The Gym Dogs were in Lexington tonight for their SEC road opener. In their first competition outside of Stegeman Coliseum in nearly three weeks, Jay Clark’s Georgians prevailed in an undisciplined effort against the hapless Wildcats.
The Red and Black opened the meet on the bars, using 9.825s from Gina Nuccio and Christa Tanella, along with a 9.875 from Kat Ding, to pace a 49.125 effort in the first rotation. The Blue and White carded only one mark over 9.775 in the course of posting a cumulative 48.875 vault score in the contest’s opening stanza. When the two teams swapped spots on the floor, however, Kentucky notched five scores of 9.75 or higher on the bars to earn a 48.8 tally and outpace Georgia’s 48.675 total on the vault. The Gym Dogs led 97.8-97.675 at the midpoint.
The Wildcats were on the beam in the third rotation, managing a 48.225 to push their team score to 145.9, but the Athenians’ 48.575 in the floor exercise kept them out in front with a collective 146.375. In the meet’s final frame, Georgia turned in a trio of 9.875s on the beam to springboard a combined 49.175 in the event. Kentucky could not keep up in the floor exercise, chalking up a 49.15 and thereby cementing a 195.55-195.0 victory by the visitors.
Poor execution by the Gym Dogs made this evening’s meet a sloppy exhibition. After turning in much sharper performances in their last two meets, the Georgia gymnasts were noticeably off their game tonight. Following a fairly solid start on the bars, the Red and Black posted only one score above 9.75 in the vault and only one score above 9.725 in the floor exercise. The visitors came through with three solid marks in the final rotation, yet no Athenian posted a score of 9.9 or higher during the meet.
After taking two steps forward, the Gym Dogs took one step back on Friday night. Such a lackluster effort was adequate to slip by Kentucky, but it will not suffice against the stiffer competition Georgia will face two weeks hence, when top-ranked Florida comes calling in the Classic City.