No. 6 Georgia Gymnastics Ties No. 18 Kentucky
LEXINGTON, Ky.-----The sixth-ranked Georgia gymnastics team had to count a fall in the final rotation, and No. 18 Kentucky rallied to tie the Gym Dogs, 195.825-195.825 Friday at Memorial Coliseum.
The Wildcats (4-3-1, 2-2-1 SEC) inquired on their final routine of the night, and the floor score was changed from a 9.8 to a 9.825, resulting in a tie. The Gym Dogs (5-4-1, 3-0-1 SEC) scored a 98.575 at the halfway points and led by .825 entering the final rotation.
"We wanted to come in and keep that momentum going from last week," said UGA coach Danna Durante. "We did that for the first two rotations, but we didn't do that on beam and floor. We did have some bright spots. Kaylan Earls finished strong on beam, and it was good to get a lot of different people in the lineup tonight. We wanted to perform better, but we'll go back to work this week."
Brittany Rogers competed in the all-around for the first time and tied for first on vault and bars with a 9.925 and 9.9, respectively. Georgia posted the highest score on vault, bars and beam.
The Gym Dogs opened the meet with a 49.3 on bars. Rogers had a 9.9 for the third straight meet, and Chelsea Davis equaled that mark with a 9.9 in the anchor. For Davis, it was her fifth score of 9.9 or higher on bars. Kentucky posted a 49.0 on vault, and UGA led by three tenths after one rotation.
Georgia then headed to vault, and turned in a 49.275. Rogers and fellow freshman Brandie Jay led the team with a 9.925, while Lindsey Cheek added a 9.9. At the halfway point, UGA held a 98.575-97.950 lead.
Georgia extended its lead by two tenths with a 48.95 on floor in the third rotation. Christa Tanella had a team-best 9.875 in the No. 2 spot. Mary Beth Box performed an exhibition routine, and scored a 9.775.
On beam, Earls led the team with a 9.875 following two falls earlier in the lineup. Kentucky posted a 49.125 on floor to pull even with the Gym Dogs.
No. 1 Florida Gymnastics Post Nation’s Top Total to Defeat Defending NCAA Champion Alabama
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The nation’s top total of 2013 gave the No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (5-1, 4-1 SEC) the win over defending NCAA champion and No. 5 Alabama (3-2, 3-2 SEC) Friday in front a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 8,074. Florida’s total of 198.10 is the second-highest in school history and gives the Gators three of the nation’s top four team scores posted this season. The Tide turned in their second-highest total of the season of 196.85.
Tonight’s meet will air tape-delayed on SUN Sports (Gainesville/Ocala Cox cable 48 or 1048) Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.
Florida freshman Bridget Sloan, the reigning Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week, claimed her second consecutive all-around win with a collegiate-best of 39.675. Her total just edged senior All-American teammate Ashanée Dickerson, who turned in a season-best of 39.65. It was the second consecutive Friday the pair turned in matching or nearly matching all-around totals, as they shared the win at Arkansas on Feb. 1 with totals of 39.55.
The Gators were solid Friday, posting team totals of 49.40 or better for each of the four events. And the Gators were again without All-American Alaina Johnson as she continues to rest her back and defending NCAA all-around champion Kytra Hunter’s performance tonight showed her limited training time due to illness and injury. Hunter had her first misses of the season on uneven bars and balance beam Friday. UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn liked that the team responded to the pressure of hitting routines after the misses.
“It was incredible. It was exactly what we were looking for in our athletes – how to respond in high-pressure situations. They fought for every little thing and that was really impressive even though we missed landings here and there. Everyone competed with fire and it really showed,” Faehn said. “The performance factor stepped up another level and that was really nice to see.”
Junior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto picked up both the uneven bars and balance beam event titles, posting a 9.95 on bars and a 9.925 on beam. She now owns three titles in each event in 2013 and it was the first time she took both titles in a single meet this season.
Dickerson upped her collegiate best to 9.975 to claim her second floor exercise win of the season and the 18th of her career. She is the seventh Gator to earn the near-perfect mark on floor exercise.
Every tumbling pass for Dickerson was spot on Friday and her routine brought the O’Connell Center fans to their feet. The ninth-largest crowd in UF history fueled Dickerson’s performance Friday.
“It was amazing; just to go out there and have fun. I just fed off my teammates and the crowd. [Bridget] Sloan had an amazing routine before I went and I fed off of that,” Dickerson said. “I knew that we were just going to keep on going up from there.”
Faehn thought it was Dickerson’s top performance among her many stellar floor routines.
“That was the best routine of Ashanée’s four years here,” Faehn said. “It really was.”
The 49.65 put up by the Gators on floor Friday equals the school record for the fourth time.
Despite the big score, the floor potential was held back as the coaching staff asked senior Randy Stageberg to open with a double tuck instead of a full-in as sophomore Kiersten Wang was set to open her floor routine with a double layout for the first time.
“It came together a little bit tonight. It was better tonight,” Faehn said. “We watered Randy’s first pass down because we were having Kiersten (Wang) try a more difficult first tumbling pass and with that we didn’t want to have two risks. So it was nice to be able to see Randy humbly take the hit knowing that she wasn’t going to be doing what she normally would and still do an amazing routine.
Floor is an event Faehn has been pointing to as one that is still a work in progress. And despite tonight’s performance, she knows there still is some tweaking to do.
“It was a really great overall floor performance,” Faehn said. “It’s probably not 100 percent what we will do in the end.”
Alabama’s Marissa Gutierrez claimed Friday’s vault title with her mark of 9.95.
NO. 8 LSU EARNS SEASON-HIGH 197.275 IN WIN AT MISSOURI
COLUMBIA, Mo. – Lloimincia Hall scored a perfect 10.0 on floor and Rheagan Courville recorded four individual titles as the No. 8 LSU gymnastics team cruised to a 197.275-194.575 victory at Missouri Friday night in the Hearnes Center.
For LSU (7-2, 3-1 SEC), the 197.275 marks a season-high, besting the 197.100 the Tigers earned at the Metroplex Challenge on Jan. 26.
Hall’s 10.0 on floor is the first perfect score of her career, and it is the first 10 for LSU since March 7, 2009 when Ashleigh Clare-Kearney did it on vault against North Carolina State in the Maravich Center. Hall’s 10.0 is the first in a road meet for LSU since Clare-Kearney did it on vault at the Super Six Challenge at Arkansas on Jan. 5, 2007.
Courville won the vault title with a career-high tying 9.95, and she tied for the bars and beam titles with a 9.85 and 9.90, respectively. Courville posted a career-best 39.600 to capture the all-around crown, her fourth all-around victory of the season.
Kaleigh Dickson and Sarie Morrison also shared the bars title with 9.85’s, and Jessie Jordan shared the beam title with Courville as she tallied a career-high 9.90 in the anchor spot. Hall won floor with the 10.0.
LSU’s 197.275 stands as the 13th-best team total in school history, and it is the highest score for the Tigers since a 197.400 on Feb. 20, 2009. It also marks LSU’s highest road score since a 197.850 at Oklahoma on March 11, 2005.
“We did what we have been practicing all week in the gym,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “The kids responded well tonight, especially with some new faces in the lineup. We were able to rest some kids in events, and that is always important to have fresher legs when you get to the postseason.
“It was a fantastic team performance tonight, and we can’t wait to get back in the Maravich Center and compete in front of our fabulous fans next week.”
LSU opened the meet with a 49.100 on bars which is the third-best total in that event for the Tigers this season. Although Jordan opened the meet with a 9.125, LSU rallied to post three 9.85’s and two 9.775’s in the event, and Jordan would go on to have a successful meet with a 9.875 on vault, 9.85 on floor and 9.90 on beam.
Courville, Dickson and Morrison all posted a 9.85 on bars while Britney Ranzy and Randii Wyrick added solid 9.775’s to give the Tigers a 49.100. For Ranzy, it was her first appearance in the bars lineup this season.
LSU carried the momentum to vault where the Tigers scored a 49.400, the second-highest team total in the event this season. LSU, which is ranked No. 2 nationally in the event, showed its depth in the event as two top-15 nationally ranked vaulters – Randi Lau and Sarie Morrison – sat out the event, and the Tigers still came through with a 49.400.
Dickson led off vault with a 9.825, and Jordan and Wyrick followed with 9.875’s. The vault was the first of the season for Jordan, and the 9.875 was a season high for Wyrick. Jessica Savona tallied a 9.85, and Ranzy also earned a 9.85 in her first vault of the year. Courville anchored the event with a season-high 9.95.
LSU continued to execute at a high level as the Tigers recorded a 49.500 on floor, the second-best team floor score this season, highlighted by Hall’s perfect 10.0 in the anchor spot. Jordan and Dickson led off the lineup with matching 9.85’s, and Savona followed with a 9.90, her third score of 9.90 or higher on floor this season. Wyrick tallied a 9.75, and Courville scored a 9.90 to set up Hall for her flawless performance.
The Tigers racked up a season-best 49.275 on beam to close out the meet with a flourish. Ericka Garcia equaled her career high with a 9.85 in the leadoff spot, and Dickson followed with a 9.825. After Ranzy fell off the beam to score a 9.10, the final three competitors rallied to give LSU the season-high total in the event. Hall recorded a solid 9.80 while Courville and Jordan each posted a 9.90 to wrap up the meet for the Tigers. The 9.90 marked a new career high for Jordan.
In all, six Tigers combined to establish nine new season highs in the meet as LSU picked up back-to-back SEC road wins. In addition to Courville’s career high in the all-around, Dickson tallied a new career best for the second time in three meets, earning a 39.350 to place second in the meet.
Missouri fell to 1-6 overall and 0-4 against SEC competition, but Rachel Updike tied for the beam title with a 9.90 to lead the Tigers from Mizzou.
Auburn Wins Three Event Titles and Defeat No. 19 Arkansas
AUBURN – No. 15 Auburn gymnastics team won three event titles and posted its highest home score of the season defeating No. 19 Arkansas 196.325-195.650 on Friday in Auburn Arena.
“We are developing depth and still maintaining a 23-for-24 night,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “That’s big for this team. We had to rotate some people because of some dings. Everyone is doing their job and it is going to payoff in the end. It was nice to go 23-for-24 and get a big score.”
Earning event titles for the Tigers were Caitlin Atkinson on vault with a career-best 9.925, Megan Walker won the balance beam title by equaling her career-high score of 9.875 and Bri Guy brought down the house with a 9.9 on floor.
Auburn opened the meet with its highest event score of the season, posting a 49.300 on vault. Atkinson anchored on vault and posted her second-consecutive career high of the season with a 9.925. Toi Garcia and Guy added season-high scores of 9.875, while Brittany Webster earned a career high 9.825. Kait Kluz and Petrina Yokay each posted scores of 9.800, a career high mark for Kluz.
Arkansas trailed the Tigers by almost three-tenths through the first rotation with a 49.050 on bars.
Arkansas made up some ground on vault with a 49.200 behind a 9.925 from Katherine Grable and a 9.900 from Heather Elswick. Auburn scored 48.850 on uneven bars behind a 9.825 from Walker and twin scores of 9.800 from Abbey Habicht and Guy. Through two rotations, Arkansas led by one tenth.
Auburn evened the overall score in the third rotation with a 49.075 on balance beam. Leading the way with career highs were Walker (9.875) and Caryn Kadous (9.850). Arkansas earned a 48.975 on floor, despite a fall from Grable who was leading the SEC in floor average. Going into the final event, the score was tied at 147.225.
In the final rotation the Tigers posted their second-highest score of the season on floor with a 49.100 to earn the victory after Arkansas was forced to count a fall on beam. Guy anchored floor for Auburn with a 9.900, tying her season high, while Atkinson tied her career high with a 9.875.
Despite a fall on beam, Guy was able to pull out her first all-around win of the season with a 38.875, while Atkinson finished in second with a 38.850.
The score was the third-straight total higher than 196.000 for Auburn. It marked the first time the Tigers have posted three-straight scores of 196.000 or higher since recording four in a row from February 13-March 6, 2009.