Gym Dogs Win Eighth NCAA Championship
Head Coach Suzanne Yoculan
Now through 24 years as head coach of the Gym Dogs, Suzanne Yoculan has led the program to eight national titles, 15 SEC championships and 19 NCAA Regional titles. She is a four-time National Coach of the Year and six-time SEC Coach of the Year. Under her direction, 55 gymnasts have earned 282 All-America awards and 31 times they have won NCAA individual titles. For 19 of the last 21 years, Georgia teams have placed in the top three at the NCAA Championships.
Georgia captured its third consecutive NCAA national title and eighth overall by defeating the field in Utah's Huntsman Center on April 26-27.
Due to late-season injuries to senior All-Americans Kelsey Ericksen and Ashley Kupets, the Gym Dogs were forced into several lineup changes, but each paid off with nearly every Georgia competitor setting or tying career-best scores in the two-day team event.
Georgia is the first team to threepeat at the women's gymnastics championships since Utah won five straight from 1982-86.
The Gym Dogs' team score of 197.85 in the Super Six Finals was their highest since winning the 1993 championship with a 198.0, and Georgia now trails only Utah in number of NCAA titles, 9-8.
Kupets Claims Two More Individual Crowns
Georgia sophomore Courtney Kupets added two more national titles during the championship weekend. After winning the individual all-around title during the NCAA Prelim session, Kupets returned two days later to win the individual vault crown.
Kupets is the first gymnast to win back-to-back all-around championships since Georgia's Kim Arnold in 1997-98. She is Georgia's first vault champion since Cory Fritzinger in 2001.
Kupets, who also was last year's NCAA beam and bars champion, now has five NCAA titles to her name. She passed former Gym Dog Hope Spivey as the Georgia gymnast with the most NCAA individual titles. She also moved into a tie for second place all-time with the most individual titles in a career for any gymnast. The record is eight.
All-America List Grows
The Gym Dogs totaled 15 All-America honors during the championship weekend with Courtney Kupets leading the way at five First-Team awards. In Georgia history, only Kim Arnold (1998), Karin Lichey (1998-99) and Hope Spivey (1991) have done that.
At the conclusion of this year, nine Gym Dogs now have All-America honors on their resume. Courtney Kupets leads with 10, followed by Katie Heenan (nine), Tiffany Tolnay (eight), Kelsey Ericksen (eight), Ashley Kupets (5) and Nikki Childs (4). Also earning All-America awards for the first time in their careers in 2007 were Grace Taylor with two and Megan Dowlen and Marcia Newby with one each.
Perfect 10s Back on the Board
After two full seasons without having a gymnast record a perfect 10.0 on any event, Georgia added two to its record book this season.
Sophomore Courtney Kupets was perfect on the uneven bars during a home victory over Alabama on Feb. 10. It marked Georgia's first 10.0 on that event since 2002.
On senior night, Ashley Kupets scored a 10.0 on vault in her last competition in Stegeman Coliseum. The perfect vault was Georgia's first since 2004.