Gym Dawgs top Gators

Gainesville, FL – The Gym Dogs have never lost to a top-ranked team, and that trend continued Friday. In front of a Stephen C. O'Connell Center record 10,855 fans, No. 2 Georgia (2-1, 1-0 Southeastern Conference) topped No. 1 Florida (1-1, 0-1 SEC), 196.850-196.825

Despite opening and closing the final rotation with falls on beam, Georgia still was able to pull out the win over Florida, which had to count a fall on bars in its second rotation. It came down to the final competitor just as in the dual meet last year. But Gator sophomore Amanda Castillo fell shy of the 9.900 she needed to tie and instead posted a 9.875.

"It's great to win, of course, but we can't have those falls on beam," Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan said. "Hopefully after having two falls on beam at Utah and having two different girls fall tonight, they are getting a taste of what that feels like and won't do that again.

"We didn't do everything we should have, but there were some really great individual performances that I am really proud of. We have been stressing to the team to finish routines strong even after mistakes, and we stayed tough mentally and were able to do that tonight."

Courtney Kupets finished second in the all-around with a mark of 39.650. Tiffany Tolnay finished third with a 39.525

The Gym Dogs opened with a season-best 49.350 on bars behind a 9.925 from Kupets and a 9.900 from Grace Taylor. The Gators, however, paced by Corey Hartung's 9.975 and all five other scores of 9.875 or better, notched a 49.525 to take the lead after the first rotation.

Georgia retook the lead in the second rotation after Florida had to count a fall on bars and only put up a 48.500 team score on the event. Meanwhile, the Gym Dogs posted a 49.275 on vault. Kupets recorded a 9.950 to lead Georgia followed by Tolnay's 9.875.

All six Gym Dog floor workers had solid routines in the third rotation for a team score of 49.400. Courtney McCool anchored with a 9.950. The sophomore has scored a 9.900 or better in all three of her competitive routines on that event this season. Kupets posted a 9.900, and the remaining four scores were all 9.825s or better.

Grace Taylor, in the beam lineup for the first time this season after spraining her ankle, fell on her dismount in the leadoff spot. After four hit routines, McCool could not stay on the beam in the anchor position. Having to count that fall turned what was a sixth-tenths of a point lead for Georgia going into the final rotation a much closer contest.

But the Gym Dogs held on and ended with the win by a .025-point differential.

The Florida team and fans honored Yoculan following the meet in what will be her final regular-season competition in the O'Connell Center.

This concludes a three-meet road trip for the Gym Dogs, who have faced three top-five teams in seven days. Georgia returns home to face LSU next Friday in its Pink Out meet. Fans are asked to wear pink in support of the Gym Dogs and the fight against breast cancer.

Dawg Post Top Stories