Gymdogs Eager for Evening Session Competition
March 18, 2017

By: Jackie Kinney, UGA Sports Communications Student Assistant

For the first time since 2014, the Gymdogs will compete in the evening session of the SEC championship on Saturday.

As of 2013, there are two sessions at the SEC meet: one in the afternoon and one in the evening. The organization has been set up and agreed on by the conference coaches, with the assignments based on RQS rankings.

The night session – slated for 6 p.m. in Jacksonville this year – features the four top-ranked teams out of the SEC. As it includes the arguably highest-caliber competition, the title has been chosen from the second rotation since the debut of the two-session format. 

This year, the eighth-ranked Gymdogs will join the company of No. 2 LSU, No. 4 Florida and No. 6 Alabama.

"It’s exciting to be back in that night session," head coach Danna Durante said. "I think it's great energy."  

Georgia has encountered each of their SEC night session opponents in the regular season, walking away with a close second place in each contest.

“I think we’ve hung with all these teams,” senior Morgan Reynolds said, “and I don’t think there’s any reason we shouldn’t be able to beat them. We could’ve beaten them before, so now’s the time.”


 

 

Against Alabama during the regular season, Georgia posted a season-best score of 197.325, only to earn the win a week later in an upset over No. 5 Utah with 197.250, the final two regular season meets before the SEC Championships.

Georgia will start the SEC Championship meet on floor, then rotate to vault, bars and beam, respectively. It has been a change the Gymdogs have anticipated for weeks.

“We’ve talked about it, breaking it down,” Durante said. “I think that’s a great rotation for us, and we finish really strong on beam on the road.”

In the Gymdogs’ previous two performances at SEC championships, they have finished at the top of the afternoon session, notching the fifth spot overall twice. Regardless of Georgia’s placement, Durante has been adamant about the top four teams competing in the evening.

“We’ve spent the last two years in the afternoon session,” Durante said, “which is not where Georgia belongs.”

The last SEC championship for the Gymdogs came in 2008, when they went on to win a fourth-consecutive NCAA title.

 

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