GymDawgs Fight for a 5th Place Finish in SEC Championship

Duluth, Ga. — The ninth-ranked Georgia Gymdogs placed fifth with a 196.000 in the 2015 SEC Championship on Saturday night in front 8,758 fans at the Arena at Gwinnett Center.

No. 5 Alabama claimed the title with a 197.525, followed by No. 3 LSU (197.450), No. 2 Florida (197.400), No. 8 Auburn (196.925), Georgia (196.000), No. 18 Arkansas (195.950), Missouri (195.700) and No. 25 Kentucky (195.025).

“It’s definitely bittersweet,” head coach Danna Durante said. “There were a lot of lessons learned sitting in the stands tonight, but I think they will pay dividends in the next four weeks as well as in the future. It’s back to work. Our focus is that we are not done. We’re going to keep working. We’re going to keep getting better.”

Kiera Brown competes on the floor

Kiera Brown competes on the floor

LSU’s Rheagan Courville and Jessie Jordan shared the all-around title with their scores of 39.525.

Georgia had four gymnasts place on the podium across both sessions. Rachel Schick andBrittany Rogers tied for fourth overall on bars, Mary Beth Box

Junior Mary Beth Box on the floor at the SEC Championship

Junior Mary Beth Box on the floor at the SEC Championship

finished second on beam andGigi Marino tied for sixth on floor.

“I’m proud of our ladies that put up scores that held through the second session,” Durante said. “That’s very exciting for us.”

Georgia (8-10) won the afternoon session in come-from-behind fashion. After three rotations, Georgia trailed then-leading Missouri by nearly three-tenths of a point and Arkansas by .05. But the Gymdogs earned a 9.85 or higher on all five floor routines, including Marino’s team-best 9.9, to clinch the top finish in the first session.

“I thought we finished very strongly on floor. I am very proud of how they finished,” Durante said. “As a staff, that’s what we kept saying. `We’re going to finish strong. We’re going to fight for this.'”

Georgia opened with a 49.125 on vault. Ashlyn Broussard and Brandie Jay

Junior Brandie Jay after a outstanding Bar routine

Junior Brandie Jay after a outstanding Bar routine

led the Gymdogs, each scoring a 9.85. After one rotation, Georgia led the field by .05.

The Gymdogs surged ahead on bars, scoring a 49.375 on the event, their second-highest bars score of the season. Schick and Rogers paced Georgia with a pair of 9.9s, marking a career high for Schick. Jay and Natalie Vaculik turned in back-to-back 9.85s to open and Chelsea Davis posted a 9.875.

On beam, Georgia was forced to count two falls, scoring a 48.150 and dropping from first into third place in the session. Box put a strong finish on the event, however, earning a 9.925 in the final spot.

Morgan Reynolds anchored Georgia’s performance on floor with a 9.85.

Marino scored a 9.9 in the third spot,

GiGi Moreno competes on the floor

GiGi Moreno competes on the floor

and Vivi Babalis and Box followed with two 9.875s. Jay, who had not competed on floor for Georgia in three meets due to an injury, closed with a 9.85, good enough for Georgia to take the top spot in the session and fifth overall.

“I am proud of that effort at the end for sure,” Durante said. “I think we need to continue to build on that and fix the things that didn’t quite work for us well on beam today. We will go back and work on that next week and get excited for regionals.”​

The Gymdogs will return to action in April 4 in one of the six NCAA Regional meets. The regional field will be announced on Monday during the NCAA Gymnastics Selection Show on NCAA.com. The six host schools are Auburn, Cal, Iowa State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Team Results

  1. Alabama – 197.525 (VT- 49.500, UB- 49.275, BB- 49.275, FX- 49.475)
  2. LSU – 197.450 (VT- 49.550, UB- 49.375, BB- 48.975, FX- 49.550)
  3. Florida – 197.400 (VT- 49.625, UB- 49.575, BB- 48.625, FX- 49.575)
  4. Auburn – 196.925 (VT- 49.300, UB- 49.150, BB- 49.400, FX- 49.075)
  5. Georgia – 196.000 (VT- 49.125, UB- 49.375, BB- 48.150, FX- 49.350)
  6. Arkansas – 195.950 (VT- 49.250, UB- 48.825, BB- 48.675, FX- 49.200)
  7. Missouri – 195.700 (VT- 48.850, UB- 49.000, BB- 48.775, FX- 49.075)
  8. Kentucky – 195.025 (VT- 48.875, UB- 48.575, BB- 48.275, FX- 49.300)

Vault

Sarah Persinger – 9.800, Gigi Marino – 9.825, Ashlyn Broussard – 9.850, Chelsea Davis – 9.800,Brittany Rogers – 9.750, Brandie Jay -9.850

Bars

Brandie Jay – 9.850, Natalie Vaculik – 9.850, Rachel Schick – 9.900, Kiera Brown – 9.800,Chelsea Davis – 9.875, Brittany Rogers – 9.900

Beam

Natalie Vaculik – 9.250, Morgan Reynolds – 9.775, Vivi Babalis – 9.125, Brittany Rogers – 9.400, Ashlyn Broussard – 9.800, Mary Beth Box – 9.925

Floor

Morgan Reynolds – 9.850, Kiera Brown – 9.775, Gigi Marino – 9.900, Vivi Babalis – 9.875, Mary Beth Box – 9.875, Brandie Jay – 9.850​

Credit UGA Sports

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