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Auburn gymnastics smashes records to top Georgia
Feb. 27, 2015

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Caitlin Atkinson helped Auburn to a record night against Georgia

By Charles Goldberg

AUBURN, Ala. -- It all came togetherCaitlin Atkinson and the Auburn gymnastics team fulfilled their promise Friday night.
"We said before the meet," Atkinson remembered, "we were going to go out and give them a show."

Auburn did, and the then some in Auburn Arena. Atkinson helped Auburn record its highest team score ever and the Tigers beat traditional-power Georgia 197.750 to 196.775 in front of a record home crowd of 7,424.

"I told the girls before we came out this is what they've been shooting for their whole career here," said Auburn coach Jeff Graba.

The Tigers embraced the big night that beat the schoolrecord of 197.3 set earlier this year against LSU.

"We hit routine after routine," Atkinson said. "It couldn't have been a more fun night."

Atkinson set an Auburn record in the all-around with a 39.675 and won the floor with a team record 9.975. Atkinson and Lexus Demers had Auburn's best score in the beam. M.J. Rott won the vault with a 9.975. Abby Milliet won the bars with a 9.925.

Auburn was ranked No. 7 and Georgia was ranked ninth coming into the meet, but the Gym Dogs had a decided historical advantage. The Tigers beat the Gym Dogs for just the fourth time in this, their 80th meeting.

But Auburn coach Jeff Graba said he was confident going into the meet.

"I had a really good feeling all week," he said.

Team scores carry the day in the sport and in the rankings, but beating Georgia straight up was nonetheless special.

"It's a big rivalry and we try to focus on our performance, but you can't hide the fact we have a significant losing record to them," Graba said. "I liked the fact our girls came out and performed at a high level and it wasn't the other team melting down. It was just us doing a really good job.

"What it tells me is what I really, truly believe at this point, is that we're one of the top teams in the country. Our only losses are, I believe, is to Top 5 programs. I think moving forward our girls are starting to embrace that they're a pretty darn good team."

The Tigers are catching on.

"Everybody was in our element. We were sticking landings, we were showing off, we were presenting like we were supposed to," said Megan Walker. "It all came together."

Charles Goldberg is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:



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