By Ethan Brady
DULUTH, Ga. - No. 8 Auburn scored its program record SEC Championship team total with a 196.925 to finish fourth at the 2015 SEC Championship in Duluth, Ga., Saturday at the Arena at Gwinnett Center. The Tigers' fourth place finish is its highest since 1993.
"I thought the girls did a really good job," head coach Jeff Graba said. "We knew that this environment was going to be tough. We've never been a part of the night session. There's a lot of stress, energy and a lot to manage. I thought we did a really good job. I couldn't be more proud."
Auburn excelled on beam with a team total 49.400, the highest total of the meet. Lexus Demers, Megan Walker and Abby Milliet scored 9.900, earning third overall individually at the SEC Championship.
"Finishing on beam is tough as nails," Graba said. "We haven't been great on beam the last couple of weeks. I was really excited that we finished on beam the way we know we can. That's something we can take away from this meet continuing in the postseason."
Auburn began its meet on floor and posted a team total 49.075. Caitlin Atkinson led the Tigers in the event with a 9.875. "I definitely think we showed people that we belong in the night session," Walker said. "We proved to ourselves we belong here. I definitely think our performance showed that today."
On vault, Demers scored a team-high 9.900 to help Auburn to a score of 49.300.
"It was such an accomplishment to get to night session and get the recognition that we've been working for," Demers said. "It's been a great year, and we've been training so hard. We deserved to be here tonight and get that top four finish."
Auburn scored 49.150 on bars led by Atkinson and Milliet's 9.850. "Tonight was important, but it was a good way to get ready for true postseason," Demers said. "We came out a little juiced up with a lot of energy, so that kind of got to us a little bit. We finally settled down and had a good finish."
No. 6 Alabama earned the SEC Championship title with a 197.525 followed by No. 2 LSU's 197.450 and No. 3 Florida's 197.400. No. 9 Georgia led the afternoon session with a team total 196.000. No. 18 Arkansas finished with a 195.950, Missouri had a 195.700 and No. 25 Kentucky posted a 195.025 in front of a crowd of 8,758.
Auburn will compete in the NCAA Regional as the No. 2 seed April 4, in Auburn Arena at 6 p.m. CT. The NCAA Regional selection show is on Monday at 2 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.
Tickets to the NCAA Regional at Auburn Arena on April 4 at 6 p.m. are on sale now as general admission tickets are $5 and reserved tickets are $8. Go to AubTix.comfor regular season and NCAA Regional ticket information.
For the latest updates on Auburn Gymnastics, follow the Tigers on Twitter, @Auburn_Gym or like https://www.facebook.com/AUGymnastics