Gymnastics at the University of Georgia: 2015 - 2016 Season
The purpose of this webpage is to describe and analyze University of Georgia gymnastics competitions during the 2016 season. It will seek to less one-sided than the official University of Georgia Athletic Department reports, which focus on the Gymdogs alone, with little mention of the opposing teams. By their nature, athletic departments have a PR as well as an informational function. Although I am a Gymdogs fan, who has been a season ticket holder for more than 25 years, I will give full scores of all the teams involved; and my discussions will be reasonably even-handed.
Of special note for those who seek historically anchored discussions and a broad viewpoint, I’ve included summaries of Georgia gymnastics competitions over the last 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.
I am a long-time Gymdogs fan and former college-level athlete. I have attended nearly all home and some away meets for many years. The forerunners of this page date back to the 1987 season, when Georgia (by coincidence) won their first National Team Championship. While I am a strong Gymdogs fan, I nonetheless respect other teams and will do my best to be fair in my reporting of meets.
I should note that the most comprehensive presentation of women’s collegiate gymnastics results, statistics, schedules, teams, and athletes is a site by Steve Troester. It offers a wealth of statistics on all 82 teams that make up women’s collegiate gymnastics in the United States. This webpage does not seek to compete with the Troester site, which is in a league by itself. This webpage, however, does offer verbal comentary on competitions that Georgia is or was part of. Steve Troester lets the statistics speak for themselves. For better or worse, I give quite a lot of verbal commentary that I hope will be of interest to Gymdogs fans.
Easy Access to Results Involving the Georgia Gymdogs
On the left is a listing of meets in which Georgia took part. If you click on any link (say, “Georgia vs. Missouri”), you will go to a separate page that gives detailed results for the meet in question. That includes both Georgia and their opponent(s); and it includes both the teams and the individuals who took part in the events.
For readers who have followed the NCAA women’s gymnastic competitions in past years, it might appear that I have forgotten the individual event competitions on the final day of the National Championships. Actually, though, the NCAA eliminated that final day. All-America honors are decided based on the two prelims, not in a separate day of competition. The other consequential change beginning this year is that each routine is judged by six judges. A highest score and a lowest score are discarded, and the remaining four are averaged to get the offical score of the routine. That has had the effect or reducing the number of ties that existed in previous years. I’ve commented in the past that having large numbers of ties (say, 15 different bars routines that all got 9.85’s) makes the scores less meaningful than they would be with greater diversity or uniqueness.
Georgia Advances to the Super Six
Georgia qualified for the Super Six team finals for the third time in the last four years. Using RQS as the criterion, the Gymdogs are seeded sixth; however, they defeated Florida, LSU, and UCLA this season. If they have a good performance, they could finish higher than sixth. I would consider making the Super Six at all as indicating a very good season. Finishing fifth or higher would make it a very good season.
To borrow a phrase from Dagny Scott Barrios, I hope that the Gymdogs go into the Super Six with a mental attitude “… of equal parts cockiness and calm.”
Update. April 03, 2016. The results of the Athens Regional lined up exactly as the seedings did. LSU won first place, Georgia took second, etc. Georgia did not perform up to their full potential — many did, but others did not. A team has to average 9.850 per counting routine to get a team score of 197, which probably is what it will take to advance beyond the prelims in Ft. Worth. Still, Georgia’s second place finish qualified them for the NCAA National Championship in Ft. Worth on April 15 - 17. Brandie Jay deserves special praise for her performances and for her support of her teammates all season long. She was chosen Regional Co-Gymnast of the Year, a well-deserved honor! Mary Beth Box, Ashlyn Broussard, Gigi Marino, Morgan Reynolds, and Brittany Rogers ALSO deserve sincere praise for their accomplishments. Sidney Snead is injured, but she has been a major contributor, and we admire her, whatever the next stage of the post-season brings. I probably have missed one or two athletes.
Results of the Athens Regional can be found in numerous places, including a Team Summary page in this directory. Besides team performances, I have tabulated individual performances by the Gymdogs.
Computing Regional Qualifying Scores (RQS’s)
Saturday (03-19-2016).— On Monday, February 22, there was a shakeup in the national ranking of gymnastics teams, as the criterion (which through February 15 was average team score) became regional qualifying score (RQS). If you compare the national rankings (reproduced below on this page), you will find similarities between the early season rankings and the current ranking; but you will also find some significant changes.
RQS will be the ranking criterion through the remainder of the regular season, including conference championships. So where do those numbers come from? And what is the rationale for making them the criterion? Regarding the first question, the procedure for getting a team’s RQS is: (1) find the team’s three highest “away” scores and add them to a tentative list, (2) find their three highest remaining scores, “home” or “away,” and add them to the list, (3) find the greatest of the six scores currently on the list and delete it, and (4) compute the average of the five remaining scores.
To illustrate, consider the Georgia Gym Dogs’ thirteen meets as of March 19, 2016. Those meets are summarized in the following table. You will notice that this table does not include whether the Gym Dogs won or lost — that is irrelevant for computing RQS. Meeting dates and opponents are listed only to make it easier to check the data against the official NCAA data, which is available on the Internet. Also, a team’s opponents, and when the meets took place, are irrelevant for computing RQS.
Step 1. Georgia’s three highest “away” scores are those for Utah (197.125), the UCLA & Stanford tri-meet (197.025), and the SEC Championship meet (196.850). Thus we tentatively add those three scores to our list.
Step 2. From the remaining meets, Georgia’s three highest scores are those for L.S.U. (197.525), Auburn (197.275), and Arkansas (196.775). We again tentatively add those to our list, which now includes six scores.
Step 3. Among those six scores, Georgia’s highest score is that from the L.S.U. meet (197.525). The computing algorithm for RSQ’s requires that we delete the highest score from our tentative list of six. When we do this, we are left with scores of 197.125, 197.025, 196.850, 197.275, and 196.775.
Step 4. We now compute the average score of the remaining five. We add together those five scores, and then divide by 5:
RQS = (197.125 + 197.025 + 196.850 + 197.275 +
Regarding the second question raised in paragraph two above, the effect of using RQS as the criterion for ranking teams, and thus for assigning them to NCAA Regionals at the end of the season, is to reduce any effects from “home floor advantage” by requiring teams to count some of their scores on the road. In most team sports, the home or hosting team is considered to have a significant advantage over the visitor, for a variety of reasons. In addition, RQS seeks to reduce the influence of possible flukes at either the high end or the low end. In the calculation above, for example, Georgia’s low score versus Michigan is not counted, nor is their high score versus L.S.U. Those may or may not be “flukes,” but the fact remains that many teams will have some uncharacteristic scores at the end of the regular season that probably are not indicative of how they would perform at the end-of-season regional and national championships.
Regular Season Meet Results:
The SEC Championships Meet
|Mary Beth Box getting focused for her
balance beam routine.
(Photo by David Barnes)
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Georia is NOT a weak team on the balance beam, but they need to put together at least five good routines to beat a team like Oklahoma. But let’s look now at the larger picture.
In the first rotation, Georgia (on vault) did not have any individual scores below 9.800. Gigi Marino and Sydney Snead scored a pair of 9.850’s; Brittany Rogers added a 9.875; and Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.900. Over on the uneven bars, Oklahoma did not have a counting score below 9.850. Keeley Kmieciak scored a 9.900 and McKenzie Wofford anchored with a 9.950.
Georgia was slightly behind at that point, but they gained some of it back in the second rotation. Georgia on the bars put up consistantly high scores, all 9.850 or higher, led by a pair of 9.900’s from Brandie Jay and Brittany Rogers. Back on the vault, Oklahoma also was consistently high, led by a 9.950 from Ali Jackson. However, as just mentioned, the Gymdogs gained on the Sooners, who now led 98.775 to 98.675.
For the third rotation, Georgia went to the beam and Oklahoma went to the floor exercise. On beam, Georgia received a trio of 9.850’s from Natalie Vaculik, Brandie Jay, and Ashlyn Broussard. Mary Beth Box anchored with a 9.825. But two routines had falls, deductions of 0.500, one of which had to count. Over on the floor, Oklahoma scored consistently in the 9.8’s, led by a 9.850 from Natalie Brown. But their lowest counting score was a 9.800, which gave the Sooners as a team a big lead after three rotations.
For the fourth rotation, Georgia went to the floor exercise and Oklahoma went to the balance beam. Georgia had a lot of work to do, but they set out to do it, led by a trio of 9.900’s from Gigi Marino, Mary Beth Box, and Brandie Jay. Brittany Rogers and Sydney Snead added a pair of 9.850’s to give Georgia a very solid 49.400 for the event. Over on the balance beam, was showing equal determination to preserve their victory, scoring 49.500 as a team, led by a 9.950 from Chayse Capps.
In the individual all-around, the Gymdogs’ Brandie Jay was victorious with a 39.550. The Sooners’ Chayse Capps placed second with a 39.450. Full team and individual scores for both teams can be found here.
Up next for the Gymdogs is the Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday, February 26, at 8:30 PM Eastern Time. The meet will be held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Athens, Georgia — The Georgia Gymdogs defeated the L.S.U. Tigers 197.525 to 196.800 in Stegeman Coliseum. The Gymdogs won every event and three of the four rotations. Georgia now has had enough meets to permit calculating a Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), although RQS’s will not be used for national ranking until February 22. As of today, Georgia’s average team score is 196.182 and their RQS is 196.110. Although won-lost records in gymnastics aren’t used for anything except perhaps bragging rights, Georgia has now defeated two of the top six teams in the nation, Florida and L.S.U. Suffice it to say that Saturday, February 13, was a very good day for the Gymdogs!
|Brandie Jay performs on the balance beam en
route to a 9.900.
(Photo by Emily Selby)
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In the first rotation, Georgia was on the vault and L.S.U. was on the uneven bars. Ashlyn Broussard led off with a solid 9.825. Georgia’s Gigi Mareno and Sydney Snead hit a pair of 9.900’s; Brittany Rogers added a 9.875; and Brandie Jay anchored with 9.925. Over on the bars, Jessica Savona scored a 9.850 and Sarah Finnegan added a 9.875. Georgia as a team scored 49.425, while L.S.U. scored 49.200.
Switching events for the second rotation, Georgia’s biggest scores were a 9.825 from Sydney Snead, a 9.925 from Brandie Jay, and a 9.950 from Brittany Rogers. L.S.U. received a 9.875 from Sydney Ewing, a 9.850 from Myia Hambrick, and a 9.950 from Ashleigh Gnat. After two rotations, Georgia led 98.675 to 98.475 in team score.
For the third rotation, the Gymdogs moved to the balance beam and the Tigers moved to the floor exercise. Natalie Vaculik led off for Georgia with a solid 9.825. The beam has been Georgia’s nemesis all season long, so getting off to a good start was a good sign. Brandie Jay added a 9.900; Brittany Rogers followed with a 9.925; Vivi Babalis in the fourth position added an impressive 9.875; and Ashlyn Broussard hit a 9.900. As a team, the Gymdogs scored a 49.425, their best beam performance of the season. L.S.U., however, was not about to give up. In the leadoff spot, Sydney Ewing scored a 9.850 and Myia Hambrick followed that with 9.875. In the anchor spot, Ashleigh Gnat notched a very nice 9.925. Nonetheless, after three rotations, Georgia as a team led L.S.U. as a team 148.100 to 147.750.
In the final rotation, the teams once again switched events, Georgia on floor and L.S.U. on beam. On the beam, Erin Macadaeg began the rotation with 9.925 for L.S.U. For Georgia, Sydney Snead led off with a routine that appeared that it might match Erin Macadaeg’s score, but Sydney bounced out of bounds on her final pass, probably enough to cost her a 0.200 deduction. Her routine was absolutely beautiful except for the final 2 or 3 seconds. Her teammates, however, seemed to catch fire after that. Brittany Rogers scored a 9.875; Gigi Mareno added a 9.900; and Mary Beth Box and Brandie Jay added a pair of 9.925’s. Over on the beam, L.S.U. had to count a 9.675 due to near fall in the 5th position, followed by a fall in the 6th position. Although they still cracked to 49 barrier, the Gymdogs pulled further ahead.
In the individual all-around, Brandie Jay scored a 39.675 and Brittany Rogers scored a 39.625, two brilliant all-around performances. L.S.U.’s Myia Hambrick scored a 39.450. Full team and individual scores for both teams can be found here.
Next up for the Gymdogs is a meet in Stegeman Coliseum against the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday, February 20, at 4:00 PM.
|The Gymdogs are much stronger on floor this season than they were last season.|
Athens, Georgia. It was a come-from-behind victory for the Gymdogs. After three rotations, Florida led Georgia 147.675 to 146.775. In the final rotation, however, the Gymdogs posted their largest event score of the 2016 season. Meanwhile, Florida suffered two missed routines, one of which they had to count in their team score.
|Brittany Rogers performs her floor routine
in the meet between Florida and Georgia.
(Photo by Emily Selby)
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In the first rotation, Georgia was on vault and Florida was on the uneven bars. Georgia started off slower than usual with four routines in the 9.7’s. Sydney Snead in the third position posted a 9.825, and Brandie Jay in the anchor position posted a 9.875, for a team score of 49.000. Over on the bars, all of Florida’s counting scores were 9.800 or higher. Bridgette Caquatto scored a 9.900 and Alex McMurtry scored a 9.925 producing a 49.325 team score.
Switching events for the second rotation, Georgia began to find their groove. Sydney Snead hit a 9.900; Rachel Schick and Brittany Rogers scored a pair of 9.850’s; and Brandie Jay added a 9.925. On the vault, Florida’s Bridget Sloan notched a 9.875 and Alex McMurtry hit a 9.900. The team scores were 49.325 for Georgia and 49.275 for Florida. The running team scores were now 98.325 for Georgia and 98.600 for Florida.
For the third rotation, the Gymdogs moved to the balance beam and the Gators moved to the floor exercise. The beam has been Georgia’s nemesis this season. They have upgraded their skills difficulty, but an unwanted consequence has been more missed routines. In this meet, the Gymdogs’ first routine did result in a fall; their next two routines seemed to be getting them back on track; but their fourth routine included two falls. In the fifth spot, Ashlyn Broussard executed an excellent save. As she seemed to be falling, she somehow got her center of gravity back under the beam, which took two or three seconds; but she did not touch the beam with her hands, and thus the only deduction she got was for a loss of continuity between skills. Her 9.725 may have saved the meet for Georgia. In the anchor position, Mary Beth Box scored a 9.850, and Georgia came out of the rotation with a team score of 48.450, which could have been a lot worse. Over on floor, Florida’s Alicia Boren scored a 9.875 and Kennedy Baker scored a 9.925, leading to a Florida team score of 49.075.
For the final rotation, the teams switched events once again, Georgia on floor and Florida on the balance beam. Georgia really came alive: Sydney Snead led off with a 9.875; Vivi Babalis added a 9.900; and Brittany Rogers, Gigi Mareno, and Mary Beth Box added a trio of 9.950’s. In the anchor position, Brandie Jay stepped maybe one inch out of bounds on her second pass, losing probably a 0.10 deduction and scoring a 9.800. Meanwhile, over on beam, Ericha Fassbender scored a 9.850; Alex McMurtry scored a 9.825; and Bridget Sloan anchored with a 9.875. However, they had two missed routines, dropping their team score to 48.675, and losing the meet to Georgia.
Brittany Rogers and Brandie Jay shared the individual all-around title, both scoring 39.375. Bridget Sloan scored 39.150 for Florida. Detailed descriptions of the team and individual results can be found here.
Coming up next for the Gymdogs is a home meet against the LSU Tigers, which is scheduled for Saturday, February 13, at 4:00 PM Eastern Time.
Lexington, Kentucky. Georgia has now been on the road for four of their first five meets, which is a difficult early season schedule. Nevertheless, they finished that string of away meets with a victory over the Kentucky Wildcats, 196.275 to 195.025. Highlights include Brandie Jay’s second straight all-around victory. Brandie, Brittany Rogers, and Mary Beth Box all posted scores of 9.900 or above. Sydney Snead had another very good meet, performing on three events and notching 9.850 or higher on each. Kentucky received consistently good scores from Sidney Dukes and Alex Hyland, among others.
For the first rotation, Kentucky was on the vault and Georgia was on the uneven bars. The Gymdogs essentially broke the meet wide open in this first rotation, scoring a 49.325 to Kentucky’s 48.500. Particularly notable were a pair of 9.850’s from Natalie Vaculik and Gracie Cherrey, a 9.875 from Gracie Cherrey, and a 9.925 from Brittany Rogers. Kentucky received a score of 9.825 from Katie Stuart and a score of 9.800 from Sidney Dukes; however, they had one missed routine and two low-scoring routines, which account for their team score.
Switching events for the second rotation, Georgia’s vaulters were a bit out of sync, although Sydney Snead hit a 9.850, Brittany Rogers added a 9.800, and Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.900. Kentucky’s highest scores were a 9.800 from Cori Rechenmacher and a 9.825 from Sidney Dukes. At the end of this rotation, Georgia as a team led 98.300 to 97.325.
For the third rotation, the Gymdogs moved to the floor exercise and the Wildcats moved to the balance beam. The Wildcats received a trio of 9.800’s from Montana Whittle, Sidney Dukes, and Alex Hyland; however, the Gymdogs countered with a 9.850 from Sydney Snead, a 9.825 from Gigi Marino, a 9.900 from Mary Beth Box, and a 9.875 from Brandie Jay. As a team, Georgia extended its lead, 147.500 to 146.125.
For the final rotation, Georgia was on the beam and Kentucky was on the floor. The balance beam has been Georgia’s nemesis this season. They have lost two meets — Missouri and Stanford — and possibly a third — Michigan — because of weak finishes on the beam. The goal must be a solid performance, not necessarily a spectacular performance. Stay on the equipment and a solid victory will be the result. Well, that is exactly what the Gymdogs did. When Gracie Cherrey fell off the equipment in the fourth position, Vivi Babalis and Mary Beth Box, in the fifth and sixth positions, took extra care to make sure they stayed on the equipment. As a team, they scored a 48.775, not spectacular, but it insured a solid team victory, even though Kentucky as a team scored a 48.900 on the floor exercise.
Next up for the Gymdogs is a home meet against the Florida Gators, scheduled to take place in Stegeman Coliseum on February 05 (Friday night) at 7:00 PM Eastern Time.
Columbia, Missouri. The Gymdogs lost to the Missouri Tigers 195.800 to 195.350. As in their loss against Stanford last Monday, they had the highest scores on vault, bars, and floor; but they lost decisively on the balance beam.
In rotation 1, Georgia was on bars. Natalie Vaculik scored a strong 9.875 in the leadoff position. Sydney Snead and Rachel Schick contributed a pair of 9.800’s and Brandie Jay and Brittany Rogers added a pair of 9.850’s. Over on the vault, Britney Ward scored a 9.875 for the Tigers, but their other scores all were below 9.800. The Gymdogs led 49.175 to 48.775.
In rotation 2, Georgia (on vault) received scores of 9.825 or above from Ashlyn Broussard, Sydney Snead, Gigi Marino, Brittany Rogers, and Brandie Jay, scoring 49.275 as a team. Meanwhile, Missouri was wracking up a team score of 49.025, led by Brooke Kelly’s 9.850.
In rotation 3, the Gymdogs were on the floor exercise and the Tigers were on the balance beam. The Tigers had one missed routine, but only the top five routines count in the scoring. Britney Ward put up a 9.900 and the team finished with a 48.925. The Gymdogs extended their lead with a team score of 49.225, led by Mary Beth Box and Brandie Jay, who contributed a pair of 9.900’s. Gigi Marino was not far behind, scoring a 9.875.
In rotation 4, Missouri outscored Georgia by 1.4 points, giving them the victory. Mary Beth Box scored a 9.875 for the Gymdogs, and Brandie Jay scored a 9.850. Detailed descriptions of the team and individual results can be found here. In what we believe was her first time as a college all-arounder, Brandie Jay scored an impressive 39.475. We hope to see more of her in that role!
Next up for Georgia will be the Kentucky Wildcats on Friday, January 29, at 7:00 PM Eastern Time in Lexington, Kentucky.
Athens, Georgia. The Gymdogs had three exceptionally good rotations (vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise); in the third rotation things did not go well.
The Gymdogs began on vault and the Stanford Cardinal began on the uneven bars. Gymdog Ashlyn Broussard hit a 9.850 to begin the meet. Sydney Snead added a 9.825; Gigi Marino contributed a 9.900; Brittany Rogers scored a 9.950; and Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.975. Team score: 49.500. Meanwhile, Stanford as a team was scoring a a 49.025, led by a pair of 9.900’s from Dare Maxwell and Elizabeth Price. It looked at this point, however, that Georgia’s 0.475 lead would be nearly impossible to overcome.
|Sydney Snead performs her floor routine in
the meet between Stanford and Georgia.
(Photo by Emily Selby)
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For the second rotation, Georgia and Stanford switched events. Natalie Vaculik, Sydney Snead, Rachel Schick, Brandie Jay, and Brittany Rogers all scored 9.825 or higher; and Georgia as a team notched a 49.350. Over on the vault, Elizabeth Price scored a 9.875 to lead Stanford to a team score of 48.850. Georgia now had a cushion of 0.975.
Rotation three had Georgia on the balance beam and Stanford on the floor exercise. Georgia began strong. Ashlyn Broussard and Vivi Babalis notched a pair of 9.800’s, adding to Georgia’s lead. Then the Gymdogs seemed to lose their concentration. On the balance beam, a loss of concentration for ½ second may lead to a fall. Georgia’s next four athletes all had falls. Their routines in all four cases were impressive, but a fall costs a 0.500 deduction; and Georgia as a team scored 47.600. Stanford did not have an outstanding third rotation; but they scored a 48.800 and took the lead.
Switching events for the fourth rotation, Sydney Snead started for Georgia with a 9.850. Gigi Marino and Mary Beth Box added a pair of 9.900’s; and Brittany Rogers and Brandie Jay scored a pair of 9.825’s, giving the Gymdogs a team score of 49.300. From the stands it appeared that Brittany and Brandie should have be given higher scores, but the judges evidently detected minor faults that were not evident from further away. Over on the balance beam, Stanford was accumulating a team score of 49.200, led by a pair of 9.900’s from Ivana Hong and Melissa Chuang.
The individual all-around went to Stanford’s Elizabeth Price, who scored a 39.425. Detailed descriptions of the team and individual results can be found here. Next up for the Gymdogs will be the Missouri Tigers at Columbia, Missouri (8:00 PM Eastern Time).
Fayetteville, Arkansas. Arkansas had the home floor advantage and they used it well, outpointing the Gymdogs by small amounts on three of the four events. Georgia, however, won the vault 49.375 to 48.975, which was too much for the Razorbacks to overcome. Equally important, though, when Georgia was in danger of being overcome in the final rotation (Arkansas on floor and Georgia on beam), the Gymdogs fought hard to prevent that from happening. Ashlyn Broussard scored a 9.875; Rachel Schick added a solid 9.825; Brittany Rogers added a 9.900; and Mary Beth Box anchored with a 9.875. Arkansas did well on the floor, but Georgia was determined to not make it easy for them.
Detailed descriptions of the team and individual results can be found here.
Georgia will have little time to rest, as they will have their home opener in Stegeman Coliseum on Monday, March 18, at 2:00 p.m. against Stanford University. The Stanford Cardinal had a final Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 196.720 last season, whereas Georgia’s final RQS was 196.875. In recent years these two teams have been quite evenly matched. We should expect an exciting meet. Go Georgia!
Georgia did not compete last week. This is the Gymdogs first meet of the 2016 season. But Michigan took part in the Cancun Classic last week, coming away the winner. Last Monday they were listed as the national leader.
Today, a week later, Michigan defeated Georgia 196.925 to 195.200. Georgia was within striking distance of Michigan after three rotations; but the fourth rotation did not go well for the Gymdogs. Below is a summary of the meet, plus information on each rotation.
In the first rotation, Michigan was on vault and Georgia was on bars. Both teams got off to a slow start. In the 4th lineup position, however, Michigan’s Talia Chiarelli scored a 9.875, followed by Austin Sheppard with a 9.800 and Olivia Karas with a 9.900, giving the Wolverines a 49.050 team score. Over on the uneven bars, Georgia’s Sydney Snead scored a 9.900 in her first collegiate gymnastics performance. Brandie Jay scored a 9.825 and Brittany Rogers anchored with a 9.875, giving Georgia as a team a score of 49.125, putting them slightly ahead of Michigan.
Switching events for the second rotation, Natalie Vaculik vaulted to a 9.800 for Georgia. Sydney Snead hit a 9.875 and Brandie Jay anchored with a 9.800. Over on the uneven bars, all of Michigan’s athletes score a 9.8 or higher, led by Nicole Artz’s 9.900 and Brianna Brown’s 9.875. After two rotations, the running team scores were 98.250 for Michigan and 98.050 for Georgia.
For the third rotation, the Wolverines went to the balance beam and the Gymdogs went to the floor exercise. The highlights for Michigan were a pair of 9.875’s from Nicole Artz and Talia Chiarelli, giving them a 49.100 for the rotation and a running team score of 147.150. The highlights for Georgia on floor were a pair of 9.825’s from Sydney Sneed and Vivi Babalis, a 9.875 from Giga Marino, and a 9.900 from Mary Beth Box. The Gymdogs earned a 49.150 for the rotation, and a running score of 147.200 through three rotations.
For the final rotation, the teams switched events, Georgia to the beam and Michigan to the floor. Georgia was in a good position to win the meet, but they would need a good team score on the beam, and they would need for Michigan to not outscore them by 0.050 or more. Unfortunately, that was not to happen. Ashlyn Broussard led off for Georgia, fell off the beam, and score only a 8.900. Only the top five scores count, so Georgia would still have a chance, but they would have to hit the rest of its routines. However, they did have to count one more fall, and their highest scores would be a pair of 9.800’s from Brittany Rogers and Mary Beth Box. Meanwhile, over on the floor exercise, Michigan was racking up 4 scores of 9.000 or higher, plus a 9.850 to complete their counting scores. Detailed descriptions of the team and individual results can be found here.
Georgia will compete next on Friday, January 15, in Fayetteville Arkansas, vying against the Arkansas Razorbacks at 8:30 p.m. Eastern Time. For those who will not be traveling to Fayetteville, the meet will be telecast on the SEC Network (Channel 607 on AT&T in this area).
As of March 14, 2016, Georgia is nationally ranked 2nd on the vault, 9th on the uneven bars, 18th on the balance beam, and 9th on the floor exercise.
The Gymdogs next opponent, the Utah Utes, is currently ranked 7th on the vault, 3rd on the uneven bars, 5th on the balance beam, and 7th on the floor exercise. Georgia and Utah are fairly comparable on vault, bars, and floor. Georgia has been improving on balance beam. Utah’s beam RQS is 49.250, and Georgia’s beam RQS is 48.995. If Georgia can get a little more consistency on beam, they would be a team to be reckoned with.
The ranking of teams in the early part of the season is based their average meet score. When teams have had only a few meets, that average may be misleading, because idiosyncratic factors can play a big role. The ranking becomes more meaningful starting on February 22nd, 2016, when the criterion becomes 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.
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The University of Georgia women’s Gymnastics Team, nicknamed the “Gymdogs,” has a rich tradition of success. As this was written (January 2016), 72 gymnasts had earned 367 All-American awards, and Georgia gymnasts have won 40 individual NCAA titles. Georgia leads the country in their number of NCAA individual titles, their first having been in 1987. 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. Lucy Wener, Hope Spivey, Kim Arnold, Karin Lichey, Courtney Kupets, and Katie Heenan were among the athletes that led the Gymdogs to those remarkable achievements.
That is a great tradition that athletes, coaches, and fans understandably would like 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!
|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
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We wish you blessings!
Have a great day!