No. 16 Tigers gymnastics fall to No. 4 Gators



The No. 16 Auburn Gymnastics team (2-5, 2-4 SEC) set a season-high on bars with 49.150, beating its previous best of 49.125, but fell short against No. 4 Florida (6-2, 5-1 SEC) 195.700-196.800. "We had a good night all in all," said head coach Jeff Thompason. "We only had one fall, but on everything else we were just a little off. Every vault, we took a step. Our bars were good. We wobbled a little bit on beam, but I thought we finished really strong on floor. Unfortunately, our opponent is one of the top four teams in the country." Florida took an early lead when all five gymnasts scored 9.85 or higher on bars. The Gators were led by sophomore Elizabeth Mahlich, senior Amanda Castillo and senior Maranda Smith's 9.875s to give Florida a 49.325-48.800 lead. Auburn began the night on vault where four Tigers scored a 9.75. Freshman Maya Wickus scored 9.8 to help Auburn to a total of 48.800 in the event. The Tigers went from vault to bars where they scored a season-high 49.150.

Senior Carmen Nelms, sophomore Kylie Shields and freshman Petrina Yokay all scored 9.85s. Sophomore Allyson Sandusky scored a 9.825 to reduce Florida's lead 98.626-97.950.

"We had to get back into the swing of things after our week off," Shields said. "I didn't perform as well on beams, but my bars score was my highest score so far this year. Vault and floor have been getting better as well and I'm improving every week and that's all I can askfor."

Florida continued to hit on all cylinders while scoring a 49.300 on vault with help from Courtney Gladys' 9.9 and a 9.875 from both Maranda Smith and Ashanee Dickerson.

Auburn once again looked to close the lead and tried to do so on beam.

Senior Krissy Voss scored a 9.825 in the third spot, followed by junior Katie Hurley who scored a 9.75.

The Tigers concluded the night on floor where junior Rachel Inniss finished with a 9.85, making it the third-straight meet she hit at least a 9.85 in the event finishing second.

Other top performers for the Tigers included freshman Toi Garcia, who scored a collegiate-best 9.825, and Shields who also scored a 9.825 bringing the total event score to 48.975.

"It's a little frustrating that we didn't break the 196 barrier at home when we've been able to do it on the road," Shields said.

Shields was Auburn's top all-around scorer with a 39.175 finishing third, while Voss scored a 39.100 finishing fourth. Florida freshman Ashanee Dickerson won the all-around title with a score of 39.35 and Southeastern Conference freshman gymnast of the week while Florida freshman Marissa King came in second with a score of 39.275.

Auburn's next opponent is the Denver Pioneers, a team the Tigers last played two years ago, winning by .025 points and is scheduled to be the final event in the history of Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum as well as senior night.

"We're very evenly matched," Thompson said. "We have a lot of room to improve, and we're hoping to fix some of the little things as we go into our meet against Denver and then the SEC Championships in a month. It's also senior night and we want to send our seniors off with a good performance and hopefully a win."

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