Sometimes you watch your favorite team and they make you want to pull your hair out in frustration. Other times, you actually pull your hair out in extra-special-over-the-top frustration. Watching the Gym Dogs' meet tonight was one of those latter times.
I'm not even going to bother with a detailed write-up, because it was the same damn story as we saw on Monday against Stanford. The Dawgs had 3 very good (though, this time, not spectacular) rotations, and then fell completely apart on the beam. In fact, I don't think I'm going to call it "the beam" anymore, or even "Satan's apparatus," as Poseur from ATVS like to call it. I'm going to call it "the Gator," because it's in our head and kicking our ass, and I hate it.
The Gym Dogs should not be this bad. Their scores should not be this bad. They are better than this. Under Jay Clark, we just didn't have the talent. The cupboard was bare. Under Danna Durante, and especially this year. we have the talent. From top to bottom on our roster, our Gym Dog gymnasts are capable of competing with any team in the country. But for some reason, we keep blowing it on beam. There's no logical reason, but there it is.
Here were the scores for each rotation. As usual, there were some stingy judging numbers on one or two routines, but hell, it didn't matter, because if we'd SIMPLY NOT FALLEN THREE TIMES on beam, we would have easily beaten Mizzou.
Rotation 1 (Bars): Vaculik, 9.875; Cherrey, 9.75; Snead, 9.8; Schick, 9.8; Jay, 9.85; Rogers, 9.85. Team Total: 49.175
Rotation 2 (Vault): Vaculik, 9.675; Snead, 9.875; Jay, 9.875; Rogers, 9.875; Broussard, 9.825; Marino, 9.825. Team Total: 49.275
Rotation 3 (Floor): Snead, 9.8; Babalis, 9.725; Marino, 9.875; Box, 9.90; Rogers, 9.75; Jay, 9.90. Team Total: 49.225
Rotation 4 (the Gator): Broussard, 9.15; Babalis, 9.075; Jay, 9.85; Schick, 9.625; Rogers, 9.175; Box, 9.875. Team Total: 47.675
In crashing out of the competition the way we did, we handed Missouri their first-ever dual meet victory in SEC competition. Not a banner night for Georgia gymnastics.
The Gym Dogs' next meet will be next Friday, January 29, in Lexington against the Kentucky Wildcats. The meet will start at 7:00 PM and will be streamed live on ESPN3.com via the SEC Network+ online streaming package. Until then...
UPDATE: I liked this quote so much from Coach Durante that I wanted to add it to this article. After the meet tonight, Coach Durante had this to say:
I support them, believe in them, care about them. I love them regardless of how it ended. We're going to figure [beam] out. There is no way that that's going to break us.
I like that defiance... that determined attitude. Coach Durante's statements after the earlier meets this year sounded a little too saccharine and "always be happy" for my taste. The fact that she's acknowledging that something is very wrong and needs to be fixed is, in my opinion, a positive step. Now, we just have to take the rest of the steps necessary to fix this thing. Quickly.