Gym Dogs end drought, return to Super Six

LOS ANGELES — After finishing third Friday afternoon in the first semifinal section of the NCAA championships, the Georgia gymnastics team will shoot for its 11th national title at
7 p.m. today at Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.

The No. 4 Gym Dogs scored 197.150 points to finish behind No. 1 Florida (197.775) and No. 5 LSU (197.325) to qualify for the Super Six.

Also in the afternoon session, No. 8 Minnesota finished fourth (196.375), No. 12 Illinois was fifth (195.700) and No. 9 Stanford was sixth (194.700).

The Gym Dogs reached today’s Super Six for the first time since winning their last of five consecutive national championships in 2009.

“I’m so proud of this team and the seniors especially,” Georgia coach Danna Durante said. “We’ve taken this season meet by meet. It’s very exciting. It’s a great feeling when you have worked so hard, and it’s a great accomplishment to have the chance to go the second day.”

After a bye in the first rotation, Georgia recorded a 49.5 — its second-highest mark of the season — on bars. Chelsea Davis led the way with a 9.95.

On beam, the Gym Dogs posted a 48.975 and were led by Lindsey Cheek (9.875). After another bye Georgia had a 49.225 on floor, led by Noel Couch (9.875).

Georgia closed out the day with a 49.45 on vault. Brandie Jay led the Gym Dogs with a 9.925.

“This week, we really focused on starting off strong,” Shayla Worley said. “In the past meets, we have started slow. That was our focus this past week. We started really strong and there is a high energy after that.”

Seven different Gym Dogs collected nine All-America honors in Friday’s competition. First-team All-Americans included Jay (vault, 9.925), Cheek (9.9 vault) and Davis (vault, 9.9 and bars, 9.95); second-team All-Americans included Cheek (beam, 9.875), Brittany Rogers (bars, 9.9), Christa Tanella (bars, 9.9), Worley (bars, 9.9) and Noel Couch (floor, 9.875).

Places 1-4 (plus ties) in each event and the all-around in each semifinal session are considered
first-team All-Americans. Places 5-8 (plus ties) are considered second-team All-Americans.

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