March 18, 2014
ATHENS-----Sixth-ranked Georgia will begin postseason competition this weekend at the SEC Championship in Birmingham, Ala. The fourth-seeded Gym Dogs will join the No. 1 seed Florida, No. 2 LSU and No. 3 Alabama in the second session Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at the BJCC Arena. Auburn, Arkansas, Missouri and Kentucky will compete in the first session at 3 p.m.
The second semifinal session features four of the nation's top-six teams. Florida is currently ranked No. 1, LSU second, Alabama fourth and Georgia sixth. Florida will start the meet on vault, LSU on bars, Alabama on beam and Georgia on floor.
Georgia enters the meet with a 6-5 record, including a 4-2 SEC mark. The Gym Dogs posted wins over LSU, Kentucky, Auburn and Arkansas, and fell on the road to Florida and Alabama. The meet against Missouri was canceled due to the winter storm in mid-February.
UGA has won a total of 16 SEC titles, which is more than any other team. Florida has nine SEC titles, Alabama has seven, while LSU has one. Georgia's last SEC title came in 2008.
Last Time Out
Georgia wrapped up the regular season last week by posting its highest road score of the year in a 198.025-197.600 loss at No. 5 Utah. The Gym Dogs registered their highest score of the year on floor and were just a half-tenth shy of the highest overall mark of the season. The meet was actually tied with three routines remaining, but Utah closed the final rotation with a 9.925, a 9.95 and a perfect 10.0 on floor. This is the second straight year Danna Durante's Gym Dogs enter the postseason on a high note. Last year, Georgia turned in its second highest regular season road score in program history - a 197.800 - against NC State a week prior to the SEC Championship.
Georgia Ranked No. 1 On Bars
For nine consecutive weeks, Georgia has been ranked No. 1 nationally on the uneven bars. Earlier this season, the Gym Dogs posted a 49.675 in the second rotation against Arkansas to tie the seventh-best bars score in school history. Other highlights on bars for the Gym Dogs include a 49.6 vs. Denver and on the road against Florida, which was the highest bars score by a Georgia team since 1999. A week earlier against Iowa, Georgia scored a 49.525. At that time, UGA had scored higher on bars in just three meets since 2000. Georgia has used the same bars lineup in all 11 meets. Three Gym Dogs are ranked in the top-six nationally on bars: Chelsea Davis is tied for first nationally, Lindsey Cheek is No. 3, and Brittany Rogers is No. 6. Kiera Brown is tied for 21st and Brandie Jay is No. 25.
» For the third consecutive year, a Georgia gymnast enters the SEC Championship ranked No. 1 nationally on the uneven bars. Chelsea Davis has now been ranked first two years in a row, and Kat Ding was ranked No. 1 entering the 2011 SEC Championship.
» In addition to being ranked third nationally on bars, Lindsey Cheek is tied for eighth on the balance beam and 15th on vault. The Watkinsville, Ga., native entered the season with 10 career event titles, and she has 17 this season.
» Three Gym Dogs have earned SEC weekly honors four times this season. Lindsey Cheek was named specialist of the week after her performance March 1 against Arkansas, and she also was honored on Jan. 28. On Jan. 21, Chelsea Davis and Kiera Brown were named specialist of the week and freshman of the week, respectively.
» Georgia began the March 8 meet against Denver with a 49.625 on vault, tying its highest mark since the 2006 NCAA Super Six. It was the Gym Dogs' best vault score in a regular season meet since second-ranked Georgia topped No. 1 UCLA on Jan. 13, 2002. With that score vs. DU, Georgia matched the highest vault score on the country this season, and the Gym Dogs also own the highest mark on bars.
» Although Georgia has not received a perfect 10 this year from both judges, one judge has awarded a 10 on seven routines: Lindsey Cheek and Brandie Jay on vault, Cheek three times on bars, and Chelsea Davis and Cat Hires once each on bars.
» Georgia began the 2014 season with five meets in 15 days, and four of those meets were against teams ranked in the top-10.
Georgia will learn its NCAA Regional opponents on Monday March 24 during the NCAA Gymnastics Selection Show at 3 p.m. on NCAA.com. The Gym Dogs will host one of the six regionals on Saturday, April 5 at 4 p.m. The other five hosts are Arkansas, Minnesota, LSU, Penn State and Washington.