Missouri gymnastics finishes third at Metroplex Challenge

The Tigers improved their SEC record to 1-2 with a win over the Razorbacks, despite finishing third overall.
Designed by Corey Hadfield

No. 15 Missouri gymnastics (4-4, 1-2 SEC) took third in the Metroplex Challenge on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas. No. 1 Oklahoma won all four events at the meet, while No. 7 Denver took second overall and No. 21 Arkansas finished fourth overall.

The Tigers opened the night on beam with a score of 49.925. Senior Britney Ward led the team with a 9.875. Junior Mary Nicholson scored a 9.825, while seniors Allison Bower and Brooke Kelly contributed scores of 9.775 and 9.75, respectively. Oklahoma started off with a 49.500 on vault, while Denver had a 48.925 on floor, and Arkansas had a 48.925 on bars.

Missouri scored its second-highest floor routine of the season with a 49.100. In the second rotation, Oklahoma had a 49.400 on bars, Denver had a 49.250 on vault and Arkansas had a 48.400 on beam. Junior Aspen Tucker, Bower and Nicholson all scored 9.85 on floor. Redshirt junior Morgan Porter and sophomore Gabrielle Gottula earned a 9.8 and 9.75.

In the third rotation, the Tigers scored a season-high 49.275 on vault. Tucker posted a 9.9, tying her career-high. Ward and Porter earned season-highs on vault with scores of 9.875 and 9.85. Senior Madeleine Huber and Gottula also scored career-highs, both with 9.825. All three opponents had impressive third rotations. Oklahoma scored a 49.500 on beam, Arkansas earned a 49.250 on floor and Denver finished with a 49.225 on bars.

Missouri rounded out the night with a 49.000 on bars. Huber led the Tigers with a season-high 9.9. Kelly also posted a season-best of 9.8. Porter contributed a 9.85 in the final rotation. To finish the night, Oklahoma went 49.575 on floor, Arkansas went 49.250 on vault and Denver went 48.950 on beam.

“This was an awesome environment and I was looking to see how we would respond,” coach Shannon Welker said. “It's a postseason-type environment and it was a great opportunity for us to see where we are and how we perform in this type of venue. We had a lot of new people in the lineups tonight, some good performances, showed some toughness and kept our composure very well."

The Tigers will be back at the Hearnes Center Friday to take on the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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