SEC Gymnastics Championship Preview
March 20, 2013
ATHENS-----Fifth-ranked Georgia will begin postseason competition this weekend at the SEC Championship in Little Rock, Ark. The third-seeded Gym Dogs will join the No. 1 seed Florida, No. 2 Alabama and No. 4 LSU in the second session Saturday at 7 p.m. ET at Verizon Arena. Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky and Missouri 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, Alabama third, Georgia fifth and LSU sixth.
Georgia enters the meet with an 8-6-1 record, including a 4-2-1 SEC mark. The Gym Dogs posted wins over Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, and Missouri, tied Kentucky and fell to Florida and LSU.
UGA has won a total of 16 SEC titles, which is more than any other team. Florida has eight SEC titles, Alabama has seven, while LSU has one. Georgia's last SEC title came in 2008.
Georgia Closes Regular Season In Style
Georgia concluded the regular season last week by posting a season-high score of 197.800 on the road at NC State. It was tied for the second-highest regular season road score in Georgia history, just a quarter-tenth shy of the school record at Alabama in 2004. The Gym Dogs registered a 49.625 on beam, which is tied for the second-highest mark in program history.
This will be the second time this season Georgia has competed on podium. The Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, was also on podium. Incidentally, Georgia began that meet on the balance beam, just as it will Saturday night.
Georgia has posted the highest score on vault and bars in 10 meets this season.
The Gym Dogs' two highest scores this season have come in the last two meets.
Georgia has turned in its best two scores in the last two meets due in large part to its performance on beam and floor. The 49.625 on beam at NC State is a season-high, and the 49.225 in the previous meet against Utah is the third-highest beam score. The Gym Dogs posted a season-high floor score of 49.525 against Utah, and the 49.425 at NC State ranks second on the year.
Chelsea Davis has finished first on bars in 11 out of 12 meets, including a 9.9 or higher in each of the last 10 meets. She has been ranked No. 1 on that event for seven straight weeks. This week, she shares the No. 1 ranking with Florida's Mackenzie Caquatto and Bridget Sloan.
Dating back to last season, a Georgia gymnast has placed first on bars in 16 of the last 18 meets.
Brandie Jay scored a 9.975 on floor last week at NC State, the Gym Dogs' highest mark on that event this season. It was also the highest score on floor exercise by a Georgia freshman since Courtney Kupets in 2006. Jay was named SEC Co-Freshman of the Week for her performance.
Georgia enters postseason competition ranked No. 5 - its highest ranking of the season. The Gym Dogs raised their RQS to a 197.160 (highest since 2009) after last week's 197.800 at NC State.
The Gym Dogs are ranked third on bars with a 49.395 RQS, tied for fourth on beam (49.220), tied for fifth on vault (49.400) and ninth on floor (49.280).
Individually, Chelsea Davis is again ranked No. 1 on the uneven bars with a 9.945, while Brittany Rogers is ranked 10th with a 9.905. On the balance beam, Shayla Worley is ranked fourth with a 9.905, Kaylan Earls is tied for eighth with a 9.895, and Lindsey Cheek is tied for 21st (9.875).
Three Georgia gymnasts are ranked in the top-25 on vault. Brandie Jay is tied for 10th with a 9.915, Cheek is tied for 12th with a 9.910, and Rogers is tied for 22nd at 9.9.
Georgia will learn its NCAA Regional destination on Monday, March 25. The Gym Dogs will travel to one of these six sites: Tuscaloosa, Ala., Gainesville, Fla., Norman, Okla., Corvallis, Ore., Columbus, Ohio, or Morgantown, W.Va.