The eighth-ranked Gymdogs (8-8, 7-3) put together a complete performance in session one of the SEC Championship, winning the afternoon competition with a score of 196.850 on Saturday in North Little Rock’s Verizon Arena.
Georgia bested No. 13 Arkansas’ 196.500, No. 22 Kentucky’s 196.200 and No. 20 Missouri’s 195.750 to claim the best score in the early session.
The four remaining SEC schools – No. 2 Florida, No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Alabama and No. 6 Auburn – will compete in the evening session, starting at 6 p.m. ET.
“We asked the team to really start strong on vault and they did that,” said Georgia head coach Danna Durante. “We did well on bars and beam, and we finished strong on floor. Overall, I’m really proud of this team continuing to build at the right time. The fight they continue to show I think is tremendous.”
Georgia took home three event titles for the afternoon session, with Brandie Jay’s 9.95 on vault, a strong 9.9 on bars from Rachel Schick and Mary Beth Box’s 9.925 for her floor routine. Jay also led the all-around competitors with a 39.575, her highest all-around score since posting a 39.6 against Auburn at Stegeman Coliseum. It was her highest score of the year outside of Athens.
The Gymdogs got off to a hot start, claiming a lead of .15 over Kentucky, the next-closest team after one rotation. Georgia was Jay, who posted a 9.95 to close out the rotation.
The lead grew after two as UGA put together a strong 49.2 as a team on the bars. The Gymdogs were paced by Schick in the second rotation, who claimed a 9.9. Jay followed closely behind with a 9.875 of her own in the event.
Georgia’s cushion shrunk after the third rotation as the Razorbacks made up some ground with a strong performance on the floor. The Gymdogs were solid on beam, posting a 49.025. Jay once again led the way in the event with a team-best 9.875, though she was closely followed by Natalie Vaculikand Brittany Rogers with twin 9.85s.
The Gymdogs responded well, earning a session-best 49.325 score as a team on the floor. Box was the top scorer with a 9.925, claiming the event title by a comfortable margin of 0.05. Jay immediately followed with a strong performance of her own, taking a 9.875.
“We look forward to having regionals in two weeks in Stegeman Coliseum,” added Durante. “We’ve got some work to do at home. You see the difference when you have for judges, and that’ll be something that we’ll take home to learn from. Our eyes are forward to Fort Worth and getting back to the Super Six.”
Georgia will host a NCAA regional on Saturday, April 2 in Stegeman Coliseum.
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- Georgia – 196.850
- Arkansas – 196.500
- Kentucky – 196.200
- Missouri – 195.750
Mary Beth Box-9.800
Mary Beth Box-9.925