait it’s cute how she high fived the student section. 9.975, 10 would have been valid.

O’Hara (Ark): Was watching Trin but looks like she peeled off right away. Jaeger good, bail, little hop on DLO. 9.025

After 1: Florida 49.550, Arkansas 48.775

Florida had some nice sticks, but I’m wondering what happened with Edwards vaulting once again. Arkansas struggled on bars after a huge total last week; we’ll see if O’Hara can bounce back on her other event.

Rotation 2: Florida UB, Arkansas VT

Pennese (Ark): Full, slightly piked down, small hop back. 9.775

Blakely (UF): Beginning looked solid, double back small shuffle back. 9.850

Smith (Ark): 9.775

Skaggs (UF): Gorgeous Tkatchev to Pak, hitting the handstands, stuck DLO. 9.900.

Shaffer (Ark): Yhalf good in the air, tiny hop forward. 9.850

McCusker (UF): Wild seeing this routine in person. Maloney, beautiful Pak, obvi the handstands ar there, Van Leeuwen, let’s see this dismount now….it’s a double front and she sticks. Smart choice. :’) 9.925

Elswick (Ark): 9.700

Schoenherr (UF): Huge air on the Jaeger, bail looked good, love her lines, double front half out stuck! 9.975

Sedlacek (Ark): Good full, small step back. 9.775

Thomas (UF): Maloney to Pak the usual. Van Leeuwen, perf last handstand, winds up for a stuuuuck? DLO, nope, tiny shuffle. After a 9.975… It’s a 9.950

Hambrick (Ark): Some legs on her 1.5, crosses one leg back on the landing but a good ending to the rotation. 9.850

Wong (UF): Floaty Maloney to Pak, amazing handstand into the Van Leeuwen, stuck DLO. Wow this arena gets wild with the sticks. And it just got even wilder for her 10.000. Sheesh!

After 2: Florida 99.275, Arkansas 97.800

Rebecca said it for me. VERY nice bars for UF today. Arkansas is missing the “oomph” a little, with vault landings not egregiously bad but lacking the spark of last week. But the Razorbacks’ best event is next.

Rotation 3: Florida BB, Arkansas FX

Skaggs (UF): wolf turn no hesitation, switch to split leap, BHS LOSO looked scary at the end but only a small check. Front aerial good, full stuck. 9.875

Hickey (Ark): Kyla Ross is casually on filming duty. Double pike small slide back. Skaggs (UF): wolf turn no hesitation, switch to split leap, BHS LOSO looked scary at the end but only a small check. Front aerial good, full stuck. Big straddle leaps, back 1.5 to front lay, Mario coin sound effect LOL, double tuck another small slide back. Nice leadoff. 9.775

Blakely (UF): Pretty leaps, side somi with some hesitation, back full dismount small shuffle back. 9.875

Shaffer (Ark): Double pike her usual, back 1.5 to front lay, double back kinda wonky and she has to wave her arms to avoid stumbling back. 9.675

Baumann (UF): BHS LOSO no hesitation, switch leap to split, front aerial to beat, no issues thus far, side aerial, chest down on the dismount and has to circle her arms but she does hold the stick. 9.925

Hambrick (Ark): Double tuck nice chest position, nice second pass, switch to straddle beautiful positions, pretty double pike to end. 9.850

Wong (UF): switch to split nice form, BHS LOSO no hesitation, front aerial, side somi tiny tiny check, stuck double full dismoun. Another amazing one. Gravity by John Mayer beam music is giving angsty beyond her years, love that too. 9.925

Sedlacek (Ark): Full-in chest slightly low but strong. Come on E-pass! Back 1.5 to front lay. Not as flexible in her leaps, double tuck great landing. 9.850 nice.

Thomas (UF): Switch to split, good BHS LOSO. Front aerial to beat to swingdown, no issues. Stuck full dismount. Let’s see. 10.000 omg.

Smith (Ark): piked full in, slightly low landing but feet didn’t move. Double tuck in the midst of the cheers for Trinity’s 10.000, a bit off but fine landing. Leaps a little short. Not the highest double pike. But I really like that routine. 9.825

Clapper (UF): Triple series, leaps aren’t quite 180, stuck full. 9.975.

Lovett (Ark): Good DLO, HUGE double tuck, this is a joyful routine, 9.900

After 3: Florida 148.975, Arkansas 147.000

Arkansas got some mojo back on floor with its first 9.9+ score of the evening from Lovett. Meanwhile, for the Gators, 49.700 matches its program record.

A 10.000 from Trinity on floor would tie the school record (hers) of 39.900.

Rotation 4: Florida FX, Arkansas BB

Gianfagna (Ark): Slight hesitation on BHS LOSO, front toss to beat. 1.5 tiny step forward, good leadoff. 9.800

Skaggs (UF): Solid double wolf, Rudi to stag, tour jete half to split full good positions, oh wow the Gator chomp clapping in the crowd woke me up a little, back 1.5 to front lay. 9.750

Florida’s program record is a 198.450, for reference. That is also a top 10 score in NCAA history.

Lovett (Ark): Aerial to BHS, switch to split to beat beautiful, sticks the full dismount. 9.925, good night for her.

Blakely (UF): Looked like a stuck double arabian. switch ring to switch half pretty, double tuck a little cowboyed but good landing. 9.875

Smith (Ark): switch to straddle, big. Little check on her series. Stuck the full dismount. She has such a bright future for the Razorbacks. 9.900! They’re starting to come alive in the end here.

Baumann (UF): Back 1.5 to front lay, this is giving warrior princess, switch half to popa her usual pretty, big double pike. 9.750…Florida now counting that mark.

Sedlacek (Ark): Side somi small check, back 1.5 dismount small step. 9.750

Wong (UF): PRETTY triple full and second pass, double pike chest up to end. Slow music but it works for her. 9.850. 39.625 AA total, which surpasses her first mark of 39.300. A 10 in there will help.

Hambrick (Ark): BHS LOSO, switch to switch half no hesitation, stuck full dismount. She was a bright spot tonight. 9.925

Clark (UF): Back 1.5 to front full, double tuck good chest position. 9.750

Elswick (Ark): Front aerial perfect, sticks 1.5 to end. Arkansas turned it around on this event, that will be the highest total of the night.

Reed (UF): It’s the Itty Bitty Piggy floor music for me. BIG DLO, same with the Rudi. Swtich half to wolf full, double pike few issues. Will be big. She was truly on the plane with Dwayne. 9.950

That was exactly what Florida needed to clock in a 198.150, the best score in the country thus far.

FINAL: Florida 198.150, Arkansas 196.475

Event Winners

VT: Thomas 9.975

UB: Wong 10.000

BB: Thomas 10.000

FX: Reed 9.950

AA: Wong 39.650

Live blog by Katherine Weaver

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