A sticky note with 197.5 written in block numbers mounts on the mirror in the Georgia gymnastics practice gym. Rachel Dickson stuck it up, not thinking much of it, but it has become a score that some of the ladies strive for.
On Fri., Feb. 22, No. 7 Georgia upset No. 3 Florida on the road, 197.450-197.375. This was the first time the GymDogs beat the Gators since 2008.
“It was this big emotional excitement for the team for several reasons,” Georgia head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said.
One of these reasons was that the team’s only senior, Sydney Snead, was finally able to defeat the Gators.
“[Snead] had never beaten Florida before – she’s a senior, so that’s something with Georgia Florida rivalry,” Kupets Carter said.
Snead and the team knew the score was close going into beam, but Snead said that the Thursday before the event they practiced beam completely silent. This preparation was a large part of the Bulldogs’ success on Friday.
“No talking, no cheering – I think to have that mindset and that mental strength was huge for us going into it as the last event…To be able to win I don’t even have words to describe it because it was so exciting,” Snead said.
The Bulldogs will travel to Baton Rouge Friday. No. 4 LSU will be another challenge for Georgia, but the ladies have the momentum coming out of their meet against Florida. Snead said competing in the Maravich Center in Louisiana will be similar to Stegeman — LSU has a large fanbase and it is a big rivalry for Georgia.
“The goal for us is 197.5, obviously,” Snead said. “I think if we go in and do exactly what we did at Florida, if we have that same mindset and that same confidence, we’re going to do just as well.”
Kupets Carter believes that the team is capable of exceeding the number on that sticky note. She said they are becoming more comfortable and peaking at the right time in the season.
“I haven’t put it down on paper, but when I’m always looking at our team and what we can do and where’s our best it’s between a 197.7 and a 197.85,” Kupets Carter said. “That’s where I see us really doing our full out gymnastics.”
The meet will air on ESPN2 and is also available to stream at http://www.gado.gs/1mn.
Stay tuned on Bulldawg Illustrated for more Georgia gymnastics coverage as the 2019 season nears the postseason. The team is also on Twitter (@UGAGymnastics), Instagram (ugagymnastics) and Facebook (Georgia Gymnastics).