The Jay Clark era of Georgia gymnastics got underway in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday afternoon with a 195.15-195.05 victory over Stanford. The Cardinal came into the meet ranked seventh in the land, while the Gym Dogs were ranked No. 1. Despite the Red and Black’s first coaching change since 1984, Georgia’s five straight NCAA championships earned the Athenian gymnasts the top spot in the country.
Marcia Newby’s 9.9 enabled the home team to forge a 49.125-all tie with the visitors in the vault. A pair of 9.85s from Kathryn Ding and Gina Nuccio paced a 48.85-48.725 Georgia win on the bars, while a 9.9 posted by Grace Taylor enabled the Gym Dogs to edge the Cardinal 48.95-48.275 on the beam. While Stanford finished out in front in the floor exercise by a 48.925-48.225 tally, Courtney McCool’s 9.925 in the event salvaged a narrow overall victory by the Red and Black.
Stanford’s Carly Janiga (39.3) and Shelley Alexander (38.7) both finished higher in the all-around standings than Georgia team leader Cassidy McComb (38.675).
Such are the standards of the Georgia gymnastics program that a season-opening win over a top ten opponent can seem like something of a disappointment. Obviously, a 195.15 score won’t win many meets against the Gym Dogs’ schedule, but, right now, 1-0 and No. 1 in the nation is the place to be.