FAYETTEVILLE – Three Razorbacks garnered All-SEC honors for their success during the 2020 season, including junior Sophia Carter, sophomore Kennedy Hambrick and redshirt-freshman Bailey Lovett.
Carter and Hambrick were selected to the All-SEC team. It’s the second award for both Gymbacks, with Carter being honored in 2018 and Hambrick in 2019. The duo adds their All-SEC accolades to their already impressive resume, which includes a pair of regular-season All-American honors as well.
“Sophia and Kennedy were incredibly solid competitors and staples for our lineups this season,” said head coach Jordyn Wieber. “They worked hard, day in and day out, and their consistency showed every Friday when they saluted for their team.”
Carter finished the regular season ranked 11th in the country in the Floor Exercise with an NQS of 9.925 and average of 9.907 and ranked sixth among SEC gymnasts. She claimed event titles eight times throughout the 2020 season to bring her career total to 24 (10 on BB, 14 on FX). Carter earned SEC Specialist of the Week after her beam performance against Georgia (Feb. 7), her scored helped Arkansas to a season-best 49.275 in the event and an eventual upset of the Bulldogs. Consistency is a word that goes hand-in-hand with Carter’s skill, as she scored no lower than a 9.875 on the floor all season, with a season-high 9.95 performance against Denver (Jan. 17) and then again at LSU (Feb. 28).
Hambrick finished the 2020 regular season ranked 16th in the country in the All-Around with a team-best NQS of 39.385. She also put together an NQS of 9.900 on the floor, good for 30th overall and an NQS of 9.870 on the uneven bars to finish ranked 42nd in the country. As a sophomore, she claimed 11 event titles, including four-straight all-around titles. Her first all-around title of the season came at Missouri (39.425), where she helped propel Arkansas to its first SEC win since Feb. 2017. During her four-meet win streak (Jan.31-Feb. 21), Hambrick scored a career high of 39.600 in the AA against Georgia (Feb. 7) with three scores of 9.925 or higher, including a career-best 9.950 on the uneven bars.
With Carter and Hambrick both being named to the All-SEC team, it makes the third consecutive season that multiple Razorbacks have been honored. Their awards bring Arkansas’ total to 40 All-SEC honors in program history.
Joining her teammates is redshirt-freshman Bailey Lovett, who was named to the All-SEC Freshman team. Lovett competed on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor in all ten meets, returning to the gym after an injury early in the 2019 season.
“Bailey has overcome so much in order to have the success that she did in the 2020 season,” Wieber said. “Not only did she bounce back from injury to compete three events for us, but she also did so with joy for the sport and incredible amounts of leadership, even as a redshirt freshman.”She earned her first career title against Denver (Jan.17) with a 9.950 on the floor and went on to win a second, floor title at Alabama (Feb. 14), scoring a 9.925 in the event. Her exceptional floor routine against Denver made her the fourth Gymback to score a 9.950 in the event as a freshman.
Lovett was the first Razorback to score a 9.900 on the balance beam in 2020, doing so at Oklahoma (Jan. 20) and again at LSU (Jan. 28). She never scored less than a 9.825 on the floor all season and finished the season in the top 70 by Road the Nationals for her performances on all three events; she ranked 23rd on the floor, 47th on the uneven bars and 70th on the beam.
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Due to the shortening of the season, the All-SEC Team is be comprised of the student-athletes with the top two final NQS scores (including ties) on each event and in the All-Around competition in the projected first session and second session of the SEC Championship. To determine the projected sessions of the SEC Championship, the teams will be seeded by the final NQS team scores published. The projected first session includes Kentucky, Missouri, Auburn and Arkansas. The projected second session includes Florida, LSU, Alabama and Georgia.