No. 18 Gymnastics Posts Second-Highest Regional Score in Program History
April 7, 2012
AUBURN – No. 18 Auburn posted the second-highest regional score in program history with a total of 196.100 and placed fourth on Saturday night in Auburn Arena.
“I think we scored the second-highest regional score in Auburn history,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said. “That should say in and of itself that it was a pretty good night for us. I truly believe this was the toughest region in the country. We would have probably [went to nationals] in a couple other different regions throughout the country. We ended up getting saddled with a bunch of teams that are really good and some really good teams aren’t going out of this region. All you can ask is that you hit your events. We were within about three or four tenths of our max, so I really feel like we had probably an A-minus night. Under this pressure and these high stakes, you can’t task for a whole lot more.”
Georgia scored 197.100 to win the regional, while Oregon State (196.450) passed Michigan (196.325) on the final routine of the night for second place. West Virginia was fifth at 195.900 and Michigan State placed sixth with a score of 194.050.
“Bri was great and Kylie did a great vault for us,” Graba said. “I just look at the freshmen and say they did such a great job for us. This is their first time around and we are relying on them a lot this year and they pulled through. I also want to say that I think Laura Lane did a great job. She only does one event for us, but she’s a walk on and she’s gutting it out every night. She goes out there and has a great night in a big stakes meet.”
Freshmen competed 8-of-24 routines on Saturday night for Auburn, while the Tigers will lose just seven routines from the regional meet as the staff looks toward 2013.
“This is what we have to do,” Graba said. “We have to learn to hit at big meets. We did that. Now we can build off of this. This freshman class is so talented, and I believe that some of the classes we have coming in are really talented. The future is bright for us. I’m excited.”
After starting the meet on a bye, Auburn moved to the uneven bars. The Tigers scored a solid 48.900 led by 9.800 scores from Petrina Yokay and Allyson Sandusky. Megan Walker also added a 9.775 in her first NCAA regional appearance.
Another solid score in the next rotation on balance beam left Auburn in fourth place after two events (three rotations) with a total of 98.400. The Tigers posted a 49.100 on beam behind a 9.850 from Sandusky and a 9.825 from Guy.
Auburn stood in sixth place entering the final rotation, which for the Tigers meant vault. Auburn responded with its highest vault score of the season, 49.325. Petrina Yokay got things started with a 9.825 that equaled her career high. Sandusky and a 9.8, then Shields followed with a career-high 9.925. Guy closed out the event with a career-best 9.900.
“It was a great experience,” Guy said. “I think this team came a long way. We did everything we could out there. We are a really good team. We had a really good night and everyone is happy with it. I’m so excited [for the future]. This was a great meet. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to get into it for next year.”
The regional finish caps the 2012 season for the team, while Guy and Shields will advance on to nationals in two weeks in Duluth, Ga. as individual competitors.
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