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GymDog Report: Youth Movement Propels ‘Dawgs Into Battle With Mizzou

Vanderbilt v Georgia Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

After a tough road meet against Arkansas the GumDogs return to the friendly confines of Stegeman Coliseum today for a Southeastern Conference clash against the Missouri Tigers.

The GymDogs have split their first two meets of the season, winning at home against North Carolina State in the opener then dropping a tough one on the road to the #4 ranked Arkansas Gymbacks. The Bulldogs have suffered some tough injury luck, most recently losing veteran all-around competitor Haley de Jong, who suffered a season-ending injury during warmups against NC State.

But on the bright side, a quartet of talented freshmen have hit the ground running. Those four, Jaydah Battle, Lily Smith, Anya Turner, and Ady Wahl, competed 10 routines in Georgia’s season opener against the N.C. State Wolfpack, with solid results.

Competing on vault and beam in the GymDogs’ first meet of the season, Battle scored 9.800 on the vault and 9.850 on beam to kick off her rookie campaign. Smith had a brush with perfection on her bar routine, tallying a 9.975. She was the highest scoring freshman in the country across all events in week one, earning SEC co-freshman of the week honors.

Turner led all Bulldog scorers on the beam against NC State, taking the meet title with a 9.875. And Wahl won the all-around event title in her first collegiate meet, scoring a 9.775 on vault and beam, 9.800 on bars, and a 9.825 on floor.

Mizzou comes to town ranked #12 and led by junior Jocelyn Moore. Moore posted a 9.975 on beam in Mizzou’s season opener on Jan. 6 to tie for the best score in the nation, then followed up that performance with a 9.900 at Alabama last week. Her two meet average of 9.938 is tied for fifth best in the nation.

Things get started in the Stege at 1:45 p.m. Georgia leads the all-time series between the two squads 23-7, but the Tigers have won three in a row against the GymDogs. A win by the Red and Black would not only break that streak, but could serve as a boost of confidence and a springboard into the meat of the SEC season. Until later,

Go ‘Dawgs!!!