April 17, 2012
ATHENS ----- The Georgia gymnastics team will make its 28th appearance in the NCAA Championships April 20-22 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. The fifth-seeded Gym Dogs will compete in the second semifinal session Friday at 6 p.m. ET against No. 1 seed Florida, No. 4 Alabama, No. 8 Arkansas, No. 9 Oregon State and No. 12 Ohio State. The top three finishers advance to the Super Six against three teams from the noon session that includes No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Utah, No. 10 Stanford and No. 11 LSU.
The Super Six is slated for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday and the individual event finals will be held Sunday at 1 p.m. The top four individuals from each semifinal in each event (plus ties) from the preliminary team and all-around competition will compete in the individual event finals. The all-around championship will be awarded to the individual with the highest cumulative score during semifinal competition. The individual event champions will be determined solely on the bases of scores from the individual event competition.
The Gym Dogs will compete in the third practice session on Thursday from 2:15-4:03 p.m. ESPN3.com will broadcast the competition on Saturday and Sunday, and live audio will be available at www.georgiadogs.com.
Georgia's History At The NCAA Championships
Georgia leads the country with 10 NCAA titles, with five coming from 2005-2009. The Gym Dogs have finished third or better in the NCAA Championships in 21 of their last 24 appearances. The current championship format started in 1993, and UGA advanced to the Super Six each year from 1993-2009. Including regional, semifinal and Super Six competition, Georgia has won 27 of its last 39 NCAA meets dating back to 1998.
Georgia leads all other teams nationally in number of individual NCAA champions. The Gym Dogs' 38 is six more than second place UCLA and 14 more than third place Utah. Current Gym Dog Kat Ding won the NCAA uneven bars title last year in Cleveland.
Six of Georgia's 13 meets this year have been against teams ranked in the top-three, and three of those were on the road - at No. 2 Alabama on Jan. 13, at No. 1 Utah on Feb. 3 and at No. 1 Florida on Feb. 24 ... Beginning with the LSU meet, Georgia strung together 27 straight rotations with a 49.0 or higher ... Noel Couch has competed in the all-around in a school record 27-straight meets ... Kat Ding earned second team All-SEC honors this year, becoming the sixth four-time All-SEC performer in Georgia history and the first since Katie Heenan from 2005-2008.
Georgia Vs. The Field
Georgia has competed against seven of the other 11 teams in the NCAA Championships this year a total of 11 times, posting a 6-5 record. The Gym Dogs have posted wins against UCLA, Oregon State and two against both Arkansas and LSU. Georgia's five losses this season have been against Alabama, Florida and Utah.
Gym Dogs Win NCAA Auburn Regional
Georgia used its highest road score in two years to win the NCAA Auburn Regional with a 197.100 on April 7. The Gym Dogs never trailed and posted the highest team score on bars, beam and floor for their 22nd regional title in program history. UGA went 1-2 in the all-around as Kat Ding won her fifth title with a 39.500, and Noel Couch tied for second with a 39.425. Ding also tied for first on bars, bringing her season event title total to 22. The senior had a combined 22 titles in 2010 and 2011.
In the latest event and individual rankings - which do not include results from the regional meets on April 7 - Georgia is ranked third on bars with a 49.305 RQS, fourth on floor (49.320), fifth on beam (49.225) and ninth on vault (49.270).
Kat Ding - the reigning NCAA uneven bars champion - is No. 1 on bars with a 9.935 RQS, while Chelsea Davis is tied for ninth with a 9.895 and Gina Nuccio is tied for 16th with a 9.885. Shayla Worley is tied for fourth on the balance beam (9.910), and Noel Couch is tied for fifth on floor (9.915) and tied for 21st in the all-around (39.320). Ding is tied for 15th on vault with a 9.910.
Gym Dogs Look To Add To All-America Total
Sixty-one different Georgia gymnasts have earned a total of 318 All-America honors in school history. Last year, four Gym Dogs earned eight All-America honors, including Noel Couch, a second-team selection in the all-around, vault and floor; Kat Ding, first team on bars; and Lindsey Cheek, first team on vault.
Places 1-4 (plus ties) in each event and the all-around in each session of Friday's preliminary team competition are considered first-team All-Americans. Places 5-8 (plus ties) are considered second-team All-Americans.