Georgia is top dog in gymnastics
Georgia’s Gym Dogs won their fourth consecutive NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships team title in their home gym April 25, beginning the meet in the lead and never looking back. Utah, now tied with Georgia for the most NCAA titles with nine, finished second for the third consecutive year, followed by Stanford.
UCLA’s Tasha Schwikert won the all-around title, narrowly beating Utah’s Ashley Postell for the honor.
"I can’t say enough about this team. They just get it. They know what it takes to win at the highest level and under extreme pressure, and proved that again tonight," said Georgia head coach Suzanne Yoculan. "This senior class will leave Georgia with four titles in four years. Not many athletes in any sport get to accomplish that, but these girls have deserved everything they’ve gotten. They are the kind of gymnasts that make being a coach worth it."
Georgia’s gymnasts began the meet on the floor, earning their highest score of the four postseason meets, a 49.475. Katie Heenan led the team with a 9.95 in the event, followed by teammates Cassidy McComb and Tiffany Tolnay, who both earned a 9.90. The Gym Dogs also turned in strong performances in the vault, including McComb’s 9.900, her highest-scoring vault of the postseason.
The team led the meet at the midway point, three-tenths of a point in front of then-second-place Stanford. After their bye rotation, the first two gymnasts turned in less-than-stellar performances on the bars, but the team was saved by career-best performances from McComb and Courtney McCool.
In their final event of the night, Georgia earned 49.375 on the beam, with Heenan earning a team-high 9.950.
"I love this place," said Heenan. "When we first came here, we didn’t know what we were getting into. It has been a great ride, and I think tonight was a culmination of all four years. I think we left there tonight without a doubt in anyone’s mind that we should have won. This is what we have all dreamed of, and we accomplished it. It’s been amazing."
Schwikert’s all-around title is the second of her career – she also won the title as a freshman in 2005.
1. Georgia, 197.450; 2. Utah, 197.125; 3. Stanford, 196.750; 4. Florida, 196.700; 5. LSU, 196.350; 6. Alabama, 196.125.
All-around: 1. Tasha Schwikert, UCLA, 39.6; 2. Ashley Postell, Utah, 39.55; 3. (tie) Katie Heenan, Georgia, Tiffany Tolnay, Georgia, Kristina Baskett, Utah, and Melanie Sinclair, Florida, 39.525.
Vault: 1. Susan Jackson, LSU, 9.8563; 2. (tie) Kristina Baskett, Utah, and Julie Dwyer, Auburn, 9.8438; 4. Michelle Stout, Arkansas, 9.8000; 5. Kayla Hoffman, Alabama, 9.7625; 6. Marcia Newby, Georgia, 9.7563.
Uneven parallel bars: 1. Tasha Schwikert, UCLA, 9.9375; 2. (tie) Katie Heenan, Georgia, and Kristina Comforte, UCLA, 9.900; 4. (tie) Nikki Childs, Georgia, and Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, LSU, 9.8875; 6. Kristina Baskett, Utah, 9.8750.
Balance beam: 1. Grace Taylor, Georgia, 9.9500; 2. (tie) Ashley Postell, Utah, and Emily Parsons, Nebraska, 9.900; 4. Ashley Reed, Florida, 9.8875; 5. (tie) Tabitha Yim, Stanford, and Brandi Personett, Penn St., 9.8750.
Floor exercise: 1. Courtney McCool, Georgia, 9.9625; 2. Tasha Schwikert, UCLA, 9.9500; 3. Nicola Willis, Florida, 9.9125; 4 (tie) Tiffany Tolnay, Georgia, Morgan Dennis, Alabama, and Ashley Postell, Utah, 9.900.
© 2010 The National Collegiate Athletic Association