Gymdogs Closeout Regular Season with Utah Tomorrow in Athens

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Gymdogs Closeout Regular Season with Utah Tomorrow in Athens

Brandie Jay prior to a NCAA gymnastics meet between the University of Georgia Bulldogs and SEC rival Alabama Crimson Tide at Stegeman Coliseum on Friday, Feb. 20, 2015 in Athens, Ga.
(Photo by John Kelley)
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Tenth-ranked Georgia will compete for the final time in the regular season when it welcomes undefeated and fourth-ranked Utah to Stegeman Coliseum Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. The Gymdogs are coming off a 196.775-196.650 win over Arkansas last week, while Utah beat Michigan 198.250-197.675 in front of an NCAA gymnastics record crowd of 16,019 in Salt Lake City. Four Gymdogs – Chelsea Davis, Whitney Kirby, Demetria Hunte and Sarah Persinger – will be honored at the conclusion of the meet as part of the Senior Day recognition.

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The meet will air live on the SECN+ digital platform, which is available at and the WatchESPN app.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Georgia-Utah History
[su_spacer size=”20″] This marks the 50th all-time meeting between Georgia and Utah with the Gymdogs holding a 25-23-1 advantage. This is only the 13th dual meet between the two schools, and the Utes have a 7-5 edge.

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Utah won last year in Salt Lake City, 198.025-197.600. The Gymdogs defeated Utah on Senior Day two years ago in Athens, 197.650-196.975 for the first win in the series since 2009.

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No two teams have combined for more NCAA titles than Georgia and Utah. The Gymdogs have won 10 NCAA titles, while Utah has won nine.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Last Time Out
[su_spacer size=”20″] Georgia trailed Arkansas by .325 going to the final rotation last week, but the Gymdogs stormed back with a season-high 49.550 on floor to win a thriller 196.775-196.650. Gigi Marino gave Georgia the lead with a 9.95 on floor, then Arkansas tied the meet with a 9.9 on its last beam routine. Mary Beth Box needed a 9.85 to give Georgia the lead, and she registered a career-high 9.95.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Noteworthy
[su_spacer size=”20″] » Georgia’s comeback win over Arkansas last week was made possible by a 49.550 on floor exercise, far and away the Gymdogs’ best score on that event this season. It matched the best floor score by UGA since the UCLA meet in 2010, and it was without usual floor anchor Brandie Jay, who was injured during premeet warmups.

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» Brittany Rogers had her best meet of the season last week against Arkansas. She won the outright bars and beam titles with a 9.95 and 9.925, respectively, and she was second on vault with a 9.9.

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» Vivi Babalis also turned in her best performance this season with season-high 9.875s on beam and floor.

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» Eight different Gymdogs have taken top honors on an event this season. Ashlyn Broussard leads the team with six event titles – four on vault and two on beam. Mary Beth Box has five, while Brandie Jay, Brittany Rogers and Chelsea Davis have four. Kiera Brown has two, and Rachel Schick and Gigi Marino have placed first on an event once this season.

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» With the meet against No. 4 Utah on Saturday, Georgia will have competed against six of the current top seven teams in the country: No. 2 Florida, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Utah, No. 5 Alabama, No. 6 Michigan and No. 7 Auburn.

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Georgia remained at No. 10 this week. The Gymdogs are No. 9 on vault, eighth on bars, 12th on beam and 16th on floor. Individualy, four Gymdogs are ranked in the top-25: Brandie Jay on vault, Brittany Rogers and Chelsea Davis on bars and Mary Beth Box on beam.
[su_spacer size=”40″] Up Next
The Gymdogs will compete in the first session of the SEC Championship March 21 in Duluth, Ga., at 2 p.m. against Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri.

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Greg is closing in on 11 years writing about and photographing UGA sports. While often wrong and/or out of focus, it has been a long, strange trip full of fun and new friends.