Jan. 23, 2012
AUBURN – Auburn gymnastics posted its highest scores of the young season in three events on Friday night against Georgia and the friendly crowd in Auburn Arena had a lot to do with it.
“Having our fans cheering us on at home in our arena was a huge boost to our team on Friday,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “To me it’s really important because it shows the excitement and the support in the community. The girls wanted to come out and do it again Saturday. It’s an unbelievable testament to the support the Auburn community has to the sport.”
Competing in Auburn Arena for the first time in 2012, No. 16 Auburn posted season-high scores on uneven bars, balance beam and in the floor exercise en route to posting a season-high 195.600 overall.
Graba thinks his team has reached a big point in its development and is primed to make even more improvements over the coming weeks as they continue to refine their routines.
“I think we still have a lot more polish that we can put on the routines,” Graba said. “I feel like we are back to basics. We’ve actually got the legitimate big stuff figured out, which with this many new people in the program, it’s a big feat to get that out of the way. Now as far as I’m concerned, it’s the fun part. Its nickel and diming ourselves trying to figure out what we can get here and there. We are going to try to get some bigger routines and get some upgrades. This is the fun part about it.”
Graba singled out two upperclassmen and a pair of newcomers as gymnasts who really stood out on Friday night.
“Kylie Shields obviously did a really good job,” Graba said. “That doesn’t surprise us. We’ve come to expect that from her. Toi Garcia did a really good job. As far as new people, I really liked that Bri Guy stepped up. She was at the end of a floor lineup. That’s a difficult place to be and she did a great job. Caryn Kadous was the first person up in the meet on the leadoff role in vault and she was doing a vault that she had never done before. Those people were in crucial spots and did a good job.”
Graba reiterated his appreciation to the fans for their support on Friday as they helped set a new attendance mark for a gymnastics event in Auburn Arena with 4,508 fans and was quick to encourage the Auburn family to attend this Friday’s meet with No. 6 Alabama.
“We are really thankful for all the fans that came out last week and helped us set a new gymnastics attendance record in Auburn Arena,” Graba said. “We just need them all to come out against this week.”
Friday’s meet is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Auburn Arena. Reserved season tickets for 2012 are sold out, but general admission season tickets and single-meet tickets are still available. For more information, contact the Auburn Ticket Office via www.aubtix.com or by calling 1-855-AUB-2010.