ATHENS, Ga. --- The No. 8 Georgia Gym Dogs used a season high score to hand No. 5 Alabama its first loss of the season, 197.500-196.950, on Saturday at Stegeman Coliseum.
Senior Noel Couch competed in her first meet of the season, after missing the first five due to injury. Couch put up 9.875s on both beam and floor to help the Gym Dogs secure the victory over the Crimson Tide.
"It was absolutely a great performance by our team," said head coach Danna Durante. "We talked about how a score of 197 was not unthinkable and they just showed that it wasn't. I think that we got another day better, we just need to keep getting better every week and thats our goal."
Georgia (5-4, 3-0 SEC) beat Alabama for the first time in a dual meet since 2009. Alabama dropped to 3-1, 3-1 SEC after the loss.
Saturday marked the Gym Dogs' annual alumni meet, as more than 50 former Georgia gymnasts were recognized before the start of the meet. Throughout the meet, several prominent figures in Gym Dogs history were honored. Jenni Beathard was named the distinguished alumni of the year, Karin Lichey was recognized for her induction to the Circle of Honor and Doug McAvin was honored for his years of service.
The Gym Dogs surged to an early lead, scoring a season-high 49.475 on vault compared to Alabama's 48.950 on bars. Georgia was led by Brandie Jay, who tallied a career-high 9.95. Lindsey Cheek, 9.925, and Brittany Rogers, 9.9, tied their season high scores.
Chelsea Davis won her sixth bars title this season with a 9.925 and Rogers notched another season-high tying 9.9 to lead Georgia to a 49.275. The Tide put up a 49.375 on vault as the Gym Dogs increased their advantage, 98.750-98.325.
Kaylan Earls recorded a career-high 9.95 on beam to lead the Gym Dogs to a season-high 49.425. Rogers also tallied a career high with a 9.875 and Sarah Persinger set a season high of 9.850. Georgia maintained the lead following the third rotation, 148.175-147.800, with its highest three-rotation score of the year.
Jay notched another career high on floor with a 9.9, and Couch, Earls and Christa Tanella all scored 9.875s as Georgia recorded a 49.325. Alabama put up a 49.150 on beam as the Gym Dogs sealed their win over the Tide.
Next up, the Gym Dogs travel to Lexington, Ky., to take on No. 16 Kentucky on Friday at 7 p.m. Georgia returns home on Feb. 16, to host No. 1 Florida at 4 p.m.