For the first time in Auburn gymnastics history, the Tigers are undefeated through four matches.
This 4-0 start, alongside record-setting performances by freshman Derrian Gobourne, has set the Tigers at No. 11 in the nation, poising the Tigers to take the SEC, and perhaps all of the NCAA, by storm.
To reach this milestone, Auburn posted a season high 196.77 score against SEC opponent and sixth-ranked Georgia, along with beating some of the best teams in the nation in No. 10 Missouri, No. 4 LSU and Iowa.
“This is the season that I’ve been waiting for,” senior Taylor Krippner said. “This is my fourth year, and I’ve never experienced something so fun and enjoyable as far as gymnastics goes. This team is dynamic; I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
During its run, Auburn also moved into the top 10 nationally in vault and beam after beating Georgia.
Freshman phenom Gobourne has taken over on the floor for Auburn thus far in its young season. Through four matches, the freshman posted her second 9.995 and is tied for 21st nationally with an average score of 9.887 through four meets.
Gobourne, after her star-studded performance against the Bulldogs, earned her second SEC Freshman of the Week honors. Against the Bulldogs, Gobourne took the all-around title with a score of 39.375 and scored a perfect 10 from one of two judges during her floor routine.
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“Derrian is extremely talented, so that doesn’t surprise us,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said after the Georgia meet. “Derrian is just a sponge with all the other girls on the team. She's completely willing to learn from anybody. She's completely willing to adjust. She's talented. All the girls are talented, and Derrian is talented.”
Gobourne earned her first SEC Freshman of the week crown against a stellar opponent, tying LSU’s, Sarah Finnegan, who was SEC Gymnast of the Year last season, for the all-around crown on the floor.
“I didn’t really know what to expect coming into this," Gobourne. "I was just telling myself, ‘Do the gymnastics’ and then the outcome would be the outcome. I didn’t have any expectations of myself. I’m just doing what I know how to do.”
Next up on the schedule for the Tigers is the No. 17 Kentucky Wildcats — NCAA runners up in 2018. The drought has been long for the Tigers when rolling into Lexington as it has been almost 10 years since the last Auburn victory at Memorial Coliseum. All-time, the Tigers are 4-17 when traveling there.
When the Tigers arrive, they will be facing a team that is also coming off a season-high performance a week ago.
“We have to be good on the road, and this one will prepare us,” Coach Graba said. "We have to do our thing, and I think the girls are really bought into their bubble and staying focused and all that good stuff. To me, I look at it as an opportunity and a test. I think they’re in a really good spot right now.”
Auburn will square off against Kentucky at 6 p.m. CST tonight.
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