Georgia's Kat Ding Wins NCAA Bars, Floor Titles
Kat Ding

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April 22, 2012

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DULUTH, Ga.-----Georgia senior Kat Ding capped her career by winning NCAA titles on the uneven bars and floor exercise Sunday afternoon at The Arena at Gwinnett Center.

Ding claimed the 39th and 40th individual NCAA titles in Georgia history and the 11th on bars and floor. UGA's 40 titles leads all teams, and the Gym Dogs have now won 14 individual crowns in the last six years.

It was the second straight NCAA bars title for Ding, who becomes the eighth gymnast in Georgia history to win national titles in multiple years and the first to win back-to-back crowns on an individual event since Heather Stepp on vault in 1992 and 1993. Ding joins former gymnasts Courtney Kupets (2006, 2007, 2009), Kim Arnold (1998), Stepp (1993), Hope Spivey (1991) and Corrinne Wright (1989) as the only Gym Dogs to win more than one national title in the same year.

Ding is the second gymnast to repeat as the outright NCAA uneven bars champion and the first since Georgia's Lucy Wener in 1986 and 1987.

"This is for my team," Ding said. "I wanted to represent my program in the best way possible, and this win is for the University of Georgia. Floor has been one of the hardest events for me and it finally came around this year. Our coaches have all had confidence in me and my body is finally healthy. All the pieces fit together at once, and I'm thankful that it all came together tonight."

Ding was fourth up on bars and posted a career-best 9.9875 as four judges awarded her routine with a 10. Then on floor she turned in a career-best 9.95 in the No. 6 position.

"This means a lot to Kat and our team," said Georgia head coach Jay Clark. "She's so natural on the bars. Virtually every time she nails her handstands and sticks her landings. She will graduate having never gotten a 10 on that event and I don't know how in the world that happened. She has joined some elite company. It was neat to watch her develop over her four-year career and go out this way."

Ding also finished third on vault. She was the seventh in the lineup and took the lead with a 9.8125 with only three competitors remaining. Kytra Hunter of Florida won the title with a 9.875, while Alabama's Diandra Milliner took second with a 9.825. Sophomore Lindsey Cheek was second on vault and tied for seventh with a 9.7313.

Sunday's competition featured six judges on each event, and the high score and low scored were dropped and the middle four scored averaged. On vault, gymnasts performed two vaults, and the final score was an average of the two vaults. Georgia freshman Chelsea Davis qualified for the bars finals, but was scratched from the lineup due to sickness.

Ding finishes her career at Georgia as a three-time NCAA champion, two-time SEC champion, six-time All-American and member of the 2009 national champion Gym Dogs.

Alabama's Geralen Stack-Eaton won balance beam with a 9.9375 for a clean SEC sweep on all events.

competition order in []


1. [10] Kytra Hunter (Florida) - 9.875

2. [9] Diandra Milliner (Alabama) - 9.825

3. [7] Kat Ding (Georgia) - 9.8125

4. [3] Marissa Gutierrez (Alabama) - 9.8063

5. [5] Marissa King (Florida) - 9.7875

6. [6] Janelle Giblin (Nebraska) - 9.7625

T7. [2] Lindsey Cheek (Georgia) - 9.7313

T7. [1] Rheagan Courville (LSU) - 9.7313

9. [4] Kailah Delaney (Utah) - 9.7

10. [8] Georgia Dabritz (Utah) - 9.7938


1. [4] Kat Ding (Georgia) - 9.9875

2. [6] Sami Shapiro (Stanford) - 9.9

3. [3] Olivia Courtney (UCLA) - 9.8875

4. [2] Brie Olson (Oklahoma) - 9.875

5. [1] Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) - 9.85

T6. [7] Aisha Gerber (UCLA) - 9.825

T6. [5] Mackenzie Caquatto (Florida) - 9.825

8. [8] Alaina Johnson (Florida) - 9.4875


1. [4] Geralen Stack-Eaton (Alabama) - 9.9375

2. [7] Megan Ferguson (Oklahoma) - 9.925

3. [10] Katie Matusik (Arizona) - 9.8875

T4. [8] Ivana Hong (Stanford) - 9.875

T4. [12] Amanda Spinner (Stanford) - 9.875

6. [3] Katherine Grable (Arkansas) - 9.8625

T7. [6] Ashley Priess (Alabama) - 9.85

T7. [2] Samantha Peszek (UCLA) - 9.85

T7. [1] Sara Stone (Oklahoma) - 9.85

10. [5] Emily Wong (Nebraska) - 9.825

11. [11] Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA) - 9.775

12. [9] Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) - 9.6875


1. [6] Kat Ding (Georgia) - 9.95

T2. [10] Geralen Stack-Eaton (Alabama) - 9.9375

T2. [5] Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA) - 9.9375

T4. [2] Kytra Hunter (Florida) - 9.925

T4. [8] Melanie Jones (Oregon State) - 9.925

T6. [9] Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) - 9.9

T6. [7] Ashanee Dickerson (Florida) - 9.9

T6. [11] Jessie DeZiel (Nebraska) - 9.9

T9. [1] Megan Ferguson (Oklahoma) - 9.8625

T9. [4] Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) - 9.8625

11. [3] Rachel Updike (Missouri) - 8.4375


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