April 1, 2014
ATHENS-----Sixth-ranked Georgia will compete in the NCAA Athens Regional Saturday, April 5 at 4 p.m. ET at Stegeman Coliseum. The No. 1-seeded Gym Dogs and five other teams will be vying for two spots in the NCAA Championships April 18-20 in Birmingham, Ala. Joining the Gym Dogs in Athens will be No. 7 Michigan, No. 18 Central Michigan, No. 22 Ohio State, NC State and Rutgers.
UGA’s rotation in the regional will be bye, bars, beam, bye, floor, vault. Ten-time NCAA champion Georgia has won a total of 23 NCAA regionals, including 13 in the last 16 years.
The top two teams and the top two all-around competitors who are not on an advancing team from each regional will receive an automatic berth to the national championships. The top two teams from the Penn State, Arkansas and Washington regionals will compete in one of the semifinals, and the top two teams from the Minnesota, Georgia and LSU regionals will compete in the other semifinal April 18.
Georgia Ranked No. 1 On Bars
For 10 straight weeks, Georgia has been ranked No. 1 nationally on the uneven bars. The high mark of the year - and over the last 15 years - came in the last meet on March 22 when the Gym Dogs set an SEC Championship record with a 49.7. Earlier this season, the Gym Dogs posted a 49.675 in the second rotation against Arkansas to tie what was then 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 12 meets. Three Gym Dogs are ranked in the top-nine nationally on bars: Chelsea Davis and Lindsey Cheek are tied for second, Brittany Rogers is tied for ninth, Kiera Brown is tied for 19th and Brandie Jay is tied for No. 24.
» In addition to being ranked second nationally on bars, Lindsey Cheek is tied for ninth on the balance beam and 16th on vault. The Watkinsville, Ga., native entered the season with 10 career event titles, and she has 17 this season. She was voted SEC Event Specialist of the Year by the league’s head coaches.
» Three Gym Dogs 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’s top three vault scores have come in the last three meets. The Gym Dogs 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 final score of 10.0 this year, a judge has awarded a perfect 10 on eight routines: Lindsey Cheek and Brandie Jay on vault, Cheek three times on bars, and Chelsea Davis and Cat Hires once each on bars. Lauren Johnson was awarded a 10 by two judges for her vault at the SEC Championship. Postseason meets consist of four judges for each routine.
» Georgia began the 2014 season with five meets in 15 days, and four of those meets were against teams ranked in the top-10.
Four Gym Dogs were named to the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC/W) All-America Team. Lindsey Cheek was named to the first team on bars and second team on vault and beam, Chelsea Davis and Kaylan Earls were named to the first team on bars and beam, respectively, while Brittany Rogers earned second-team honors on bars and the all-around. Cheek, Davis, Kiera Brown and Lauren Johnson also earned All-SEC honors. In addition, Johnson was named to the SEC All-Freshman team after she won the league’s vault title.
If Georgia finishes first or second in the Athens Regional, it will advance to the NCAA Championships April 18-20 at the BJCC in Birmingham. The NCAA prelims will be held April 18, with Semifinal I scheduled for a 2 p.m. ET start, and Semifinal II set to begin at 8 p.m. The top-three teams in each semifinal session will advance to the Super Six April 19 at 7 p.m. The Individual Event Finals will be held April 20 at 3 p.m.