S-E-C You In The Super Six
April 16, 2009
Lincoln- The Southeastern Conference swept through Thursday's afternoon session of the 2009 National Collegiate Women's Gymnastics Championships at the Bob Devaney Sports Center, as Georgia (197.45), Florida (196.375) and LSU (196.325) all advanced to Friday night's Super Six Team Finals.
The Super Six is slated for Friday at 6 p.m at the Devaney Center, combining Thursday's three afternoon teams with tonight's top Preliminary Session II squads.
The afternoon was highlighted by a perfect 10 on beam from Georgia's Courtney Kupets, who took first in bars, beam and floor. Heading into Session II, Kupets leads the all-around standings with a score of 39.80. The NCAA all-around champion is determined by combined results from both preliminary sessions, with the day's highest scorer earning the crown.
The first session featured Florida, LSU, Stanford, Georgia, Penn State and Oklahoma. All-around competitors included Jessica Lopez from Denver, Adrianne Perry and Sarah Shire from Missouri, Rebecca Best from Ohio State and Mehgan Morris from West Virginia. Becky Bernard represented Michigan on bars, and Arizona's Sarah Tomczyk appeared as an event specialist on floor.
After the third rotation, Georgia led in the team standings (98.525), followed by Stanford (98.30), Penn State (97.975), Florida (97.95), Oklahoma (97.80) and LSU (97.725).
Although LSU was in sixth at the midway point of the competition, the Tigers stormed back to claim the session's third spot to qualify for their second straight Super Six Finals. The Tigers started their rally on vault, where they scored a session-best 49.45 behind a pair of 9.95 performances from Susan Jackson and Ashleigh Clare-Kearney - the best individual scores of the afternoon on the event.
After a bye, LSU locked up its spot in Friday's night's Super Six with with a 49.125 on bars to edge out Stanford, which settled for fourth place in the session with a 196.225.
Florida did not secure its spot in the Super Six until after its final competitive rotation, which came with a 49.275 on beam. The Gators' 196.375 held off all challengers in the session as they finished with a bye after beam.
Georgia took most of the suspense out of the session by running away from the competition with a dominant 197.45 team total that included a 49.55 on beam, powered by Kupets' perfect 10. The GymDogs added a pair of 9.95 individual scores from Grace Taylor and Courtney McCool as UGA finished with the top three performances on the event.
Tonight's preliminary action kicks off at 7 p.m., with Alabama, Oregon State, Arkansas, Utah, UCLA and Illinois. Thomasina Wallace (San Jose State), Kylie Stone (Nebraska), Christina Lenny (Kent State), Sarah Curtis (Michigan), Elise Wheeler (Southern Utah) and Veronica Porte (San Jose State) will rotate alongside the six competing teams.
Final Team Results:
1. Georgia - 197.45
2. Florida - 196.375
3. LSU - 196.30
4. Stanford - 196.225
5. Penn State - 196.10
6. Oklahoma - 195.825
Individuals Advancing to Event Finals:
Vault: 1. Susan Jackson, LSU (9.95); 1. Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, LSU (9.95); 3. Tiffany Tolnay, Georgia (9.925); 4. Maranda Smith, Florida (9.90); 4. Courtney Kupets, Georgia (9.90); 4. Staci Schwitkis, LSU (9.90); 4. Whitney Bencsko, Penn State (9.90); 4. Jessica Lopez, Denver (9.90); Sarah Shire, Missouri (9.90)
Bars: 1. Courtney Kupets, Georgia (9.95); 2. Grace Taylor, Georgia (9.90); 2. Carly Janiga, Stanford (9.90); 4. Melanie Sinclair, Florida (9.875); 4. Alicia Goodwin, Florida (9.875); 4. Kathryn Ding, Georgia (9.875); Summer Hubbard, LSU (9.875); Ashleigh Clare-Kearney (9.875); Alexandra Brockway, Penn State (9.875); 4. Nicole Ourada, Stanford (9.875)
Beam: 1. Courtney Kupets, Georgia (10.0); 2. Grace Taylor, Georgia (9.95); 2. Courtney McCool, Georgia (9.95); 4.Megan Ferguson, Oklahoma (9.90)
Floor: 1. Courtney Kupets, Georgia (9.95); 2. Tiffany Tolnay, Georgia (9.90); 2. Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, LSU (9.90); 4. Corey Hartung, Florida (9.875); 4. Brandi Personett, Penn State (9.875)