April 18, 2014Photo Gallery
BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-----The sixth-seeded Georgia gymnastics team placed second in the first semifinal session of the NCAA Championships with a 197.300 at the BJCC Arena Friday afternoon to advance to the Super Six.
Oklahoma placed first with a 197.500, two-tenths ahead of the Gym Dogs, while LSU was third (197.100), followed by Stanford (196.600), Michigan (196.425) and Illinois (195.800). The top three teams in each semifinal session will compete for the national championship.
Georgia (18-10) will begin its quest for an 11th national title on beam Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Links to live video, live audio and live scoring will be available at GeorgiaDogs.com.
"We are so thrilled to be advancing," said UGA coach Danna Durante. "I think one thing that was a little different for us is that we were incredibly tight two weeks ago and today was little better for us. We've worked in the gym and I was so proud of them to come out, do well on vault, rally on beam, and really be aggressive and finish strong on floor. It was the second time to score a 49.45 on floor this year and we still did leave some things out there. I'm incredibly proud of this team and their fight all year. There have been moments of brilliance and moments of knowing we need to be better. We're excited to get back to the hotel, rest a little bit and come back tomorrow."
Brandie Jay turned in the highest score of the meet on vault with a 9.95, while Lindsey Cheek tied for first on bars with a 9.925. Cheek and Mary Beth Box tied for second on beam with a pair of 9.9s, which was a career-high for Box.
Georgia opened with a 49.35 on vault and was in a tie for first with Oklahoma at the end of one rotation. Jay led the team with a 9.95, while Cheek added a 9.9. Michigan was just a quarter-tenth off the lead, and LSU and Illinois opened on byes.
The Gym Dogs had their first bye in the second rotation, while LSU opened with a 49.35 on floor. Michigan had to count a fall on beam and scored a 48.35, while Stanford turned in a 49.025 on vault and Illinois started with a 48.725 on bars.
Georgia then posted a 49.3 on bars and stood third with a 98.650 at the halfway point. Oklahoma led with a 98.925, while LSU was in second with a 98.7. Cheek had a team-high 9.925 in the No. 3 spot.
The Gym Dogs began to cement their spot in the Super Six with a 49.2 on beam in the fourth rotation. Box led off with a career-high 9.9, then Cheek added a 9.9, and Georgia was in second with a 147.850. Oklahoma led with a 148.250.
After a bye in the fifth rotation, Georgia closed the meet with a 49.45 on floor to clinch another trip to the Super Six. Hires and Box scored back-to-back career-high 9.9s to lead the team and clinch a berth in the Super Six.
Seven different Gym Dogs earned a total of nine All-America honors in Friday's competition. First team All-Americans include Jay (vault, floor), Cheek (vault, bars, beam), Box (beam) while second team All-Americans include Chelsea Davis (bars), Hires (floor) and Box (floor).
Places 1-4 (plus ties) in each event and the all-around in each semifinal session are considered first team All-Americans. Places 5-8 (plus ties) are considered second team All-Americans.
Cheek becomes the first four-time vault All-American in program history.
Said Cheek: "I was really proud of my team today and we let that pressure go and didn't put it on ourselves. I'm super excited that we are going to be competing tomorrow."
1. Oklahoma - 197.500 (VT - 49.325, UB - 49.25, BB - 49.35, FX - 49.575)
2. Georgia - 197.300 (VT - 49.35, UB - 49.3, BB - 49.2, FX - 49.45)
3. LSU - 197.100 (VT - 49.35, UB - 49.225, BB - 49.175, FX - 49.35)
4. Stanford - 196.600 (VT - 49.025, UB - 49.3, BB - 49.250, FX - 49.025)
5. Michigan - 196.425 (VT - 49.3, UB - 49.325, BB - 48.35, FX - 49.45)
6. Illinois - 195.800 (VT - 49.075, UB - 48.725, BB - 48.8, FX - 49.2)