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    SEC Gymnastics Today: January 20

    No. 6 Georgia Defeats No. 20 Auburn, 195.975-195.600

    AUBURN, Ala. - Sixth-ranked Georgia outpaced No. 20 Auburn on three events and beat the Tigers 195.975-195.600 Friday at Auburn Arena.

    The Gym Dogs (2-1, 1-1 SEC) led by .275 entering the final rotation and held off Auburn (2-4, 0-2 SEC) with a 48.975 on beam to seal the win.

    “I thought we fought and did a nice job of staying on the balance beam at the end,” said Georgia head coach Jay Clark. “Overall we were tight and tentative and made some mistakes. This is a good group of kids, and we just let some things affect us tonight. We need to get tougher. Give Auburn credit; this is one of the better teams they’ve had in a long time. It was a big crowd, and we got caught flat-footed a little bit.”

    Kat Ding posted one of only two 9.9s in the meet to win vault, and Chelsea Davis tied for first on beam with a 9.875 in her first career routine.

    Georgia took the lead with a 48.975 on bars in the first rotation behind a 9.85 by Shayla Worley and a pair of 9.825s by Christa Tanella and Gina Nuccio.

    The Gym Dogs stretched their lead to 98.15-97.15 with a 49.175 on vault. Ding scored a 9.9 in the anchor, while Noel Couch, Sarah Persinger and Cat Hires each had a 9.825. Georgia has now posted a 49.0 or higher on vault in 11 straight meets dating back to the Arkansas meet in 2011.

    Auburn cut into the Georgia lead in the third rotation with a 48.875 on beam, while the Gym Dogs turned in a 48.85 on floor. UGA was led by Tanella and Couch, who scored a pair of 9.825s.

    In the final rotation, the Gym Dogs scored a 48.975 on beam behind a 9.875 by Davis in the No. 5 position. Davis had performed an exhibition beam routine in the season opener, but this marked her first appearance in the Gym Dogs’ beam lineup.

    Auburn’s Kylie Sheilds won the all-around with a 39.250.

    Georgia returns home to face LSU Saturday, Jan. 28 at 4 p.m. The meet will serve as Alumni Night, and former Gym Dogs will be honored prior to the meet.

    Record Crowd Sees Record Score in Win Over LSU
    FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – In recognition of the 10-year anniversary of Arkansas’ gymnastics program, the third-ranked Razorbacks put on a show in front of many former Razorbacks and a hugh crowd Friday in Barnhill Arena against No. 25 LSU.
    Arkansas set a school record with a 197.225 in front of a school-record crowd of 5,537, and improved to 6-0 overall and 2-0 in the Southeastern Conference. LSU scored a 196.325.
    As part of the 10-year anniversary, the inaugural team from 2003 was honored along with many returning former Razorbacks from the other teams.
    “It was a great night,” co-head coach René Cook said. “This was the total package. We had energy and history, and the talent of the current team made it magical tonight.”
    Senior All-American Jaime Pisani and sophomore All-American Katherine Grable combined for four 9.95s.

    Pisani tied the school record with a 9.95 on bars and her own record of 9.95 on floor. Grable tied for floor mark with a 9.95 and matched the second-best score with a 9.95 on vault.

    As a team, Arkansas set a school record with a 49.45 on bars, matched the second-best mark with a 49.425 on floor and set the third-best mark with a 49.40 on vault.
    “It was fantastic,” Grable said. “Breaking the record was amazing.”
    “This is what we’ve trained for,” Cook said. “We handled ourselves well. The atmosphere was exciting.”
    In the first rotation, Arkansas posted a 49.40 on vault while LSU had a 49.00 on bars.
    For the Razorbacks, Grable had her 9.95, Pisani a 9.90, Kelci Lewis a career-high 9.875, Jordan Salsberg a 9.85, Amy Borsellino a 9.825 and Scarlett Williams a 9.80.
    For LSU, Sarie Morrison and Lloimincia Hall each had a 9.85 on bars.
    In the second rotation, Arkansas set the school record with a 49.45 on bars while LSU had a 49.50 on vault.
    For the Razorbacks, Pisani tied the school record with a 9.95, senior Mariah Howdeshell matched her career-high and the third-best mark in school history with a 9.925, Grable had a 9.90, Salsberg had a 9.85,  freshman Stephani Canizaro a 9.825 and sophomore Shelby Salmon a 9.80.
    For the Tigers, Ashley Lee and Rheagan Courville each had a 9.95 on vault
    Through two rotations, Arkansas led 98.85-98.50.
    In the third rotation on beam, Arkansas scored a 48.95 while LSU had a 48.80 on floor.
    Arkansas was led by Grable’s 9.925, which matches the fifth-best mark in school history. Salsberg and Pisani had a 9.775, Salmon a 9.75 and Williams a 9.725.
    For LSU, Courville posted a 9.875.
    In the final rotation, Arkansas recorded a 49.425 on floor while the Tigers had a 49.025 on beam.
    Pisani and Grable both matched the school record of 9.95. Borsellino had a 9.875, sophomore Bailee Zumwalde a career-high 9.85, and Salsberg and Lewis a 9.80.
    Jessie Jordan led LSU with a 9.875 on beam.
    Arkansas, which tied for the SEC regular-season championship last year, ran its league winning streak to seven. Arkansas’ six wins this year are over No. 12 LSU, No. 17 Auburn, No. 19 Arizona, No. 23 Kentucky, No. 25 LSU and No. 25 Iowa.

    No. 8 Florida Gymnastics Opens SEC Season with Win at Kentucky

    LEXINGTON, Ky. –The No. 8 Florida gymnastics team (3-0, 1-0 SEC) upped its season-best total to 196.275 Friday to open its 2012 Southeastern Conference season with the win at Kentucky (2-3, 0-2 SEC) in front of a Memorial Coliseum crowd of 1,697. The Wildcats posted a total of 194.075.

    Freshman Kytra Hunter claimed at least a share of four event titles Friday, including collecting her third consecutive all-around crown with a collegiate-best 39.475. The all-around win streak makes her the first Gator since Ashanée Dickerson in 2010 to open their premiere collegiate season with wins in the first three meets.

    A late addition to the all-around, Hunter stepped into the floor exercise lineup after the three-minute touch warm-up when fellow freshman Rachel Spicer was held out of the event due to a sore calf.

    “We weren’t going to put Kytra in on floor. But one of her teammates was a little sore so Kytra said she could go and just did an awesome job. I’m just really proud of her,” UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said. “She’s very strong mentally as a competitor and she has a lot of experience behind her. She was able to utilize her past experiences to stay focused and aggressive tonight. I think she’s getting more comfortable out there on the competition floor and it showed tonight.”

    Hunter showed that she’s getting more comfortable in the collegiate arena right from the Gators’ first event. She was one of two Gators to post marks of 9.875 to share the meet’s uneven bars title. The bars win was the first for Hunter and first for junior All-American Marissa King since 2010, as she was out of most of UF’s bar lineups last year due to a torn pectoral muscle which limited her preseason training. Sophomore All-American Alaina Johnson completed the Gator sweep with her bar mark of 9.85.

    Florida opened up the meet with a 49.175 bar set – just a fraction off the season-best set last weekend.

    The Gators’ season-best vault total went to 49.275 Friday as Florida’s final two posted marks of 9.9 or better. Hunter used Florida’s season-best of 9.925 to claim her first vault win as a Gator and Dickerson matched her season-best of 9.90 set a week ago to take second. Senior Nicole Ellis finished the Florida sweep of the event with her third consecutive vault score of 9.85.

    Florida’s King and Dickerson shared the evening’s floor exercise win with identical marks of 9.85. Hunter took third at 9.825 as the Gators turned in a floor total of 49.00.

    The Gators completed their sweep of the top three spots on each apparatus with their performance on the balance beam. Florida went six-for-six on their final event, led by Hunter’s collegiate-best 9.85. Johnson was runner-up at 9.775 while junior Randy Stageberg and Spicer shared third at 9.75. On the event, the Gators tallied a 48.825.

    For the second time this season, Florida took the top three spots in the all-around. Dickerson and King shared second at 39.125. That same duo also tied for second in the all-around at the Jan. 6 season opener at North Carolina State.

    Faehn liked the mindset the Gators showed Friday. Scoring seemed low at times, but the team stayed focused on the things they could control – their performance and execution.

    “I was thrilled. I think they did a really great job right from the start on bars. They were aggressive and we were able to capitalize on so many stuck landings. We carried that momentum over to vault and all the way through. I thought we finished especially strong on beam,” Faehn said. “I was pleased with how they stayed aggressive and didn’t let anything affect their mind set. There were some really nice improvements from the last two competitions.”

    Florida now returns home to play host to a quad meet on Jan. 27. The meet features No. 3 Arkansas, No. 23 Maryland and Bridgeport. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.