Feb. 17, 2012
AUBURN – No. 17 Auburn gymnastics posted the second-best score in school history with a 196.875 despite falling to No. 2 Florida’s 197.500 on Friday night in Auburn Arena.
The Tigers set a season-high in total score while also earning season-best scores on vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Auburn’s total score was its highest since the Tigers posted the top score in school history with a 197.000 against Florida in 2004.
“For us to go three season highs on the first three events is huge,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “We did a great job tonight. We’ve been preaching that we need to go six in a row and for us to go 23-for-24 tonight, that’s a big deal for us. Coming back from last week, it’s nice to see us put that behind us and put a quality meet together for a high score.
“I think we are just now really starting to gel. I really feel like we had some growing pains as a young team and we had some worn out upperclassmen that needed a break for a little bit. I feel like it’s all coming together now and we are in for some good meets coming up.”
Freshman Bri Guy posted the best all-around performance of her young career and tied for the third-best performance in Auburn program history. The Catonsville, Md.-native set a new career high with an all-around score of 39.550, including season highs on vault, bars and beam. The mark ties her with three others, most recently Lindsey Puckett in 2008.
“Bri was amazing,” Graba said. “For a freshman to come in and do what she did against a high-level opponent like Florida was just outstanding. For her to put up such a great all-around score and see some of the names she is now associated with from Auburn’s history is really something to be proud of. I’m excited to see what she can do as she continues to improve this season and over the course of her Auburn career.”
Auburn started the evening on vault and posted a season-high score of 49.075 behind solid routines from each gymnast. Guy and Toi Garcia led the Tigers, each posting scores of 9.875. Kylie Shields followed with a 9.825, and Brittany Webster tied her season high with a 9.775. Allyson Sandusky added a 9.725.
Florida started off strong on bars and earned a 49.400 behind three scores of 9.900 or better in its first event.
The Tigers moved to bars and were 25 thousandths of a point away from tying the school record on bars. Auburn posted a 49.475 behind scores of 9.925 from both Sandusky and Shields, tying Sandusky’s season high and setting a career high for Shields. Petrina Yokay tied her season high with a 9.900, and Megan Walker bested her previous season high by one-tenth of a point with a 9.875. Abbey Habicht added a solid routine with a career-high 9.850, and Guy rounded out the routine with a season-high 9.825.
Despite the incredible bars performance, Florida continued to lead the meet after an impressive rotation on vault earned a 49.575.
Auburn once again earned a season-high team score in the third rotation on beam. The Tigers posted a 49.150 after a season-high routine from Guy that earned a 9.950, besting her previous high by a full tenth. Sandusky added a 9.875, tying her season high. Yokay posted a 9.825, while Walker earned a 9.800, also tying her season high.
The Gators took a slight step back on floor, but held the lead after earning a 49.050.
In the final rotation, the Tigers stayed strong to lock in the season-high total, earning a 49.175 on floor. Guy finished the night with a 9.900 to lead Auburn on floor and place second in the all-around. Garcia added a 9.875 to tie her season high, while Laura Lane tied her career high with a 9.850. Webster tied her season high with a 9.800, while Caryn Kadous added a 9.750.
Florida finished out strong on beam with a 49.400 to seal the win. Alaina Johnson took home the all-around win with a total of 39.625.
Auburn returns to action Friday, February 24, as it travels to Lexington, Ky., for a three-team meet with Kentucky and Pittsburgh. The meet is set to begin at 6 p.m. CT.