Gymnast fall short to Dawgs

The top-ranked Georgia gymnasts were too much for 14th-ranked LSU, beating the Tigers 197.150-196.100 in front of a sell-out crowd of 9,951 in Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday.

Despite the loss, LSU's 196.100 was its highest tally of the year, and its marks on bars, beam and floor were season-highs as well.

"We had a much better performance tonight than we did last week in Arkansas," head coach D-D Breaux said. "This was a great atmosphere to compete in, and I think this meet was much closer to where we want to be at this time of the season."

The Gym Dogs improved to 8-0 (3-0 Southeastern Conference) on the year while the Tigers record dropped to 7-4 (1-1 SEC).

Georgia's Kelsey Ericksen took home the all-around title for the meet with a 39.550, but April Burkholder and Kelly Phelan came in second and third marks of 39.375 and 39.150, respectively. In her first time competing in the all-around in her career, freshman Lauren Klein posted a 38.925.

The Tigers gave six solid performances on bars to open competition with a 49.100. Kelly Lea led off with 9.80, and Kelly Phelan followed with an identical mark. Lisa Rennie led the squad with a season-high 9.875 followed by Burkholder's mark of 9.825.

The Gym Dogs, who had a good outing on vault in their first rotation, led the meet with a 49.475 to LSU's 49.100.

Terin Martinjak began the second rotation for the Tigers with a 9.8 on the vault. Minus one fall by Lea, the remaining competitors each managed a mark of 9.675 or better. Burkholder and Emily Ellis paced LSU on that event with identical scores of 9.825. The team score for vault was a 48.900

Georgia put together a solid showing on bars in the second rotation as well, posting a 49.125 team score. The Gym Dogs maintained the lead over the Tigers heading to the third rotation, 98.600-98.000.

The start of floor exercise did not go so well for LSU, as Lea fell on her opening tumbling pass and earned a 9.025 for her efforts. Highlighted by a 9.925 from Burkholder and a 9.875 by Phelan, the Tigers notched a team mark of 49.050.

The Gym Dogs continued to make it very difficult for LSU to gain any ground, posting a team mark of 49.125 on the beam in the third rotation. One member of the UGA squad fell off the beam, but her teammates made up for the fall, all recording a 9.80 or better, led by Katie Heenan's 9.90.

Headed to the final rotation of competition, Georgia led 147.825-147.050. They maintained that lead and won the meet with a 49.325 score on floor.

Even though they could not overtake the lead in the final rotation, LSU posted some solid scores on the beam. Martinjak notched a season-best 9.925 to win the event crown, and Burkholder and Suhr each recorded a 9.800.

The Tigers return home and will begin a three-meet home stand Friday, Feb. 10 with a 7 p.m. contest versus Kentucky.


Team Competition

1. UGA - 197.150 (VT-49.475,UB-49.125,BB-49.225,FX-49.325)

2. LSU - 196.100 (VT-48.900,UB-49.100,BB-49.050,FX-49.050)

Individual Scoring (winner plus all LSU competitors)

AA - 1. Kelsey Ericksen (UGA) - 39.550, 2. April Burkholder - 39.375, 3. Kelly Phelan - 39.150, 5. Lauren Klein - 38.925

VT - 1. Tiffany Tolnay (UGA) - 9.975, t6. April Burkholder, Emily Ellis - 9.825, 8. Terin Martinjak - 9.80, 9. Kelly Phelan - 9.775, 10. Lauren Klein - 9.675, 12. Kelly Lea - 9.225

UB - 1. Kelsey Ericksen (UGA) - 9.950, 2. Lisa Rennie - 9.875, 4. April Burkholder - 9.825, t5. Emily Ellis, Kelly Lea, Kelly Phelan - 9.800, t10. Lauren Klein - 9.750

BB - 1. Terin Martinjak - 9.925, t5. April Burkholder, Christina Suhr - 9.800, 9. Lauren Klein - 9.775, 10. Lisa Rennie - 9.750

FX - 1. Katie Heenan (UGA) - 9.950, 2. April Burkholder - 9.925, t3. Kelly Phelan - 9.875, 7. Emily Ellis - 9.80, t9. Lauren Klein, Terin Martinjak - 9.725, 12. Kelly Lea - 9.025

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