Gymnastics at the University of Georgia: 2014 - 2015 Season


Stegeman Coliseum
The University of Georgia’s Stegeman Coliseum


Introduction

Page Index:
Meet Results
National Ranks
Gymdogs Roster
Gymdogs Schedule



Season Opener 2016

January 08, 2016
countdown


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Labels

This is a fan-authored University of Georgia Gymdogs site whose main purpose is to report results and provide analyses of performances in dual meets and tournaments over the course of the 2015 competitive season. This year, that extended from January 10 through April 19. More precisely, we think, the regular season ended on March 21 with the SEC Championships in Duluth, GA. Duel meets, multi-team meets, and the culmanation of conference championships all contribute equally to the NCAA’s decisions on what teams are qualified to pursue a national championship. For teams that qualify, the NCAA Regionals take place (this season on April 04) at six locations chosen by the NCAA. Finally, for the teams that place in the top two in their NCAA Regional, the NCAA Championships take place approximately two weeks later (this season on April 17 - 19 in Fort Worth, TX).

Coming Up Next. The season opener for the Gymdogs in 2016 probably will be on January 08, 2016, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time; however, the 2016 schedule has not yet been determined, so the date and time are not written in stone. The prognosis for the Gymdogs, we thnk, is very positive. We look forward to the upcoming season!

Ft Worth Center

In the 2015 season, Mary Beth Box, Brittany Rogers, and Brandie Jay achieved First-Team All-America status, and each of them will return for the 2016 season! They achieved those honors at the Fort Worth Convention Center, pictured above. Chelsea Davis was a First-Team or Second-Team All-American in each of her four years as a Gymdog. Needless to say, she will be missed.


Prologue

Before we get to the principle part of this page’s mission, we should note that this site is not sponsored by the University of Georgia Athletic Department. We seek to offer a somewhat larger perspective, which may or may not overlap with the articles on the official Athletic Department site. Our agenda is simple and straight-forward, more so than the official site’s. It is practically inevitable that organizations of whatever variety, athletic or otherwise, which issue reports on themselves are going to be guided in part by public relations considerations. That is understandable. We enjoy the Athletic Department articles as much as anyone else does; however, those leave room for further analyses by ourselves and others.

Gym Dog

This page is written by long-time Gymdogs fans who have attended nearly all home and some away meets for many years. For one author, that dates back to the 1987 season, when Georgia (by coincidence) won their first National Team Championship. Our perspective is thus more extensive than that of most other gymnastics sites. While we are strong Gymdogs fans, we respect other teams and will do our best to be fair in our reporting.


Over the Years:
2013-2014 Season
2012-2013 Season
2011-2012 Season
2010-2011 Season
2009-2010 Season
2008-2009 Season
2007-2008 Season

Insofar as we succeed in achieving those objectives, our site will complement the official UGA site and other sites out there in cyberspace. Regarding other sites, the Georgia Gymnastics Program and the Gymdogs as individuals also have social media outlets on Twitter and Facebook, which typically give commentary different from the meet results and analytic discussions upon which this site focuses.

Of special note for those with a historical perspective, we have included summaries of Georgia gymnastics competitions over eight seasons, which makes this site practically unique in providing historical context for better understanding the ups and downs of the University of Georgia’s women’s gymnastics program. But now let’s get on with the primary content of this webpage.

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Kiera Brown’s Tkachev on the Uneven Bars
Kiera



2015 NCAA Gymnastics Championships
(April 17th through 19th)


Meet Results:
Georgia vs. Michigan
Georgia vs. Missouri
Georgia vs. Denver
Georgia vs. Kentucky
Georgia vs. Florida
Georgia vs. L.S.U.
GA vs. N Carolina
Georgia vs. Alabama
Georgia vs. Auburn
Georgia vs. Arkansas
Georgia vs. Utah
SEC Championships
NCAA Regionals
NCAA Prelim 1
NCAA Prelim 2
Super Six Finals
NCAA Individs

Gymdogs fans were cautiously optimistic that Georgia, ranked 5th in their semifinal, would repeat the kind of inspired performances that they’d given in defeating Utah twice: in a dual meet and in winning their NCAA Regional meet. Athletic competition, however, is unpredictable. The betting odds would be small that the 5th ranked team would place 3rd or higher. We were up against very tough competition. Of course, to win you have to take on tough competition and beat them. Nevertheless, we have a young team and they did their best. That’s all anyone can ask. We offer our congratulations to Florida, Utah, and Stanford — also to Oklahoma, Alabama, and Auburn, the qualifiers from the other semifinal. But now let’s focus on the good news for Georgia.

Several Georgia gymnasts deserve a tip of the hat. Scoring 9.850 or higher (the scores needed for the team to chalk up a 197+ score) were Chelsea Davis and Brandie Jay on vault; Chelsea Davis, Kiera Brown, Brandie Jay, and Brittany Rogers on the uneven bars; Morgan Reynolds on the balance beam; and Mary Beth Box, Brandie Jay, and Morgan Reynolds on the floor exercise. We will lose Chelsea Davis next year, but the others will be returning; and we also have a talented group of freshmen and sophomores for the upcoming 2016 season.

Brittany Rogers (see the photo below), Mary Beth Box, and Brandie Jay garnered First-Team All-America honors. Hopefully, they will provide the leadership the freshmen and sophomores need to reach their full potential. The Head Coach and Assistant Coaches are as good as they come; but some leadership within the ranks also is very important.

Brittany Rogers

In the Super Six Team Finals on April 18, the results were: (1) Florida, (2) Utah, (3) Oklahoma, (4) Alabama, (5) Stanford, and (6) Auburn. More details can be found using the link above and on the left.

In the Individual Event Finals on April 19, Stanford’s Elizabeth Price took top honors in the vault. Georgia’s Brandie Jay had arguably the best vault of the session, but she stumbled and took a short step on her landing. That probably cost her a 0.1 point, but her 9.850 was good for seventh place. On bars, the top spot went to Georgia Dabritz of Utah with a 9.962. The Gymdogs’ Brittany Rogers took second with a near-flawless 9.950, sharing second place with Bridget Sloan of Florida. On the balance beam, Samantha Peszek of UCLA took the top spot with a 9.950. On the floor exercise, Florida’s Kytra Hunter hit a 9.962 for top honors. After that, the scores were very bunched. The Gymdogs Mary Beth Box tied for nineth with a very solid 9.887. Again, more details can be found using the link above on the left.

The individual all-around results were based on the two semifinal sessions of April 17. Kytra Hunter of Florida and Samantha Peszek of UCLA shared the #1 position with scores of 39.600. Caitlin Atkinson of Auburn and Rheagan Courville of L.S.U. tied for the #3 spot. And once again, more detail can be found on a separate page with a link above and on the left.


Gymdogs Emerge Victorious in the Berkeley Regional !!
(April 04, 2015)

For Gymdog fans, the top news of the day is that the Gymdogs won their regional competition and therefore will be going to Fort Worth for the NCAA National Championships meet on April 17-19, twelve days from now (as of Easter Sunday 2015). Fuller details on the team and individual scores can be found on a separate page. In total, there will be 12 teams competing for the NCAA National Championships, those being the top two finishers in each of the 6 NCAA Regional competitions. Let us look briefly at the six Regionals and the teams from each one that qualified for the National Championships meet. In alphabetical order:

Ames Regional. For the third consecutive season and 14th time in program history, L.S.U. won an NCAA regional with a 197.175 in Hilton Coliseum to qualify them for the NCAA Championships. Nebraska placed second with a score of 196.950 to advance to the championships as well.

Auburn Regional. For the 33rd year in a row, and the first under new head coach Dana Duckworth, Alabama advanced to the NCAA championships after winning its regional championship in Auburn Arena Saturday night with a 197.575. Auburn, the host school, scored a 196.900 to take second, which will give them a trip to Fort Worth, Texas in 10 days.

Berkeley Regional. The Georgia Gymdogs scored a 197.025 to win the NCAA Berkeley Regional Saturday at California's Haas Pavilion, earning them a berth in the 12-team NCAA Championships. This is the 24th NCAA Regional title in Georgia history and the 31st time the Gymdogs have qualified for the national championships. Utah, who came into this meet as the #4 teams in the nation, also advanced with a 196.575.

Columbus Regional. UCLA did not have a single major deduction in this meet, scoring a 197.500 to win the NCAA Columbus Regional and thereby qualify for the NCAA Championships. The #6 team in the nation coming into this meet, the Michigan Wolverines, finished in second place with a score of 197.000, insuring their ticket to Fort Worth.

Morgantown Regional. The Florida Gators claimed the NCAA Morgantown Regional title, held Saturday in West Virginia's Coliseum. The win advances Florida to Fort Worth, Texas, where the Gators will look to defend their 2013 and 2014 NCAA team titles. The Gators turned in a 197.475 Saturday afternoon to take the win. The Stanford University Cardinal claimed the other berth with a team score of 197.000.

Norman Regional. For the sixth consecutive season, Oklahoma (the host school) became an NCAA Regional Champion. The top-ranked Sooners posted a 197.625 to advance to the NCAA National Championships in Fort Worth. Oregon State finished strong to claim the second qualifying position with 196.750 team score.

April 4th was a very good day for Georgia. They were seeded second, but finished first. They appear to be peaking at just the right time. With the NCAA National Championships coming up in 12 days (as of Easter Sunday 2015), they have a decent shot at making the Super Six, which would be a great way to finish the 2015 season!


Gymdogs Place 5th in the Southeastern Conference Championship
(March 21, 2015)

Duluth, GA.— The Southeastern Conference Championship included eight teams this year, the top finishers being Alabama, L.S.U., and Florida. Auburn took fourth and Georgia took fifth. Arkansas finished sixth; Missouri finished seventh; and Kentucky finished eighth. More details on team and individual performances can be found by clicking the blue SEC Championships link on the left.

Vivi Babalis

There were two sessions, each with four teams competing. The first was at 2:00 p.m. and the second was at 6:00 p.m. Georgia was part of the first session, along with Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri. There is an advantage to being in the second session. The crowds tend to be larger and more enthusiastic in the second session, and the judging tends to be a little more lenient. Being only human, the judges — perhaps unconsciously — tend to err on the lenient side, giving the crowds more to cheer about. With four teams competing at once, there are only four competition segments, with four athletes competing at once in each rotation, not the one-at-a-time pattern used in regular dual meets. Thus, a full session lasts perhaps 1½ hours. Spectators who wish to attend both sessions, plus the awards ceremony at the conclusion of the second session, are going to be in the arena for about seven hours — a long time to sit! — with about 2½ hours to twiddle their thumbs between sessions. Of course, they may wander around and buy snacks from the vendors, but they are essentially just waiting for time to go by. Understandably, many will opt for the second session only, watching the first on streaming video from their own homes. Gym Dog Vivi Babalis (photo slightly above on the right) is the same Vivi Babalis shown one photo down on the left. But notice the difference in the crowd sizes!

Crowd or no crowd, Georgia began on the vault and scored a solid 49.125 as a team, although it ranked only 5th out of the eight vault scores. Ashlyn Broussard and Brandie Jay led the way with a pair of 9.850s. In the second rotation, Georgia was on the uneven bars, where they scored a 49.375, which tied for second among the eight bars scores. In the third rotation, the Gymdogs ran into trouble, being penalized with major deductions in three of their routines, and scoring only a 48.150, the lowest balance beam score among the eight. Mary Beth Box scored a 9.925, the second highest beam score among the 48 beam performances of the eight teams. The Gymdogs finished strong on the floor exercise, scoring a 49.350, fourth highest out of the eight.

The Gymdogs RQS remains at 196.875. They will not gain in the national ranking; they probably will drop by one rank. Nebraska now has an RQS of 196.990, leap-frogging Georgia. Penn State and Oregon State had chances to do so, but they probably did not. Georgia will be traveling somewhere (not yet known) for an NCAA Regional competition, probably paired with Oklahoma, Florida, or L.S.U., and joined by four other teams yet to be selected. Qualifying for the NCAA Championships will be a challenge; but we believe that they will do so. Go Georgia!

Update (March 23). The new ranking is now out. Following their conference meets, the top six teams now are (1) Oklahoma, (2) Florida, (3) Utah, (4) L.S.U., (5) Alabama, and (6) Michigan. Those are the teams that will be top seeds in the 6 NCAA Regional qualifying meets. If the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Committee follows their usual guidelines, Georgia (now ranked #10) will be paired with #3 Utah, together with four other teams ranked outside the top 12. Boise State (#15) is a likely prospect, but the Committee sometimes deviates from its guidelines for reasons of travel or other special circumstances. We will know for sure on March 28, when the Committee announces its selections.


Gymdogs Defeat the Utah Utes with Their Best
Dual Meet Performance of the Season!
(March 14, 2015)

Vivi Babalis

Athens, GA.— Georgia finished strong to defeat the Utah Utes, who were previously undefeated, doing so in front of an enthusiastic Stegeman Coliseum crowd. For UGA students, Spring Break was March 07 through March 14, so many of the students were back in time for the Utah meet; and they saw a good one. In doing this, the Gym Dogs raised their RQS to 196.875, exceeding their previous best duel meet score by 0.475 points. They may be starting to peek at just the right time, considering that the SEC Championships are coming up on March 21st. Full team and individual scores can be found on a separate page. But to fully appreciate the drama of this competition, which pitted the Gymdogs against the #4 ranked team in the nation, let’s now look at how the meet unfolded.

In the first rotation, Georgia (on vault) turned in a solid performance, posting a team score of 49.175. Natalie Vaculik and Ashlyn Broussard posted a pair of 9.800’s; Brittany added a 9.825; and Chelsea Davis and Brandie Jay added a pair of 9.875’s. Utah (on the uneven bars) posted a team score of 49.500, giving them a lead of 0.325 after one rotation. Their most notable performances were a pair of 9.900’s from Baely Rowe and Tory Wilson, and a 9.975 from Georgia Dabritz. In recent years, meets between Georgia and Utah usually have ended with Utah losing; but the Utes seemed to be on a mission in this meet.


Morgan Reynolds

Switching events for the second rotation, the Gymdogs were on fire, not about to let Utah dominate the meet. Natalie Vaculik contributed a 9.900; Chelsea Davis and Brittany Rogers added a pair of 9.925’s; and Kiera Brown added a 9.950. The Gym Dogs racked up a team score o 49.575, 0.075 better than Utah had done on the bars. Utah put up a team score of 49.425 on the vault, fueled by three performances of 9.900 or higher. Kari Lee won the even with a 9.925. Utah was still leading the meet, but Georgia had dropped their deficit to 0.175, keeping them within striking distance.

In the third rotation, the Gymdogs cut that deficit to 0.025, led by a 9.900 from Natalie Vaculik and a 9.875 from Ashlyn Broussard. Over on the floor exercise, Utah was led by Kari Lee (9.875) and Becky Tutka (9.925); but now the challenge for Georgia was to finish strong, wipe out the deficit, and try to win the meet, which none of Utah’s previous opponents had been able to do.

Both teams came out determined in the fourth and final rotation, Georgia on the floor exercise and Utah on the balance beam. Tory Wilson was up first for Utah, posting a 9.825. Sarah Persinger was up first for Georgia, matching Wilson’s score with a 9.825 of her own. Utah’s Maddy Stover and Baely Rowe them a pair of 9.900’s, showing that they had no intention of losing this meet. But neither did Georgia! Morgan Reynolds, Vivi Babalis, and Mary Beth Box posted a trio of 9.900’s, and Gigi Marino added a 9.925.

This sends them into the Southeastern Conference Championships knowing that they can compete with the best teams in the nation. March 21 at 2:00 p.m. in the Gwinnett Center is when and where the SEC Championships will take place.


Georgia Defeats Arkansas in a Come-from-Behind Thriller!
(March 07, 2015)

Athens, GA.— It would be hard to find a gymnastics meet with the uncertainties and ultimately the thrills of this one. In the first rotation, Georgia on the vault jumped out to a 0.200 lead over Arkansas on the uneven bars, 49.275 to 49.075. The second rotation produced a dead heat, both teams scoring 49.275. In the third rotation, Georgia on the balance beam came somewhat unraveled, with two falls, requiring them to count a 9.300 in their team score. Meanwhile, Arkansas on the floor exercise had no counting score less than a 9.800. When the rotation was over, Arkansas had jumped into the lead, 147.550 to 147.225. The question fans had to ask themselves at this point was, “Can the Gymdogs somehow erase that 0.325 deficit, and then some to win, in the final rotation?” The answer, we are pleased to report, is yes! But let’s now get more specific.

Gym Dog Natalie Vaculik began the meet with a beautiful vault, but a 0.1 deduction for a hop on her landing, scoring 9.800. Gigi Marino added another 9.800; Chelsea Davis added a near-flawless 9.950; Ashlyn Broussard added a 9.825; and Brittany Rogers capped off the scoring with a vault of impressive height and distance, contributing a 9.900. Over on the uneven bars, Erin Freier, Stephani Canizaro, Amanda Wellick, and Paige Zaziski all scored 9.825’s.

Gigi Marino

For the second rotation, Georgia moved to the uneven bars and Arkansas moved to the vault. Most people in the arena, we suspect, expected the Gymdogs to pull away — Arkansas had come into the meet ranked 17th in the nation, making Georgia a prohibitive favorite. Georgia did well in the second rotation; but Arkansas stayed with them competitor by competitor. Georia put up scores to 9.850 from Sarah Persinger and Kiera Brown; a score of 9.900 from Chelsea Davis; and a score of 9.950 from Brittany Rogers. But Arkansas countered with scores of 9.900 from Heather Elswick and Amanda Wellick. Arkansas competed only five athletes, not the permitted number of six. But they matched Georgia’s score of 49.275.

In the third rotation, Vivi Babalis contributed to the Gym Dogs’ team score on the balance beam with a 9.875; and Brittany Rogers followed with a 9.925. But missed routines and various balance-checks and bobbles made them fall short of the team score they had wanted. On the floor exercise, Arkansas was led by Sydnie Dillard (9.850) and Amanda Wellick (9.900); but they were solid from top to bottom, taking Georgia’s lead and eyeing an upset victory.

For the final rotation, the Gymdogs hit the floor determined to finish strong. It would be hard to single out any competitor as the star — they all played starring roles! Sarah Persinger led off with a beautiful 9.900; Morgan Reynolds added a very solid 9.875; Kiera Brown added a 9.825; Gigi Marino (pictured on the right) hit a near-flawless 9.950; Vivi Babalis contributed a 9.875; and Mary Beth Box anchored with a season-best 9.950. Meanwhile, on the balance beam, Arkansas received a 9.875 from Amanda Wellick and a 9.900 from Sydnie Dillard. Arkansas as a team scored 49+ on all four events, their strongest performance of the year; however, they were unable to overcome the Gymdogs’ onslaught in the fourth rotation. Georgia finished strong, very strong indeed. Full team and individual results can be found on a separate page.

Up next for the Gymdogs is a dual meet against the Utah Utes in Stegeman Coliseum on Saturday, March 14, at 4:00 p.m. The students who were on Spring Break for the Arkansas meet should be back in town for the Utah meet, which promises to be an exciting one.


Georgia Drops Their Meet with Auburn at Auburn
(February 27, 2015)

Auburn, AL.— This meet generated some good news and some bad news. On the good side, the Gymdogs raised their RQS to 196.720. After their meet one week ago, their RQS was 196.525, so they gained 0.195 on that crucially important measure. In addition, they received individual scores of 9.850 or higher (9.850 being what a team must average to finish with a final team score of 197.000) from Kiera Brown, Chelsea Davis, and Brittany Rogers on the uneven bars; from Ashlyn Broussard and Brandie Jay on the vault; and from Natalie Vaculik, Kiera Brown, Ashlyn Broussard, and Mary Beth Box on the balance beam. Their highest score on the floor exercise was a 9.825 from Vivi Babalis, which translates to a 196.500 team score if they averaged that in their counting scores for each event. Through last week, they were ranked only 6th in the Southeastern Conference on floor (out of eight teams). That is the event where they could make the largest gains. They are doing essentially as well as the top teams on the other three events. Their performance on the balance beam is especially encouraging.

The less good news is that Auburn won the meet 197.750 to 196.775. Auburn deserves congratulations for posting their best team score of the season. But let’s look now at each of the four rotations. Auburn took the early lead with a 49.375 on vault, while Georgia posted a 49.325 on bars. Kiera Brown and Brittany Rogers led the team with a pair of 9.900s. The 49.325 for the Gymdogs was their second-highest bars score this season.

Natalie

In the second rotation, the Tigers extended their lead to 98.825-98.425 with a 49.450 on the uneven bars, while Georgia scored a 49.100 on the vault. Brandie Jay led the way with a 9.875 in the anchor position for the Gymdogs.

In the third rotation, Georgia scored a 49.000 on the floor exercise behind a 9.825 by freshman Vivi Babalis. Auburn turned in a 49.375 on the balance beam and led 148.200-147.425 after three rotations.

The Gymdogs opened the final rotation with a pair of back-to-back career-highs: a 9.875 by Natalie Vaculik and a 9.900 by Kiera Brown. They went on to close the meet with a season-high 49.375. Mary Beth Box turned in a 9.925 in the anchor position. Meanwhile, Auburn was accumulating an inspired 49.550 on the floor exercise, led by Caitlin Atkinson’s 9.975. Atkinson also won the individual all-around with an A-A score of 39.675.

Georgia will be at home for its next meet on Saturday, March 7, against Arkansas. That meet will serve as Georgia's annual Alumni Meet, which this year with feature the 2005 National Championship team.


The Gymdogs Lose to Alabama in Athens
(February 20, 2015)

Athens, GA.— Georgia is close to putting up scores that could compete well with the best teams in the United States. On this particular night, the Gym Dogs’ team score was 148.150 through the first three rotations. They would be finishing on the floor exercise in front of a home crowd. If they could put up a 48.850 in that final event, then they would attain a 197.000. If they could put up a 49.350 (certainly within their capabilities), then they would finish with a 197.500 team score. Sarah Persinger led off for the Gymdogs with a solid 9.875, putting them on track for a 49.375 event score and a 197.525 final team score. But then things started to go awry. On the positive side, Mary Beth Box and Brandie Jay scored a pair of 9.850s in the final two lineup spots; but Georgia had major deductions from two of their six performances, one of which had to be counted in their team score; and their chances for a 197+ final score faded away. As a team, they raised their RQS from 196.280 to 196.525. Clearly, they are headed in the right direction, but they haven't quite turned the corner yet.

Chelsea Davis

Let’s now look at the meet more systematically. The Gym Dogs began the night with a 49.550 on vault, their best score on any event this season. Chelsea Davis (photo on the right) tied her career high with a 9.900, and Ashlyn Broussard followed with a career high of 9.975. Brittany Rogers added a 9.950; Natalie Vaculik scored a 9.875; and Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.850. Meanwhile, over on the uneven bars, Alabama’s Mackenzie Brannan and Kaitlyn Clark posted a pair of 9.900s; and Lauren Beers anchored with a 9.950.

Switching events for the second rotation, Sarah Persinger led the way on bars for Georgia with a career-high 9.900. Natalie Vaculik contributed a 9.850; Chelsea Davis added another 9.850; Kiera Brown posted a 9.825; and Brittany Rogers posted a 9.875 in the anchor position. On vault, Carley Sims and Lauren Beers scored a pair of 9.900s; and Kayla Williams added a 9.950. Georgia still had a narrow lead after two rotations, the halfway point in the meet.

For the third rotation, Georgia went to the balance beam and Alabama went to the floor exercise. Mary Beth Box led Georgia with a career-high 9.950. Vivi Babalis and Brittany Rogers had a pair of 9.850s; and Natalie Vaculik and Ashlyn Broussard added a pair of 9.825s. On the floor exercise, Amanda Jetter, Carley Sims, Kaitlyn Clark, and Lauren Beers all scored 9.900 or higher, leading Alabama to a slight lead after three rotations.

Georgia would finish on the floor exercise, while Alabama would finish on the always-treacherous balance beam. Unfortunately for the Gymdogs, however, the Rolling Tide would finish with a team score of 49.350, while the Gymdogs, as reported above, would run into major deductions and finish their event with a team score of 48.675.

Full team and individual scores for both Georgia and Alabama can be found on a separate page. Coming up next is an away meet with the Auburn Tigers, which is schedulted for 8:00 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, February 27.


Mary Beth Box


Georgia Defeats North Carolina 196.200 to 195.200
(February 14, 2015)

Although they faltered somewhat on the balance beam in the fourth rotation, Georgia still took the victory over the Tar Heels by a full point: 196.200 to 195.200. Perhaps the most important part of their victory from a strictly logical or numerical point of view was that the Gymdogs raised their Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) from 195.900 to 196.280 (see the discussion in the article just below this one).

In the first rotation, Georgia (on bars) jumped out to a substantial lead over North Carolina (on vault), 49.225 to 48.600. They extended that lead after switching events for the second rotation, 49.250 to 48.825. At the half-way point, the Gym Dogs had a cushion of 1.050. The top scorers for Georgia were Natalie Vaculik (9.875) and Chelsea Davis (9.925) on the uneven bars; and Ashlyn Broussard (9.900), Brittany Rogers (9.900), and Brandie Jay (9.875) on vault. North Carolina’s top scorers were Sarah Peterson (9.800) on vault and Morgan Lane (9.825) on the uneven bars.

For the third rotation, North Carolina went to the balance beam and Georgia went to the floor exercise. The Gymdogs lengthened their lead in the meet to 1.525, led by Mary Beth Box (9.875), Brandie Jay (9.850), and Sarah Persinger (9.850). The Tar Heels top score was a 9.800 from Morgan Lane.

In the fourth and final rotation, Georgia was on the balance beam and North Carolina was on the floor exercise. The Gymdogs had some good individual performances — most notably, those of Brittany Rogers (9.900) and Ashlyn Broussard (9.875) — but as a team they could score only 48.625. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels were coming alive, led by Haley Watts (9.850), Morgan Lane (9.875), and Lexi Cappalli (9.925), posting a 49.150 as a team.

A summary of the Gymdogs’ individual performances is given below; and a fuller summary of both teams’ individual and team performances is given on a separate page.

The Gymdogs now have a week to get ready for an SEC match-up. On Friday, February 20, the Gymdogs will host the Alabama Crimson Tide in Stegeman Coliseum at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Gymnast Vault Bars Beam Floor
Vivi Babalis 9.800 9.700
Mary Beth Box 9.300 9.875
Ashlyn Broussard 9.900 9.875 9.825
Kiera Brown 9.750
Chelsea Davis 9.925
Brandie Jay 9.875 9.825 9.850
GiGi Marino 9.775 9.700
Sarah Persinger 9.650 9.850
Morgan Reynolds 9.750
Beth Roberts 9.800
Brittany Rogers 9.900 9.850 9.900
Natalie Vaculik 9.775 9.875 9.250


Putting the Focus on RQS


floor routine

Collegiate gymnastics teams have much to gain if they can produce a good meet, no matter who wins or loses. By mid-February, most teams will have enough meets — at least six in total, at least three away — to permit the calculation of a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). They want that RQS to put them at or near the top of their conference, and to qualify them for an NCAA Regional invitation in late March. Georgia currently (that is, as of February 12) has an RQS of 195.900; but their next meet will provide an opportunity to improve it. Hypothetically, let’s suppose that the Gymdogs were to score 196.750, which should be well within their reach. That would raise their RQS from 195.900 to 196.390, an improvement of 0.490. How? By replacing their uncharacteristically low score of 194.300 against Denver with a new away score that would be much higher.

Importance of Regional Qualifying Scores. So why would that matter? It matters because everything important between February 23 and March 28 is governed by RQS, not by won-lost records or average team scores or any other criterion. North Carolina must shoot for a solid RQS over the next weeks in order to qualify for an NCAA Regional Meet. RQS matters. Related to this, the teams that are ranked in the top six nationally, based on RQS, will be top seeds in the six Regional Meets, which is where teams qualify or fail to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Being a top seed greatly increases a team’s chances of qualifying for the NCAA Championships, because the top seeds will be paired with teams outside the top six. For Georgia, it would be much safer to be paired with relatively low ranked teams than with (say) Oklahoma, L.S.U., Florida, or Alabama. Being in the top six in RQS gives a team a little more room to make mistakes and still go the NCAA Championships.

Regional Selection Process. As a first step, the process is simply to determine the national ranking of teams from first to eighteenth, based on RQS’s; and then to use a formula to decide which teams will compete against each other. For instance, #1, #12, and #13 will be put in the same NCAA Regional. Selections for each of six NCAA Regional competitions will be announced by the NCAA Gymnastics Selection Committee on Saturday, March 28; and those are based on RQS. Each of the six Regionals will have six teams, 5 all-around competitors who are not on a qualifying team, and one individual specialist per event who is not on a qualifying team. The six NCAA Regional competitions will take place on Saturday, April 4.

For convenience in talking or writing about them, the six Regionals for 2015 have been labeled: (1) the Ames Regional, hosted by Iowa State University; (2) the Auburn Regional, hosted by Auburn University; (3) the Berkeley Regional, hosted by the University of California, Berkeley; (4) the Columbus Regional, hosted by Ohio State University; (5) the Morgantown Regional, hosted by West Virginia University; and (6) the Norman Regional, hosted by Oklahoma University. Presuming that the University of Georgia qualifies for a regional, its assignment will not be known until March 28, when the NCAA Gymnastics Selection Committee announces the qualifying teams and which ones will go where.

It may seem counter-intuitive to some people that won-lost records don’t count for anything beyond bragging rights; but that’s the way the system works!


Gymdogs Fall to L.S.U. in Baton Rouge
(Friday, February 06, 2015)

Vivi Babalis

Baton Rouge, LA.— Georgia scored 196.850, their second highest away score of the season; however, L.S.U. posted the highest score in the country so far this season (198.075) to take the win. The official attendance was 7,722 and (as one would expect) the vast majority those were L.S.U. fans.

In the first rotation — Gymdogs on bars and Tigers on vault — Georgia scored 49.225 as a team, led by Brittany Rogers (9.875), Chelsea Davis (9.875), and Sarah Persinger (9.850). Meanwhile, Louisiana State was scoring 49.450 as a team, led by Sydney Ewing and Myia Hambrick (pair of 9.900s) and Rheagan Courville (9.950).

Exchanging events for the second rotation, the Gymdogs gained back part of their 0.225 deficit, scoring 49.425 as a team to the Tigers’ 49.375. Everyone in the Georgia lineup scored 9.850 or higher, led by Natalie Vaculik’s 9.900. On bars, the most notable performers were Randii Wyrick (9.900) and Rheagan Courville (9.950). Georgia’s deficit was now only 0.175, which could be eliminated if they could finish strong and if Louisiana State were to falter on beam or floor.

Rheagan Courville

Unfortunately for the Gymdogs, L.S.U. did not falter. In fact, they put up a 49.625 on the balance beam, while Georgia was scoring 49.075 on the floor exercise. Georgia was led by Mary Beth Box’s 9.875, GiGi Marino’s 9.850, and Vivi Babalis’s 9.825. L.S.U.’s counting scores all were 9.875 or higher, including a trio of 9.950’s from their last three performers. Rheagan Courville score her third straight 9.950 of the night, putting her on track for what was to be a very good all-around score.

For the final rotation, the Gymdogs moved to the balance beam, while the Tigers went to the floor exercise. L.S.U.’s home crowd had been loud throughout the evening; but they got even louder in the fourth rotation. This would be a good test for Georgia, as they would have to focus strongly and exclusively on their routines, ignoring the crowd. The balance beam is approximately 4 feet high and 16 feet long. It is only 10 centimeters wide, less than four inches. It can be a treacherous apparatus for the visiting team, especially if the visiting team needs to pull out all the stops to finish well. Falls are likely in that situation. To their great credit, the Gymdogs did not suffer a fall and did keep their focus where it needs to be. The Gymdogs were led by Natalie Vaculik (9.800), Brittany Rogers (9.850), Ashlyn Broussard (9.875), and Mary Beth Box (9.825), as a team scoring 49.125. This was not a night, however, where anyone was going to defeat the Tigers. They put up three scores of 9.950 or higher, led by Rheagan Courville’s 9.975. We have never seen the Tiger’s head coach, D-D Breaux, so animated as she sought to fire up her team before every rotation.

Rheagan Courville (photo above left) took the individual all-around crown with an excellent 39.825. Georgia did not have an all-around competitor.

Georgia is still in a cautious mode, as their potential all-arounders for later on are not yet doing four events; and many of the Gymdogs are not using their full skill-sets. That cautious approach may pay off later. All in all, Georgia had a good meet. They now have a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 195.900, their average score being 196.079. We would expect their RQS to go up next week when they will face the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, NC. Any team score above 194.300 would raise their RQS. ☐


Gymdogs Drop a Tough Meet at Florida
(Friday, January 30, 2015)

Brandie Jay

Gainesville, FL.— Georgia scored 49+ as a team on all four events, showing focus and consistency, finishing with a final team score of 196.950, their best away score of the season. Performing in front of a crowd of 7,116 in Florida’s Stephen C. O’Connell Center, Florida was fired up and at their best, scoring 197.600. Still, the Gymdogs fought hard and did well, in spite of not getting the victory they wanted. The Gymdogs will face Florida again later in the season, and they will be looking to avenge their loss. But for now let’s focus on the positive!

In the first rotation, Florida was on the vault and Georgia was on the uneven bars. Rachel Schick led off for Georgia with a 9.800; before the rotation was over, Brandie Jay had posted a 9.900 and Kiera Brown had posted a 9.925. Over on the vault, Florida’s Kytra Hunter scored a near-perfect 9.975. After one rotation, Florida led Georgia 49.300 to 49.250.

Changing events for rotation 2, Georgia’s lineup was consistent in the 9.8 range, Ashlyn Broussard hitting a 9.875 for the high score. Then Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.925 to give the Gymdogs a 49.200 team score. On the uneven bars, Florida wasn’y leaving many openings for closing the gap, led by Bridgette Caquatto (9.900) and Alex McMurtry (9.925). After two rotations, Florida led the Gymdogs 48.675 to 98.450.

For the third rotation, Georgia went to the floor exercise and Florida went to the balance beam. Florida’s Kennedy Baker started the rotation with a 9.925; Georgia’s Kiera Brown led off with a solid 9.850. Florida was consistently 9.825 or higher, led by Alex McMurtry (9.900) and Kytra Hunter (9.875). Georgia had a very solid rotation, led by Mary Beth Box (9.900) and Brandie Jay (9.925). Floor and beam have been Georgia’s nemeses in the early season, but they seemed to be putting that behind them.

Would that continue as the Gymdogs finished the meet on the balance beam? Yes indeed! Morgan Reynolds scored a 9.825; Brittany Rogers scored a 9.850; Ashlyn Broussard scored a 9.950; and Mary Beth Box anchored with a 9.900. Led on by their loud and enthusiastic home crowd, however, Florida was not to be caught.

Florida had the individual all-around competition all to themselves, as the Gymdogs did not have anyone doing all four events. Kytra Hunter posted a 39.675, and Kennedy Baker put up a 39.550. Congratulations to the Gators … but next time is coming!


The Gymdogs Prevail Over the Kentucky Wildcats
(Saturday, January 24, 2015)


Natalie

Natalie Vaculik on the balance beam
(Photo by Sean Taylor)

Athens, GA.— In front of a home crowd of 9,957 fans, the Gymdogs defeated the Kentucky Wildcats 196.975 to 194.225. One highlight of the meet was the performance of the freshmen: Vivi Babalis, Natalie Vaculik, GiGi Marino, and Rachel Schick.* Together, they performed in 7 of the 24 lineup spots, with an average score of slightly over 9.82, slightly better than the average score of the team if we count all 24 lineup spots (not just the 20 counting scores).

Georgia got off to a strong start on vault. Sarah Persinger started the ball rolling, scoring a 9.800 in the leadoff position. Natalie Vaculik added another 9.800. Brittany Rogers added a 9.850; and Ashlyn Broussard and Brandie Jay posted a pair of 9.900’s. Over on the uneven bars, Kentucky’s Cori Rechenmacher and Marissa Beucler posted solid 9.800’s; however, after the first rotation Georgia led 49.250 to 48.900.

Trading events for the second rotation, Rachel Schick and Natalie Vaculik started on bars for Georgia, posting a pair of 9.825’s. Kiera Brown added a 9.875; and Brittany Rogers added a near-perfect 9.975. Chelsea Davis anchored for the Gym Dogs with a 9.850. Over on the vault, the Kentucky athletes were uniformly in the 9.750 ± 0.025 range, chalking up a team score of 48.775. After two rotations, Georgia led 98.600 to 97.675.

Moving to the balance beam — a weak event for Georgia in previous meets — Natalie Vanculik and Ashlyn Broussard scored a pair of 9.850’s; Vivi Babalis added a 9.825; and Mary Beth Box anchored with a strong 9.875. Georgia’s team score was a solid 49.100, a big improvement over their troubles on this event earlier in the season. On the floor exercise, Kentucky’s Taylor Puryear and Kayla Hartley scored 9.800’s to lead the Wildcats to a team score of 48.825. At this juncture, Georgia led 147.700 to 146.500.

For the last rotation, Georgia went to the floor exercise and Kentucky went to the balance beam. Kentucky’s woes resembled Georgia’ in their last meet with Denver: they had two falls, one of which would have to be a counting score; and they had sizable deductions from three other routines. Cori Rechenmacher posted a solid 9.825, but Kentucky as a team had to settle for 47.725 in their last event. Over on the floor exercise, Georgia was redeeming their past troubles with a much-improved 49.275. Kiera Brown, Ashlyn Broussard, and Vivi Babalis posted a trio of 9.850’s; and Brandie Jay anchored with an impressive 9.925.

Georgia’s next three meets will be on the road, beginning with the University of Florida Gators in Gainesville, Florida, which will take place on Friday, January 30th. If Georgia can perform well in that difficult environment, then that would be a good omen for the future!

*Rachel Schick technically is a sophomore, but she may have more eligibility due to an entire season missed
with injury. That remains to be seen. One way or the other, it’s good to have her back in good health!

video


Georgia Loses to Denver 194.850 to 194.300
(Monday, January 19, 2015)

Denver, CO.— The Georgia Gymdogs were leading the Denver Pioneers after three rotations, but three falls off the balance beam in the fourth rotation allowed the Pioneers to gain 1.475 points on Georgia and upset the Gymdogs.

Complete team and individual scores can be found on a separate page, which can be accessed by clicking a link on the left.

In an interview after the meet, Head Coach Danna Durante said: "We started stronger on bars today with Rachel Schick, Brandie Jay, and Chelsea Davis performing the way they can, and that was good to see. Vault was better. We are obviously not happy with the way we finished, and we have to be better than that. We still have work to do. That's about all I can say."

Although the team would like to finish stronger, there were some individual performances that merit mention. Coach Durante mentioned three of them: Rachel Schick (9.900), Brandie Jay (9.900), and Chelsea Davis (9.825) on bars. On vault, Beth Roberts (9.800), Ashlyn Broussard (9.875), and Brandie Jay (9.850) gave solid performances. And on floor, Mary Beth Box (9.800) and Vivi Babalis (9.850) were quite solid.

Georgia’s next meet will be against the University of Kentucky Wildcats next Saturday in Stegeman Coliseum at 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). That meet will be Georgia’s annual “Pink Meet” that raises money for the Athens Regional Medical Center, a leader in the fight against breast cancer. The Kentucky Wildcats scored 195.600 in their last meet, which was against L.S.U. and Arizona State. Kentucky placed second among the three teams. The Gymdogs will prepare by studying videos and practicing ways to eliminate deductions. The fans will prepare by finding something pink to wear!


Georgia Wins Over Missouri 195.800 to 195.225
(Friday, January 16, 2015)

Natalie Vaculik
Natalie Vaculik on the balance beam
(Photo by Sean Taylor)

Athens, GA.— The Georgia Gymdogs defeated the Missouri Tigers in their second meet of the 2015 season, 195.800 to 195.225, performing in front of a crowd of 7,417 fans in Stegeman Coliseum. The Martin Luther King holiday, a three day weekend for most students, reduced meet attendance as many fans were out of town; however, thousands of fans, including many college students, did attend, in spite of having to postpone their trips home or elsewhere. For Georgia, a high point of the meet was their improvement on the floor exercise, which was their weakest even in their first meet. While they had three missed routines, one on bars and two beam, which cost them reductions in their team scores, anyone who actually witnessed their performances surely would agree that there is plenty of potential on this year’s team.

As the home team, the Gymdogs began the meet on the vault, Missouri beginning on the uneven bars. Sarah Persinger led off for Georgia, posting a 9.825. Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.950, her personal best. In between, Beth Roberts posted a 9.825, and GiGi Marino and Ashlyn Broussard put up a pair of 9.800’s. Over on bars, Missouri was getting off to a slow start, their top scores being a pair of 9.750’s from Shauna Miller and Becca Johnson. Georgia led 49.200 to 48.650 after the first rotation.

In the second rotation, Georgia was on the uneven bars and Missouri was on the vault. Georgia had a missed routine, but Natalie Vaculik and Kiera Brown contributed a pair of 9.800’s, and Chelsea Davis anchored with a 9.900, giving the Gymdogs a 48.975 teeam score. On the vault, Missouri posted a 48.950 team score, led by Kennedi Harris’s 9.800 and Shauna Miller’s 9.850. At the half-way point, Georgia led the Tigers 98.175 to 97.600, a margin of 0.575.

Moving to the balance beam for the third rotation, the Gym Dogs scored 48.475 as a team. Georgia lost a half-point due to a pair of major (0.500) deductions, only one of which they could throw away. However, a 9.850 from Mary Beth Box, a 9.875 from Ashlyn Broussard, and a 9.800 from Vivi Babalis cushioned those setbacks. Missouri was on the floor exercise for the third rotation, scoring 48.700 as a team, led by a 9.800 from Kennedi Harris and a 9.850 from Shauna Miller.

For the fourth and final rotation, the Gymdogs moved to the floor exercise, while the Tigers moved to the balance beam. Georgia rebounded nicely from their third-rotation problems, scoring 49.150 as a team. They were led by Sarah Persinger (9.825), Mary Beth Box (9.875), Vivi Babalis (9.850), and Brandie Jay (9.850). Over on the balance beam, Missouri was accumulating a team score of 48.925, led by a pair of 9.825’s from Becca Schugel and Briana Conkle.

Next up for the Gymdogs will be the Denver Pioneers in Denver, Colorado, on Monday, January 19th at 4:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. That meet will be followed by meets with the Kentucky Wildcats on 01/24/15 in Athens and the Florida Gators on 01/30/15 in Gainesville, Florida, which will conclude a rather busy first month for the Gymdogs.



Georgia Drops Their Home Opener to Michigan 196.600 to 195.600
(Saturday, January 10, 2015)


Sarah Persinger

Sarah Persinger performs her floor routine
(Photo by John Kelley)

Athens, GA.— The Georgia Gymdogs fell to the Michigan Wolverines in their opening meet of the season, 196.600 to 195.600, in front of a crowd of 10,224 at Stegeman Coliseum. For Georgia, one high point of the meet was the return to good health and good form of senior Sarah Persinger. She competed on three events and one exhibition, giving solid performances on all four.

The Gymdogs opened with a 49.000 on vault, highlighted by an event-high score of 9.925 by Brandie Jay in the anchor position. Freshman Natalie Vaculik added a 9.825 in her first collegiate career vault. Over on bars, the Wolverines were accumulating a score of 49.025 to take a small lead over Georgia.

Switching events for the second rotation, Chelsea Davis and Kiera Brown led Georgia, each earning a score of 9.875. Brittany Rogers added a 9.850 to give the Gymdogs a respectable 49.125 on the event. The Wolverines, however, posted a 49.325 on vault, lengthening their lead in the meet to 0.225 after two rotations.

In the third rotation on beam, Mary Beth Box and Vivi Babalis posted team-high scores of 9.850 each. Sarah Persinger added a 9.800, but the Gymdogs as a team had to settle for a 48.925 on the event. Meanwhile, over on the floor exercise, Michigan was racking up a solid score of 49.150 on floor, giving them a lead of 0.450 going into the fourth and final rotation.

In that final rotation, Kiera Brown led Georgia off with a 9.850. Sarah Persinger and Brandie Jay added a par of 9.825s; but Georgia as a team could muster only a 48.550 for the event. Over on the balance beam, Michigan was accumulating a 49.100, led by a pair of 9.900s from Nicole Artz and Talia Chiarelli, adding further to lead.

Interviewed after the meet, Sarah Persinger said: “Tonight was a really big learning experience for all of us. I think we’re going to take a lot out of tonight, learn from our mistakes … remember the things that we did well and build on them. Really, it can only go up from here.” We think that it will go up. The athletes need to eliminate the little glitches that lead to 0.2 deductions, which turn a 9.900 into a 9.700. We offer our support and encouragement.

Georgia’s next meet will be against Missouri this coming Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Stegeman Coliseum.

§ § §


National Ranking of Teams

The final national ranking of teams for 2015 was determined as follows: (1) the top six teams, those that competed in the Super Six finals, are ranked from 1 through 6 based on their NCAA Super Six Final Scores; (2) the next six teams, those that competed in an NCAA Semi-Final but that did not advance to the Super Six, are ranked from 7 through 12 based on their NCAA Semi-Final scores; (3) the next 24 teams, those that competed in an NCAA Regional meet but did not advance to the NCAA team finals, are ranked from 13 through 36 based on their National Qualifying Scores (NQS’s); and (4) the next 46 teams, those that did not qualify for an NCAA Regional, are ranked from 37 through 82 based on their Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS’s). This somewhat complicated set of ranking criteria was formulated by an NCAA Gymnastics Committee. There are 82 collegiate gymnastics teams in all.

Prior to the final ranking, the national ranking of teams was based on average team scores early in the season. When teams have had only a few meets, that average may be misleading, because idiosyncratic factors can play a big role. The ranking became more meaningful starting on February 23rd, 2015, when the criterion became Regional Qualifying Score (RQS). Average scores are likely to include some performances that are uncharacteristic of a team’s likely performance, whereas RQS’s are adjusted to provide better estimates of how the teams are shaping up as the season progresses. Still, average scores provide a rough sense of which teams are doing well and are likely to be in the running for awards toward the end of the season; and they are all we have early in the season. RQS’s cannot be calculated until a team has competed at least six times, with at least three of those competitions being away meets.

In the most recent listing below, NQS (National Qualifying Score) equals the sum of RQS and actual regional score. For instance, for Georgia: NQS = 196.875 + 197.025 = 393.900.


National Ranks (20 Apr 2015)
Final Rank Team Name Team Crit Score*
01 Florida 197.850
02 Utah 197.800
03 Oklahoma 197.525
04 Alabama 197.275
05 Stanford 197.250
06 Auburn 195.625
07 Michigan 197.025
08 Nebraska 196.675
09 Georgia 196.600
10 L.S.U. 196.550
11 UCLA 196.400
12 Oregon St 195.875
13 Illinois 393.190
14 Arkansas 392.785
15 Denver 392.405
16 S. Utah 392.375
17 Arizona 392.245
18 California 392.240
19 C. Michigan 392.115
20 Boise St 391.870
21 Missouri 391.820
22 Penn St 391.815
23 Minnesota 391.475
24 Kentucky 391.195
25 NC State 391.160

*The criterion differs by category. See the explanation above.


National Ranks (06 Apr 2015)
Rank Team Name Team NQS
01 Oklahoma 395.520
02 Florida 395.265
03 Alabama 395.065
04 L.S.U. 394.825
05 UCLA 394.700
06 Michigan 394.270
07 Utah 394.245
08 Auburn 393.945
09 Nebraska 393.940
10 Georgia 393.900
11 Stanford 393.720
12 Oregon St 393.430
13 Illinois 393.190
14 Arkansas 392.785
15 Denver 392.405
16 S. Utah 392.375
17 Arizona 392.245
18 California 392.240
19 C. Michigan 392.115
20 Boise St 391.870


National Ranks (23 Mar 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Oklahoma 197.895
02 Florida 197.790
03 Utah 197.670
04 L.S.U. 197.650
05 Alabama 197.490
06 Michigan 197.270
07 UCLA 197.200
08 Auburn 197.045
09 Nebraska 196.990
10 Georgia 196.875
11 Stanford 196.720
12 Penn State 196.665
13 Oregon State 196.550
14 Illinois 196.515
15 Boise State 196.495
16 Denver 196.455
17 Minnesota 196.450
18 Arizona 196.445
19 Arkansas 196.285
20 California 196.240


SEC Ranks (16 Mar 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Florida 197.750
02 L.S.U. 197.630
03 Alabama 197.425
04 Auburn 197.025
05 Georgia 196.875
06 Arkansas 196.275
07 Kentucky 195.735
08 Missouri 195.635


National Ranks (16 Mar 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Oklahoma 197.860
02 Florida 197.750
03 L.S.U. 197.630
04 Utah 197.605
05 Alabama 197.425
06 Michigan 197.185
07 UCLA 197.130
08 Auburn 197.025
09 Georgia 196.875
10 Nebraska 196.865
11 Penn St 196.555
12 Oregon St 196.550
13 Stanford 196.530
14 Denver 196.455
15 Boise St 196.375
16 Illinois 196.355
17 Arizona 196.290
18 Arkansas 196.275
19 Minnesota 196.250
20 California 196.190


National Ranks (09 Mar 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Oklahoma 197.845
02 Florida 197.690
03 L.S.U. 197.630
04 Utah 197.530
05 Alabama 197.390
06 Michigan 197.180
07 Auburn 197.020
08 UCLA 196.895
09 Nebraska 196.865
10 Georgia 196.835
11 Stanford 196.530
12 Penn St 196.430
13 Illinois 196.355
14 Oregon St 196.330
15 Boise St 196.325
16 Arkansas 196.260
17 Arizona 196.195
18 Denver 196.100
19 California 196.050
20 Minnesota 196.035


National Ranks (02 Mar 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Oklahoma 197.740
02 L.S.U. 197.485
03 Florida 197.455
04 Utah 197.295
05 Michigan 197.065
06 Alabama 197.055
07 Nebraska 196.840
08 UCLA 196.785
09 Auburn 196.745
10 Georgia 196.720
11 Penn St 196.200
12 Illinois 196.195
13 Stanford 196.175
14 Boise St 196.165
15 Oregon St 196.150
16 Minnesota 196.010
17 Denver 195.935
18 Arkansas 195.910
19 Arizona 195.860
20 California 195.845


National Ranks (23 Feb 2015)
Rank Team Name Team RQS
01 Oklahoma 197.640
02 L.S.U. 197.335
03 Florida 197.270
04 Utah 197.265
05 Alabama 197.055
06 Michigan 196.985
07 Auburn 196.610
08 Nebraska 196.595
09 Georgia 196.525
10 UCLA 196.315
11 Stanford 196.175
12 Oregon St 196.150
13 Penn St 196.125
14 Minnesota 196.010
15 Boise St 196.000
16 Illinois 195.945
17 Arkansas 195.820
18 Denver 195.800
19 California 195.660
20 Arizona 195.615


National Ranks (16 Feb 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01 Oklahoma 197.536
02 Florida 197.325
03 L.S.U. 197.321
04 Utah 197.167
05 Alabama 196.938
06 Michigan 196.929
07 Nebraska 196.492
08 Auburn 196.271
09 UCLA 196.263
10 Oregon St 196.196
11 Georgia 196.096
12 Penn St 196.025
13 Illinois 195.996
14 Arkansas 195.958
15 Boise St 195.871
16 Stanford 195.821
17 Denver 195.479
18 California 195.436
19 Minnesota 195.432
20 Arizona 195.408


National Ranks (09 Feb 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01 Oklahoma 197.579
02 L.S.U. 197.315
03 Utah 197.195
04 Florida 197.145
05 Michigan 196.970
06 Alabama 196.765
07 Nebraska 196.375
08 Georgia 196.079
09 Auburn 196.065
10 Oregon St 195.985
11 Penn St 195.975
12 Boise St 195.963
13 UCLA 195.875
14 Arkansas 195.820
15 Illinois 195.800
16 Stanford 195.754
17 Washington 195.531
18 Denver 195.488
19 Arizona 195.408
20 California 195.304


National Ranks (02 Feb 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01 Oklahoma 197.465
02 Florida 197.131
03 L.S.U. 197.125
04 Utah 197.038
05 Michigan 196.931
06 Alabama 196.625
07 Nebraska 196.138
08 Arkansas 195.931
09 Georgia 195.925
10 Oregon St 195.919
11-t Auburn 195.875
11-t UCLA 195.875
13 Stanford 195.840
14 Illinois 195.806
15 Boise St 195.742
16 Penn St 195.713
17 Washington 195.531
18 Arizona 195.470


National Ranks (26 Jan 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01 Oklahoma 197.325
02 L.S.U. 197.025
03 Florida 196.975
04 Michigan 196.808
05 Utah 196.767
06 Alabama 196.600
07 Nebraska 196.225
08 Arkansas 195.825
09 Penn St 195.750
10 Oregon St 195.713
11 Georgia 195.669
12-t Auburn 195.625
12-t Boise St 195.625
14 Illinois 195.608
15 UCLA 195.567
16 Ohio St 195.300
17 Washington 195.275
18 Arizona 195.244
19 Stanford 195.225
20 Denver 195.219


National Ranks (19 Jan 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01-t Oklahoma 197.063
01-t Florida 197.063
03 L.S.U. 196.863
04-t Michigan 196.788
04-t Utah 196.788
06 Nebraska 196.213
07 Alabama 196.200
08 UCLA 196.000
09 Oregon St 195.713
10 Georgia 195.700
11 Illinois 195.675
12 Arkansas 195.613
13 Penn St 195.350
14 Kentucky 195.288
15 Denver 195.263
16 Stanford 195.225


National Ranks (12 Jan 2015)
Rank Team Name Team Ave.
01 Oklahoma 197.625
02 L.S.U. 197.125
03 Florida 196.925
04 Utah 196.900
05 Michigan 196.600
06 Alabama 196.225
07 Georgia 195.600
08 Nebraska 195.300
09 Illinois 195.175
10 California 195.025
11 Minnesota 194.950
12 Arkansas 194.900
13 Stanford 194.863
14 Bowling Green 194.775



2015 Georgia Gymdogs Roster

Athens, GA.— The Gymdogs roster this season includes 19 athletes, which broken down by class consist of 6 freshmen, 6 sophomores, 4 juniors, and 3 seniors.

2015 Gymdogs Roster
Gymnast Class Hometown
Jasmine Arnold FR Calhoun, GA
Vivi Babalis FR Montreal, Canada
Angelina Giancroce FR Evans, GA
GiGi Moreno FR Scottsdale, AZ
Heyley Sanders FR McKinney, TX
Natalie Vaculik FR Whitby, Canada
Ashlyn Broussard SO Plano, TX
Kieri Brown SO Newport News, VA
Lauren Johnson SO Lilburn, GA
Morgan Reynolds SO Athens, GA
Beth Roberts SO Tifton, GA
Rachel Schick SO Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Mary Beth Box JR Calhoun, GA
Brandie Jay JR Athens, GA
Whitney Kirby JR Claremont, NC
Brittany Rogers JR Port Coquittam, Canada
Chelsea Davis SR Austin, TX
Demetria Hunte SR Alpharetta, GA
Sarah Persinger SR Mount Holly, NC

Georgia’s coaching staff this season remains what it was last season, when the Gymdogs finished the season ranked 5th nationally. Specifically, they are Head Coach Danna Durante, Assistant Coach Jay Hogue, Assistant Coach Philip Ogletree, and Volunteer Coach Cassidy McComb. This will be Coach Durante’s third season at the University of Georgia.


2015 Georgia Gymdogs Schedule

Athens, GA.— The Gymdogs schedule this season includes 11 dual meets, the SEC Championships, the NCAA Regionals, and the events of the NCAA Championships.

2015 Gymdogs Schedule
Date Opponent / Event Location
01/10/15 Michigan Athens, GA
01/16/15 Missouri Athens, GA
01/19/15 Denver Denver, CO
01/24/15 Kentucky Athens, GA
01/30/15 Florida Gainesville, FL
02/06/15 L.S.U. Baton Rouge, LA
02/14/15 North Carolina Chapel Hill, NC
02/20/15 Alabama Athens, GA
02/27/15 Auburn Auburn, AL
03/07/15 Arkansas Athens, GA
03/14/15 Utah Athens, GA
03/21/15 SEC Championships Duluth, GA
04/04/15 NCAA Regionals Berkeley, CA
04/17/15 NCAA Champs Prelims Fort Worth, TX
04/18/15 NCAA Champs Super Six Fort Worth, TX
04/19/15 NCAA Individual Events Fort Worth, TX


The Gymdogs will compete at least 12 times as a team in 2015, which include eleven dual meets and the SEC Conference Championship. Potentially they will compete as many as 15 times. Only teams that qualify for an NCAA Regional competition will continue past their dual meet and conference championship competitions. Of those who go to an NCAA Regional, only the top two finishers qualify for the NCAA Championships in April; and of those who go to the NCAA Championships, only six who score in the top three in a pair of preliminary sessions will qualify for the Super Six Finals. If the Gymdogs get past each of those barriers, then they will have the full slate of 15 competitions in all. We look forward to a very interesting season!


§ § §


Gymnastics Training Facility

The Gymdogs’ training facility is arguably the best in all of women’s collegiate gymnastics. Called the Suzanne Yoculan Gymnastics Center, it consists of a 16,000 square-foot practice gym in addition to state-of-the-art locker rooms, offices, student-athlete study areas, a team meeting room, and a large lounge area. Pictured below are a few of these parts of the center.


A Quick Look at the Gymnastics Training Facility
Training Area 01 Training Area 02
Training Area 03 Training Area 04
Training Area 05 Training Area 06

A great training center does not guarantee NCAA Championships, but it certainly does not hurt! Especially during periods when a team has to keep its focus on peaking for an important meet, it helps to avoid the distractions of college life, while still keeping up with one’s studies. There will be plenty of time for college life after reaching one’s goals or at least giving one’s best effort to do so.



Gymnastics Competition Arena

The Gymdogs’ competition arena is comparable to the very best in all of women’s collegiate gymnastics. Named Stegeman Coliseum back in 1964, it has been renovated several times over the years to make it state-of-the-art in terms of audio-visual equipment, scoreboards, locker rooms, vending areas, and of course the seating area and the competition floor. Pictured below is the layout of Stegeman Coliseum for a gymnastics meet, also the various seating sections for the “Dog Pound” (sections A, Z, and Y on the left) and the other categories of fans.

Gymnastics Competition Venue
Stegeman Coliseum
Stegeman Coliseum is home to women’s gymnastics and to men’s and women’s basketball at the University of Georgia. The coliseum has undergone thorough renovations in the last few years, including expansion of the seating area, new scoreboards, and new scoring and press tables. The current capacity is approximately 10,000 people for a gymnastics meet.


National Letters of Intent

Athens, GA.— Georgia gymnastics Head Coach Danna Durante recently announced the signing of three prospects to national letters of intent to attend UGA and compete for the Gym Dogs. They are Gracie Cherrey of Woodbury, Minnesota; Jordyn Pedersen of Ontario, Canada; and Sydney Snead of Raleigh, North Carolina. Gracie and Sydney will enroll at the University of Georgia next fall and will begin competing in the 2016 season. Jordyn will defer for one year in order to prepare with the Canadian National Team for the 2016 Olympics. We wish each of them the very best!


Conclusion

The University of Georgia Gymnastics Team, nicknamed the “Gymdogs,” has a rich tradition of success. As this is written (Fall 2014), by our count, 73 different Georgia gymnasts have earned 362 All-America honors in Georgia's history as a team, the first having been in 1987. UGA gymnasts now have captured 42 Individual NCAA Titles, more than any other team. As a team, Georgia has earned 10 NCAA Team Championships; and it owns NCAA Championship records for team scores on three of the four apparatuses, as well as the best-ever NCAA Team Championship score of 198.575.

That is a great tradition that athletes, coaches, and fans understandably want to see continue. Inevitably, a team will have its ups and downs, just as any individual athlete will. That is the nature of athletics! If winning were inevitable, then there would be no point in holding competitions. Most of all, what we wish for the Gymdogs is that they continue to give their very best, just as those who came before them did.

Thanks for visiting, have a wonderful day, and come back soon!


A Strong Georgia Gymdogs Tradition
Gymdogs 2009
Pictured above are the 2009 Gymdogs meeting with Dr. Michael F. Adams, retired
President of the University of Georgia, following their victory at the 2009 NCAA
Championships. Georgia has a strong tradition of being in the hunt for a
National Championship year after year. Gym Dog fans would love to
see their favorite team continue that tradition!
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