March 11, 2007
CHICAGO, Ill. -
The No. 16 Auburn Tigers recorded two school records, one on vault and an all around score by junior Julie Dwyer, en route to a 195.800-193.750 win over Illinois-Chicago on Sunday at the UIC Physical Education Building.
"We are the best three event team in the nation," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "Unfortunately, our sport has four. We were outstanding on the first three events, but unfortunately our team performance will be remembered by the mistakes of three gymnasts on one event, instead of the great things that occurred today."
Individually, Dwyer recorded a new school record in the all around with a 39.650. The Bloomington, Ind., native, earned first place finishes in all four events, including the all around, and has 21 individual titles on the year.
Sophomore A.J. Mills registered a new personal best with a 39.450 in the all around. She finished in a tie for first on beam, placed third on vault and tied for third on bars and floor. Sophomore Lindsey Puckett placed second on vault and second on floor.
The Tigers opened the meet on bars with a score of 49.050, its second highest score of the season. Dwyer led the way with a 9.875, tying her highest score of the year. Puckett followed with a 9.825, tying her highest output of the season, while A.J. Mills posted a 9.800. Rounding out the scoring for AU were Alicia Lenkiewicz and and Jackie Smith, each registering a 9.775.
With the Tigers leading 49.050-48.350, AU posted new school record with a 49.400. The score surpassed the previous high total (49.375) which was set on Feb. 17, 2006 at LSU. Dwyer's attempt looked as though it would be awarded a perfect 10, however, she had a knee bent on the landing and was given a 9.950, tying her career high. Puckett tied her career high, set last season at Kentucky, with a 9.925, while Mills posted a career high with a 9.900. Nelms posted a solid vault score with a 9.825, while Karmen Pinckney
recorded a 9.800.
Heading into the third rotation, Auburn led 98.450-96.075, and scored a 49.250. Dwyer once again recorded career high with a 9.950, and was followed by a career high for Puckett (9.925). Mills followed by tying her career high with a 9.875, while Claire Seiffert posted a 9.800 and Nelms scored a 9.700 after being deducted for stepping out of bounds.
In the fourth and final rotation, the Tigers had a comfortable 147.700-145.025 lead, but faltered on beam, as they were forced to record two falls. They scored a 48.100 with Dwyer and Mills leading the way with 9.875's. Nelms registered a 9.725, while Puckett had a 9.350 and Somero totaled a 9.275.
"We are physically ready to hit all of our routines every time out," Thompson said. "It has become blatantly apparent that we need to concentrate more on the mental side of our sport."
Auburn will wrap up regular season play as it hosts Alabama on Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. The meet will be Senior Night, as the Tigers will honor Nicole Barnett, Shanna Somero and Jackie Smith.