After losing three All-Americans, two national champions and 10 routines from the 2016 Super Six squad, the Gymdogs entered 2017 with questions that needed to be answered. They responded with five All-America honors from four gymnasts, the first such recognition for all four, as well as two All-SEC nods. Rachel Schick, Gigi Marino, Sydney Snead and Rachel Dickson were all tabbed as All-Americans, with Dickson earning both regular season and NCAA Championships honors.
At the SEC Championship in Jacksonville, Georgia finished fourth after returning to the evening session for the first time since 2014. Senior Lauren Johnson joined Snead, a sophomore, in earning All-SEC honors on bars with a pair of 9.9s.
A Different Feel
After 2016, Georgia lost its statistical leader on all four events, 10 out of 24 routines and the only three All-Americans on its roster.
Looking forward to 2018, the Gymdogs return their leader on all four events and for all-around as well as three All-Americans and at least one All-SEC honoree in Snead. While Georgia stands to lose 10 routines once again, the team will take confidence in having significantly more competition experience entering 2018 than it did this past season.
Attendance Remains Strong
The Georgia gymnastics program has been fortunate to be among the nation’s best in home attendance year-in and year-out. In 2017, Georgia fans hit the turnstiles at the fourth-best rate in the country – an average of 9,453 fans per home meet, an increase of roughly 200 per meet from 2016.
That number is perhaps more impressive when compared to all NCAA women’s sports, not restricted to gymnastics. When factoring in all division one teams, according to ESPN, Georgia’s gymnastics attendance ranks fifth-best among all of the NCAA’s women’s teams.
Dickson Makes History
When Sydney Snead was pulled from the meet against Missouri due to a back condition, freshman Rachel Dickson found a place in all four lineups. She responded by setting career highs on all four events en route to a 39.525 all-around score in her first-ever all-around performance. She became the first Georgia freshman since Brittany Rogers in 2013 to compete all-around.
At the end of the regular season, Dickson was named a NACGC/W All-American for all-around after finishing ranked 13th nationally. With the recognition, she became the first Georgia freshman since Courtney Kupets and Tiffany Tolnay in 2006 to earn all-around All-America honors in her first year of competition.
Marino Finds Her Groove
Gigi Marino entered 2017 after posting a top-10 all-time season on floor for UGA by total points in 2016. The Scottsdale, Arizona native and NACGC/W Second Team All-America honoree took her game to a new level this past season, becoming the first Gymdog since Kupets in 2009 to post four consecutive 9.95s in any event when she closed out the regular season with four 9.95s on floor.
Over the course of the season, Marino totaled six scores of 9.9 or better, five 9.95s in the event.
Raleigh native Sydney Snead competed in three events as a freshman, but she entered her sophomore campaign as an all-arounder after adding beam to her repertoire. Snead competed in all four events in the first four meets of the season until a back condition forced her off beam for the remainder of the campaign.
Snead ended up as Georgia’s RQS leader on vault, earning All-America honors with a ninth-place finish in the regular season. Additionally, her 9.89 average on bars led the team to make her Georgia’s top competitor on two events.
Gettin’ Schicky With It
After earning the team’s Most Improved Award in 2016, senior Rachel Schick hit new heights in her final campaign. Schick, who earned SEC Event Specialist of the Week on Jan. 17, posted RQS of 9.88 on bars and 9.86 on beam, both career bests. Her conference recognition came after a two-meet weekend in which she set three career highs and won three event titles in four routines.
At the NCAA Semifinals, Schick capped off her career by earning her first All-America honor with her performance in her final routine, a 9.9 on bars. As Georgia’s final competitor at nationals, Schick’s 9.9 earned her Second Team recognition.
CLICK HERE for the complete stats for the 2017 Gymdogs.