March 19, 2011
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-----Senior Cassidy McComb became the 17th Gym Dog to win the all-around and eighth-ranked Georgia finished third at the SEC Championship held Saturday at the BJCC Arena. Alabama claimed the team title with a 197.225 followed by Florida with a 196.975 and Georgia with a 196.625. Arkansas finished fourth ahead of LSU, Auburn and Kentucky.
McComb, who entered the meet tied for fifth nationally in the all-around, turned in a 39.4 to become the sixth Georgia gymnast in seven years to win the SEC all-around.
"It's such an honor," McComb said. "All the blood, sweat, hard work and tears paid off. It's kind of a shock but it feels good. I didn't even realize it because I was not so much focused on the individual performance as the team's performance."
Junior Kat Ding repeated as the SEC bars champion with a 9.925, the 29th time a Gym Dog has won the bars title and the first UGA repeat winner since Jenni Beathard in 1998-99.
"It's nice to see Cassidy win the all-around," said head coach Jay Clark. "If there has ever been anyone who deserved it, she did. She didn't have her best meet, but she did enough. We don't emphasize the all-around very much, but to see what she's done this year, it's been fun to watch. I'm really proud of her. Kat was great on bars, and she's been there for us since she got here. Those were two bright spots.
"It's a mixed bag of emotions. We fought heard and competed hard, and that's what we want to see. We made aggressive mistakes. We wanted to compete aggressively and probably left four or five tenths on floor. You never feel good about a loss, but I think a lot of good things came out of it."
Georgia opened the meet with a 48.9 on floor highlighted by a 9.9 by McComb, her fourth straight meet with a 9.9 or higher on the event. After one rotation, Alabama was first with a 49.15 on bars, while the Gym Dogs were second. Florida, Arkansas and Auburn had a bye to start the meet.
After a bye in the second rotation, UGA turned in a 49.25 on vault, its highest road vault score of the season. Noel Couch led the team with a 9.9, her second highest mark of the year, and Ding and McComb each added a 9.875. Couch's 9.9 tied the second highest score of the meet, and after a bye in the fourth rotation, the Gym Dogs had a 98.15.
Georgia then went to bars in the fifth rotation and scored a 49.25 behind Ding's 9.925 in the anchor position and a 9.9 by Gina Nuccio. Entering the sixth rotation the Gym Dogs had a 147.725.
UGA closed the meet with a 49.225 on beam with a 9.9 by Hilary Mauro and a 9.875 by Laura Moffatt, who was a late addition to the lineup following an injury to Lindsey Cheek during warmups. Georgia finished the meet by tying for the top scores on bars and beam.
Nuccio tied for second on bars, Mauro tied for second on beam, Moffatt finished sixth on beam and Couch tied for sixth in the all-around to help Georgia post its highest road score of the season.
Next up Georgia will serve as host of an NCAA Regional April 2 at 4 p.m. at Stegeman Coliseum. The other five teams and individual participants in the regional will be announced Monday. The top two teams in each regional advance to the NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, April 15-17.
1.Alabama - 197.225 (Vault - 49.5, Bars - 49.15, Beam - 49.225, Floor - 49.35)
2. Florida - 196.975 (Vault - 49.4, Bars - 49.25, Beam - 48.95, Floor - 49.375)
3. Georgia - 196.625 (Vault - 49.25, Bars - 49.25, Beam - 49.225, Floor - 48.9)
4. Arkansas - 195.800 (Vault - 49.325, Bars - 48.675, Beam - 48.825, Floor - 48.975)
5. LSU - 195.475 (Vault - 49.35, Bars - 49.15, Beam - 47.925, Floor - 49.05)
6. Auburn - 195.325 (Vault - 48.7, Bars - 48.825, Beam - 48.75, Floor - 49.05)
7. Kentucky - 193.950 (Vault - 48.725, Bars - 48.0, Beam - 48.55, Floor - 48.675)
Individual Georgia Results
Vault - 49.25 (Cat Hires - 9.8, Noel Couch - 9.9, Mariel Box - 9.8, Hilary Mauro - 9.8, Kat Ding - 9.875, Cassidy McComb - 9.875)
Bars - 49.25 (Christa Tanella - 9.85, Noel Couch - 9.775, Gina Nuccio - 9.9, Cassidy McComb - 9.8, Shayla Worley - 9.225, Kat Ding - 9.925)
Beam - 49.225 (Noel Couch - 9.775, Laura Moffatt - 9.875, Christa Tanella - 9.725, Hilary Mauro - 9.9, Shayla Worley - 9.85, Cassidy McComb - 9.825)
Floor - 48.9 (Christa Tanella - 9.55, Mariel Box - 9.6, Noel Couch - 9.8, Gina Nuccio - 9.825, Cassidy McComb - 9.9, Hilary Mauro - 9.775)