Georgia’s seniors were determined to make the most of their final competition at Stegeman Coliseum and made it count in record fashion.
The Gym Dogs’ Christan Tanella scored a career-best 9.925 on bars and fellow senior Shayla Worley tied her career-best 9.95 on floor exercise as No. 8 Georgia (7-6-1) posted a season-high score in a 197.65-196.975 victory over No. 7 Utah (9-2-1) on Saturday.
“You’re never going to ask for (a record), you can’t be like, ‘Please give me the best meet of my life,’” Tanella said. “But shoot, it’s just literally the icing on the cake. You go and you have a job to do, you want to get a high score, up your RQS, get a win. But having the best night of your life is something that just kind of comes as a result of the ones you’re going for.”
Georgia opened with a 49.525 on vault, marking the team’s second-best score of the season behind a 49.55 scored in a loss to Florida on Feb. 16.
Lindsey Cheek and Brittany Rogers posted a pair of 9.95s to lead the Gym Dogs’ scoring, and Georgia led 49.525-49.225 as Utah opened on the bars.
Tanella’s 9.925 sparked Georgia to a 49.375 on bars, and Utah scored a 49.35 on vault behind a 9.8 from Taylor Allex and a 9.95 from Tory Wilson, putting Georgia ahead 98.9-98.575 after two events.
That lead — and the momentum the Gym Dogs were competing with — felt familiar to Cheek, who recalled Georgia’s fast start and then the sputters that followed in that 197.3-196.175 loss to Florida.
“After vault and bars, I looked up and it looked a heck of a lot like the Florida meet, and I was like, ‘OK, this can go either way,’” Davis said. “The beam and floor just completely rocked it. We had that one bobble on beam, and nobody panicked and we just completely stayed focused and went all the way through.”
Worley, who contributed on the beam as one of four Gym Dogs to score 9.875, joined Kaylan Earls, Rogers and Cheek to help Georgia score a 49.225 in the event.
Through the third event, Georgia led 148.125-147.8 as the Utes scored a 49.225 on the floor exercise led by Becky Tutka’s 9.9.
Worley tied her career mark with a 9.95 on floor exercise, and Georgia had 9.9s from Sarah Persinger, Rogers and Brandie Jay and a pair of 9.875s from Earls and Tanella for a 49.525.
Rogers competed in the floor for the fourth time this season and scored a 9.9 to break her previous season-high 9.675 scored against LSU and Kentucky. It boosted her to an all-around title with a 39.575 as she edged out Utah’s Georgia Dabritz (39.35) and Tory Wilson (39.225). Rogers’ other scores included a 9.95 on vault, 9.85 on bars and 9.875 on beam.
“We knew from the very beginning we wanted to ease her in (to more events),” Georgia coach Danna Durante said. “Beam came along and we sort of have been dragging our feet with floor just a little bit because we wanted her to be adjusted, and I think she finally felt that. … I think it was a good turning point for her.”
The Gym Dogs travel to NC State next Saturday for the regular-season finale and head to the Southeastern Conference Championships on March 23 in North Little Rock, Ark.