Some of you had plans Sunday. There was a football game of note to watch, dips to be chipped, wings to be sauced, and lots of.... well, a halftime show. You weren’t alone. So it’s okay if you didn’t know the University of Georgia Gymnastics team beat down the Auburn Tigers Sunday. Really, it’s okay.
Stegeman Coliseum wasn’t completly sold out, but it was a pretty full house and those in attendance got a show in return. The Gym Dogs beat the visiting WarPlainsTiglesWomen 197.425 to 196.350. Things were tight after two rotations (actually tied), but the Red and Black finished strong in getting their first SEC win of the season.
This is a pretty young team. Last season the Gym Dogs relied on Senior Sydney Snead and Juniors Rachel Dickson and Sabrina Vega. Vega is back as a senior, but Snead graduated and we lost Dickson to injury before the first meet. By my count, 3 freshman had counting scores Sunday, and 5 sophomores - dividends from Coach Courtney Kupets-Carter’s very aggressive recruiting. Last year’s freshman class, now sophomores, was considered one of the best in several years.
Starting on vault, Sophomore Rachel Lukacs scored an event high 9.9, and the Gym Dogs tallied a 49.125, while Auburn scored 49.100 on uneven bars. Swapping, Auburn evened things up with 49.300 on vault to Georgia’s 49.275 on bars. Junior Marissa Oakley won the event with a 9.925.
Moving to the 2nd half, the Athenians racked up 49.425, Sabrina Vega capturing the high score at 9.925 and Oakley added a 9.900 along with Sophomore Rachel Baumann. The Tigers countered on floor with a 48.700, falling more than half a point behind. The Gym Dogs were not about to take the foot off the gas, especially not on their floor routine.
All 9.900’s or better from the Classic City Canines, starting with Freshman Amanda Cashman and Baumann carding 9.925s. Then Lukacs followed with a 9.900, along with Freshman Soraya Hawthorne. And has become the norm, Sabrina Vega captivated the crowd with a rousing 9.950 (one judge scoring it a perfect 10).
In conference and at home, this season-high score will help the ‘Dawgs retain a decent ranking. Even better, this gives the team a ton of confidence and helped the younger ladies to realize some of that potential. The Gym Dogs next travel to Fayetteville to take on the Razorbacks this Saturday. Plenty of meat left on the schedule, as the Gators will come to Athens and the Gym Dogs still have to travel to Tuscaloosa. And as always...