Georgia had no shortage of production from its underclassmen on Monday as the Gym Dogs defeated Iowa to earn their second victory of the season.
Georgia (2-2) had impactful performances from its freshmen and sophomores all day, which combined with the Gym Dogs‚Äô senior leadership to result in a 197.400-194.675 win over the Hawkeyes.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs huge. They‚Äôve been stepping up all season long and I‚Äôm really proud of them and proud of what they‚Äôve been doing,‚Äù senior Lindsey Cheek said. ‚ÄúThey put in the work during the fall like we all did and I‚Äôm just excited to see that it‚Äôs paying off for them.‚Äù
Georgia‚Äôs sole all-around competitor, sophomore Brittany Rogers stood out during the entirety of Monday‚Äôs meet, notching a 9.95 on the Gym Dogs‚Äô second routine, the uneven bars.
‚ÄúWe really fed off each other‚Äôs energy which helped a lot,‚Äù Rogers said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm really proud of myself, kind of improving every week and getting adjusted again. It‚Äôs not easy jumping into the season like that with four meets.‚Äù
Freshman Kiera Brown and Cheek also scored a 9.95 on the bars, while sophomore Brandie Jay chipped in a 9.90 to give Georgia a 98.700-97.125 lead heading into the third rotation. Head coach Danna Durante said this team works together in unison to provide performances like the one it delivered on Monday.
‚ÄúThat comes from the leadership in this senior and junior class for sure, and even some in the sophomore class,‚Äù Durante said. ‚ÄúI think those three classes, they all just embrace those freshmen and it‚Äôs something we do talk a lot about. They feel very strongly about investing in each other.‚Äù
The beam, which was crucial for Georgia on Monday, gave the Lady Dogs a 148.125-146.125 lead over visiting Iowa as both teams advanced to the final stage of the competition. Impactful performances on the beam from the likes of Rogers, sophomore Mary Beth Box, Cheek and fellow senior Kaylan Earls helped Georgia out to its late lead.
Rogers even made a few last-minute changes to her beam routine, and they paid off as she notched a 9.90.
‚ÄúShe had the courage to come in and make those changes on what could be one of the toughest events mentally, and she just knocked it out,‚Äù Durante said.
Three of the four gymnasts managed to come away from their routines with a score of 9.90 or above. Earls scored a 9.925, while Cheek‚Äôs routine accompanied by the Michael Jackson classic ‚ÄúBillie Jean‚Äù earned her a 9.925 as well.
‚ÄúThis is probably my fourth year doing it. I just change pieces here and there, and I definitely added in the moonwalk,‚Äù Cheek said. ‚ÄúI always like doing that. I always like hearing the crowd cheer. Other than that, that‚Äôs the only time I ever hear the crowd cheer is for the moonwalk, so it‚Äôs pretty exciting. It pumps me up to finish the last part of my routine.‚Äù
With a small score differential, the only competition standing between Georgia and its second win of the season was the floor routine. Earls was determined to get the Gym Dogs out to a hot start, and she did with a 9.875 to ignite Georgia‚Äôs performances on the floor routine. With an accompanying effort from Jay who added a 9.90 on the floor for Georgia, the Gym Dogs sealed their second consecutive victory.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm just excited that we could finish with that high of a score after four meets in two weekends,‚Äù Cheek said.
The Gym Dogs will travel to Gainesville, Fla. next where they are set to take on Florida at 7 p.m. on Friday.
1. Georgia 197.400 (VT – 49.175, UB – 49.525, BB – 49.425, FX – 49.275)
2. Iowa 194.675 (VT – 48.350, UB – 48.775, BB – 48.550, FX – 49.000)
Georgia‚Äôs Individual Results
Chelsea Davis – 9.8, Ashlyn Broussard – 9.775, Cat Hires – 9.8, Brandie Jay – 9.8, Lindsey Cheek – 9.9, Brittany Rogers – 9.8
Brandie Jay – 9.9, Cat Hires – 9.1, Kiera Brown – 9.95, Lindsey Cheek – 9.95, Brittany Rogers – 9.95, Chelsea Davis – 9.775
Ashlyn Broussard – 9.8, Morgan Reynolds – 9.17, Mary Beth Box – 9.875, Brittany Rogers – 9.9, Lindsey Cheek – 9.925, Kaylan Earls – 9.925
Kaylan Earls – 9.875, Cat Hires – 9.75, Morgan Reynolds – 9.825, Mary Beth Box – 9.8, Brittany Rogers – 9.875, Brandie Jay – 9.9