Feb. 21, 2011
AUBURN - The No. 18 Auburn gymnastics team (2-5, 2-4 SEC) wrapped up their SEC schedule Friday in Gainesville, Fla., against No. 1 Florida (8-0, 5-0 SEC), marking the Tigers' sixth consecutive meet against a conference opponent.
"Obviously it's just been a really tough, grueling schedule," Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. "Unfortunately I felt like we weren't at full strength so we didn't really get to gage ourselves well against them. I think in the rankings everyone (in the SEC) is in the top 25 at this point so that says something."
Last Friday against the Gators, the Tigers had their third highest team score of the season even without one of their top competitors on beam, Rachel Inniss, but fell to Florida, 196.850-194.950. Auburn also tied its season high on vault and received its second highest score of the season on floor, just .025 behind the season high.
"I thought we did a really good job and I feel like if Rachel (Inniss) was able to go physically we would've had a better score and would've felt better about it," Graba said. "The only thing we didn't really like was that we finished with a mistake. Other than that it was a great meet."
Junior Kylie Shields took home the individual title on beam scoring a 9.875 while Inniss tied for third on floor with a 9.850. Sophomore Toi Garcia placed second on floor posting a 9.875 and won the all-around title with a 38.800.
"I feel like we have finally proven to ourselves that we can hit every event and hit it at a high quality," Graba said. "Now we have just got to consistently do that and put it together. In a lot of ways, that's just more of a team aspect and a dynamic when they are out on the floor against No. 1 (Florida). It's a little bit more difficult to stay focused. Hopefully with that behind us, I think that our last four meets of the year should be pretty good and lead us into a pretty good conference meet."
The Tigers appear in this week's polls ranked No. 25 on vault, 20th on bars, 11th on beam and tied for 27th on floor. Rachel Inniss improved her floor ranking and now sits at No. 5, up six from last week.
Auburn will face Pittsburgh on Friday at the Auburn Arena at 7 p.m. CT. The meet has been designated as "Short People Appreciation Night" and fans will receive free admission if they are shorter than Lauren Brzostowski, the shortest gymnast on the Tigers' team at 5-0. Fans will have the opportunity to get their picture taken with the BCS National Championship Trophy by a professional photographer. The trophy will be displayed inside Jonathan B. Lovelace Hall of Honor starting 90 minutes prior to the meet. There will also be an autograph session with the gymnasts immediately following the meet.