March 16, 2007
Despite a gritty effort from the Auburn gymnasts, the No. 13 Tigers were defeated on Senior Night, 197.375-195.250 by No. 3 Alabama on Friday at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum.
Before the meet even began, the Tigers suffered a setback. During vault warm ups, freshman Carmen Nelms injured her ankle and was unable to compete.
The Stone Mountain, Ga., native was scheduled to compete in three events (vault, beam and floor), and was replaced by Aimee Goheen on beam and Megan Hill on floor. Auburn was forced to go with five on vault.
Junior Julie Dwyer tied for third in the all around after posting 39.475. The Bloomington, Ind., native also captured her eighth beam win of the year after tying for first with a 9.900. Dwyer also finished in a tie for second on vault (9.875) and floor (9.900).
"I was so proud of the way our kids competed tonight considering the circumstances," head coach Jeff Thompson said. "They could have folded and given up, but they didn't, and I think they will learn a lot from this experience."
The Tigers opened the dual meet on vault, scoring a 48.375. Leading the way for the Tigers was Dwyer, who finished with a 9.875. Mills and Somero each pulled in a 9.750, while Seiffert scored a 9.675. Puckett totaled a 9.325 after falling on her attempt.
Heading into the second rotation, Alabama held a 49.350-48.375 lead. AU totaled a 48.800 on bars with Dwyer once again taking the reigns with a 9.800. Puckett was right behind her with a 9.775, while Goheen and Mills each recorded a 9.750. Alicia Lenkiewicz rounded out the scoring with a 9.725.
Auburn trailed 98.575 to 97.175 after two rotations, and posted a on 49.025 beam. Dwyer performed beautifully, scoring a 9.900. It marked the sixth time she has recorded a 9.9 or higher this season. Puckett followed with a 9.875, which tied a season high and Somero tied season high with a 9.825. Goheen, competing on beam for the first time all season, scored a 9.775, tying a career high, while Lenkiewicz rounded out the scoring with a 9.650.
Auburn headed into the final rotation down 148.000-146.200, and scored a 49.050 on floor. Dwyer totaled another 9.900 to lead the way, while Mills was right behind her with a 9.850. Puckett ended up totaling a 9.800, with Somero posting a season high 9.750 in just her second routine of the season. Seiffert finished off the scoring for AU with a 9.725.
"Our focus now is on regionals and getting kids back," Thompson said. "The SEC Championships are not our focus. We aren't going to do anything big or risky, we just want to be ready and healthy when regionals come around."
Auburn will have a week break before heading to the SEC Championships in North Little Rock, Ark., on March 31. The meet will be held at Alltell Arena and begins at 6 p.m. CT.