The Georgia gymnastics team will face seven teams that competed in the 2013 NCAA championships, including home meets against LSU and Arkansas, as the Gym Dogs’ 2014 schedule was announced Wednesday.
Georgia will also serve as one of six NCAA regional hosts on April 5.
“We are going to be tested early and often,” Georgia coach Danna Durante said in a news release. “We start right out of the gate with Oklahoma and Stanford, and that allows our freshman the opportunity to start their careers on the road before they compete at home. We have some great competition coming in at home, and we are extremely excited to host regionals again.”
The Gym Dogs open the season with meets at Oklahoma on Jan. 10 and Sanford on Jan. 12 before the home opener against LSU on Friday, Jan. 17. UGA returns to Stegeman Coliseum three days later to face Iowa.
Georgia will travel to defending national champion Florida on Jan. 24, then Kentucky visits Athens on Feb. 1. The Gym Dogs will face another road test at Alabama on Feb. 7 prior to a home meet against Missouri on Feb. 14. The final SEC road meet is slated for Feb. 21 at Auburn.
The Gym Dogs will have back-to-back home meets against Arkansas (March 1) and Denver (March 8) before the regular season finale against Utah in Salt Lake City on March 15.
The SEC championships will be held March 22 in Birmingham, Ala., and will again include two sessions. Georgia will be one of six NCAA Regional hosts on April 5, along with Arkansas, LSU, Minnesota, Penn State and Washington.
The Alabama Sports Foundation and the University of Alabama will co-host the 2014 NCAA Championships April 18-20 in Birmingham.
Georgia well represented on U.S. national teams
Eleven athletes with ties to the Georgia swimming program have been named to the 2013-14 national teams, it was announced by USA Swimming.
USA Swimming also named the top 18-and-under swimmers to the 2013-14 National Junior Teams, two of which are Georgia swimmers.
Former Lady Bulldog Megan Romano, seniors Shannon Vreeland and Melanie Margalis, juniors Lauren Harrington, Jordan Mattern and Amber McDermott, sophomore Annie Zhu and freshman Olivia Smoliga were chosen for the women’s national team. Senior Andrew Gemmell, junior Nicolas Fink and sophomore Chase Kalisz were selected for the men’s national team.
Romano is featured in three events: the 50 freestyle, the 100 freestyle and the 100 backstroke. Olympic gold medalist Vreeland (100 and 200 freestyle), Fink (100 and 200 breaststroke) and Kalisz (200 and 400 individual medley) were selected in two events. Mattern was chosen in the 200 freestyle, McDermott made it in the 400 freestyle, Smoliga qualified in the 100 backstroke, Zhu was picked for the 200 breaststroke, Harrington made it in the 200 butterfly and Margalis qualified in the 200 individual medley. As previously announced, Gemmell was selected in the open water 10-kilometer.
Freshmen Rachel Zilinskas and Taylor Dale have been named to the national junior teams. Zilinskas is a member of the women’s open water 10K squad, while Dale made the men’s team in the 100 backstroke.