1989 Season Review
The Gym Dogs won their second NCAA Championship in dramatic fashion and did it in front of their hometown fans winning by a minuscule margin of five-hundredths of a point, holding off top-seeded UCLA, which scored a 192.60.
"This is a coach's dream come true," said Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan. "To win the national championship at home has been a mission for me since I became a college coach. It's so exciting. I knew coming in we had a chance to win, and we did. We came into this thing on a mission and we accomplished that mission. We've always felt our team was made of winners."
As the No. 5 seed, the Gym Dogs started off on vault and produced a 47.95. Corrinne Wright led Georgia in the event, tying for third place with a 9.75.
From the vault it was onto the uneven bars where Georgia scored a 48.30, including Lucy Wener's meet-high 9.9 and Wright's 9.75. After sitting out a bye, the Gym Dogs came out and produced the highest team score of the meet (47.90) on balance beam. Andrea Thomas anchored Georgia's beam set, scoring a 9.7 which put her in a four-way tie for third with among others Wener.
Needing to finish well, the Gym Dogs fed off the energy of the crowd as they performed their floor routines. When Wright finished with a school record 9.9, a score that would eventually catapult her to the NCAA all-around title, the team and the crowd went wild.
There were several anxious moments as Georgia sat out a final bye while its closest pursuers UCLA and Alabama, finished on the floor and vault, respectively. However when the final results were tabulated, Georgia had won by the slimmest of margins, sending the team and the crowd into a frenzy.
The following night, Wener would go on to score a perfect 10 to take her third national title on the uneven bars, while Wright tied for the floor exercise title.
"Competing at home for the national title made a difference in 1989 because the home crowd added atmosphere and excitement. Coming in seeded 5th, we started on vault, ended on floor, and sat out the final rotation on a bye, watching the No. 1 seed UCLA follow us on floor. That is the perfect rotation for the home team and their fans. We were definitely in our comfort zone to bring home the National Title." - Coach Suzanne Yoculan
"Very few college athletic teams actually get to compete at the NCAA Championships. Having the opportunity to host the championships, and then to win the title in front of all our fans, friends, and family was truly a unique and special experience. It was a proud moment to be a Georgia Gym Dog!" - Debbie Greco
1989 NCAA Championships 1. Georgia
6. Cal State-Fullerton 192.650
Chris Rodis (V), Andrea Thomas (BB), Lucy Wener (AA, UB, FX), Corrinne Wright (AA, V, UB, FX).
Members of the 1989 Championship Team:
Melissa DePaoli, Kathy Dwyer, Debbie Greco, Paula Maheu, Lynn Messer, Julie Ponstein, Chris Rodis, Sophia Royce, Tanya Schuler, Andrea Thomas, Lucy Wener, and Corrinne Wright.
Staff of the 1989 Championship Team:
- Suzanne Yoculan, Head Coach
- Scott Bull, Assistant Coach
- Doug McAvinn, Assistant Coach
- Jane Becker, Athletic Trainer