Megan Walker competes on floor at the 2014 SEC Gymnastics Championship. (Tony Hall photo)
BIRMINGHAM - No. 12 Auburn won the SEC Gymnastics Championship afternoon session for the second year in a row and finished fifth overall with a 195.9660 on Saturday in the BJCC Arena.
The Tigers knocked off Kentucky (195.075), No. 15 Arkansas (194.900) and Missouri (194.650) in the 2 p.m. session. No. 4 Alabama was the overall champion and paced four teams in the night session with a score of 197.875.
"I think our girls did a tremendous job today," Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. "We talked all week about fighting throughout the meet and I think the team did really well. We won our session which ties for our highest finish in 20 years. I'm very proud of this team."
Auburn held a slim lead over Kentucky after the first rotation 48.975-48.825. Caitlin Atkinson scored 9.875 and MJ Rott totaled 9.85 to lead the Tigers on vault.
The Tigers scored 48.975 for the second-straight rotation as Megan Walker posted Auburn's first 9.9 on uneven bars. Kelsey Kopec added a 9.8 on the apparatus for Auburn as the meet moved to halfway point.
Auburn still led after two rotations with a total of 97.950, but Arkansas jumped into second place with a 49.000 on balance beam in part due to a 9.9 from SEC Gymnast of the Year Katherine Grable.
Megan Walker and Atkinson closed balance beam with identical scores of 9.85 as Auburn totaled 48.850 in the third rotation. Lexus Demers added a 9.775 for the Tigers as they held on to the lead with only one event remaining.
As the meet moved to the final rotation, Auburn held a comfortable lead with a three-event total of 146.800 while Missouri and Kentucky were tied for second place with a 146.025.
Led by a 9.800 from Brittany Webster, Auburn scored 48.750 in the final rotation on floor. Also chipping in were Demers and Rott with scores of 9.750.
The Tigers are in action again on April 5 as NCAA Regional competition begins. The NCAA Gymnastics Selection Show is March 24 at 3 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.