Lindsey Cheek has sticky feet.
They help stick landings, earning her at least a 9.9 on vault and bars in each of Georgia’s three meets this season.
That held true Friday in the Gym Dogs’ first home meet of the season against No. 2 LSU.
Cheek registered a 9.9 on vault, a 9.925 on bars and a 9.875 on beam to help lead Georgia to a 197.175-196.875 victory, its first of the season.
“That’s just Cheek,” senior Cat Hires said. “She’s like that every day. She has those sticky feet on every day. I wish she would share, but she doesn’t. I’m just going to have to find them for myself, but Cheek’s one of those ones we can rely on every time and she’s got our back and she’s just super calm and confident and she’s a real leader with that and her performing and everything.”
Cheek pieced together the performances with a familiar face on the floor who was wearing an LSU pin on the left lapel of his sport coat.
Jay Clark, Georgia’s head coach from 2009-12 and now LSU’s associate head coach, paced the floor during Georgia’s introductions and was able to speak to some of the gymnasts before and after the meet.
“I was a little apprehensive just coming in and not really knowing how it was going to be,” said Clark, who coached Cheek from when she was 5 until his departure in spring 2012. “Everybody was really warm, welcoming. It was good to be back. This is a special place. But LSU is a special place.”
Georgia coach Danna Durante said Cheek was able to get a clear head for the meet, which allowed her to perform the way she did.
“There could’ve just been a whole lot of stuff and she really just cleaned it out and focused that really that’s what we asked her to do is to keep it simple, keep your mind clean, keep it focused on what’s important. She did,” said Durante, whose team hosts Iowa at 2 p.m. Monday.
Sophomore Brittany Rogers accounted for Georgia’s biggest mistake, falling on beam to score a 9.3, though it was dropped and replaced by anchor Kaylan Earls’ 9.850. Rogers said the routine has been giving her trouble mentally more than physically.
“To be honest, that series hasn’t always been comfortable for me. It’s new and it just gets the best of me every time. I think I over think it everytime I go on beam,” she said. “… We’ll fix it. It’s fixable.”
Georgia (1-2) opened the season with losses at Oklahoma and Stanford, but Friday’s win marked the Gym Dogs’ first time breaking 197 this season.
“You could say home cooking for teams, but I absolutely think we gave it our all tonight and deserve that 197 completely because we’ve worked harder than anyone in the gym and it’s really great to see genuine smiles about how we did tonight,” said Rogers, totaled a 38.925 as Georgia’s lone all-around competitor.
Cheek said Friday’s meet was the most complete Georgia had performed this season, allowing the week’s theme of being bold to show.
“It wasn’t perfect by any means,” Cheek said. “We still have things to work on on every event. But it’s nice to know that when we finish a meet and it’s not perfect, it’s still over a 197. I think that gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the season.”
1. Georgia 197.175 (VT – 49.375, UB – 49.475, BB – 49.050, FX – 49.275)
2. LSU 196.875 (VT – 49.425, UB – 49.2, BB – 49.075, FX – 49.175)
Georgia’s Individual Results
Brandie Jay – 9.875, Cat Hires – 9.8, Kiera Brown – 9.8, Lindsey Cheek – 9.925, Brittany Rogers – 9.9, Chelsea Davis – 9.975
Ashlyn Broussard – 9.825, Morgan Reynolds – 9.8, Mary Beth Box – 9.7, Brittany Rogers – 9.3, Lindsey Cheek – 9.875, Kaylan Earls – 9.85
Kaylan Earls – 9.825, Cat Hires – 9.8, Morgan Reynolds – 9.9, Mary Beth Box – 9.8, Brittany Rogers – 9.85, Brandie Jay – 9.9