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The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

SEC sends three teams to NCAA Championships Super Six

242 days ago
SEC Schools

SESSION I

Arkansas

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Junior Braie Speed and freshman Jessica Yamzon wrapped up the 2017 gymnastics season with solid performances at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday.

The gymnasts were competing as individuals with Speed taking part in the vault and Yamzon as an all-arounder in Session I.

Speed had to wait until the third rotation to get on the equipment. Competing on the vault only, Speed rotated with Oklahoma starting with a bye then moving to the floor exercise.

Oklahoma was up first on the vault sending six gymnasts down the runway before Speed got her chance. She posted a 9.825, tying her third-best score of the year on the event. The junior from San Antonio, Texas, finished tied for 13th overall in Session I.

Yamzon opened the meet on the vault and grew more confident as the meet progressed. She scored a 9.7125 on bars in the third rotation.

In the fourth rotation, Yamzon was on balance beam and posted a solid performance on the apparatus. She scored a 9.875, tying her season and career best on the event. Her score ranks tied for second all-time by a Gymback individual on beam at the NCAA Championship and tied her for 13th place in the first semifinal.

Yamzon concluded the meet on floor with a 9.7625 and scored a 38.925 in all four events.

RESULTS

Vault 13. Braie Speed - 9.825 41. Jessica Yamzon - 9.575

Bars 39. Jessica Yamzon - 9.7125

Balance Beam 13. Jessica Yamzon - 9.8750

Floor Exercise 35. Jessica Yamzon - 9.7625

All-Around 19. Jessica Yamzon - 38.925

Auburn

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Auburn gymnasts Katie Becker and Samantha Cerio concluded the 2017 season at the NCAA Championships Friday, competing at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. The pair represented Auburn as individuals.

"I think these two had a very good day," head coach Jeff Graba said. "Katie (Becker) hit 4-for-4 and handled the pressure pretty well. Sam didn't have her best bar set, but performed well overall. I'm very proud of both and they will definitely be able to bring back their experiences and share with the team."

Becker, a freshman from Boone, N.C., competed in the all-around after advancing out of the NCAA Fayetteville Regional. Rotating with top-seed Oklahoma, she finished with an overall score of 39.050.

Beginning on floor, Becker put together one of her best performances of the season and scored a 9.825. She followed with a 9.7375 on vault and a 9.7125 on bars. Becker closed out the meet on beam and scored a 9.775

Cerio advanced to nationals on the uneven bars after winning the event title in Fayetteville. The sophomore from Huntersville, N.C., earned a 9.7875 on her routine to cap a successful season in the event.

SESSION II

Alabama

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Using its third-highest score of the season, a 197.600, in the NCAA Championships Semifinal II, the Alabama gymnastics team advanced to its NCAA-best 23rd Super Six Team Final Friday night in St. Louis. In the 25-year history of the Super Six format, Alabama's 23 berths is more than any other program.

The top-three teams from each semifinal session populate the Super Six. The Crimson Tide finished third in its session, with LSU (198.2750) and Florida (197.8125) making it an all Southeastern Conference affair out of the second semifinal, taking first and second, respectively. Nebraska (197.2125) was fourth, followed by Michigan (196.4625) and Georgia (195.8000). From the first semifinal session earlier in the day, Oklahoma, UCLA and Utah advanced to Saturday's final.

Alabama started things off with a 49.3875 on the floor exercise led by a 9.9375 from junior Kiana Winston and 9.875s from seniors Katie Bailey and Aja Sims. On vault, Bailey and senior Keely McNeer both went 9.8875 to pace the Crimson Tide to a 49.3625. It was McNeer's first turn in the vault lineup since breaking a finger in a car accident prior to the Georgia meet in early March. It also marked the first time she has ever done a one and a half vault in collegiate competition. The one and a half comes from a 10.0 start value.

Coming off its first of two byes on the night, Alabama caught fire on the uneven bars, scoring 49.4875 led by Bailey's 9.95. Winston and McNeer both scored 9.9s on the uneven bars. It was a season-best score on the uneven bars for McNeer and her first routine in the uneven bars lineup since February. Bailey's score won the NCAA uneven bars title, earning Alabama its 27th individual national title and the seniors second after taking first on the vault last season.

More than four-tenths of a point ahead of Nebraska going into its final rotation, the balance beam, the Tide made it interesting with a fall in the third position, but closed out strong to secure a 49.3625 and stay well ahead of the Cornhuskers. Freshman Wynter Childers started things off with a 9.8875, followed by a 9.925 from Sims. Following the fall, freshman Maddie Desch earned a 9.8 while Winston went 9.8875 and Guerrero closed things out with a 9.8625.

The NCAA Super Six Team Final gets underway at 8 p.m. CT and will air live on ESPN2.

Florida

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Moving on was the goal and that's exactly what the Florida gymnastics team is doing.

The Gators runner-up finish in Friday's NCAA Championships' second semifinal sends UF to Saturday's NCAA Super Six team final. The Gators will look for their fourth NCAA Championship in Saturday's Super Six, which will be contested in front of a sold-out Chaifetz Arena crowd. The event airs live on ESPNU at 9 p.m. ET

Junior Alex McMurtry is the 2017 NCAA all-around champion. She also shares the uneven bars title.

McMurtry's 39.8125 topped Friday's two sessions. It is the highest total ever in NCAA Championships' semifinal competition. Kentucky's Jenny Hansen set the previous high (39.80) in 1995 and Georgia's Courtney Kupets equaled the mark in 2009.

A Gator has taken the NCAA all-around five of the last six years (Kytra Hunter - 2012, 2015; Bridget Sloan - 2013, 2016; McMurtry - 2017).

She was among a six-way tie for first on uneven bars at 9.95. A Gator has won at least a share of the uneven bars title four of the last five years (Alaina Johnson - 2013; Sloan - 2014, 2016; McMurtry - 2017).

The NCAA Individual Event Finals were eliminated after 2015 and the apparatus winners are now determined by combining two semifinal results.

Florida was second in its NCAA session at 197.8125, the highest team total ever for the Gators in NCAA semifinal competition.

Joining Florida from semifinal II in Saturday's Super Six is LSU (198.275) and Alabama (197.600). Nebraska (197.2125), Michigan (196.4625) and Georgia (195.80) rounded out the second semifinal's results.

Advancing to the Super Six from Friday's opening semifinal are Oklahoma (197.725), UCLA (197.50) and Utah (197.05). Other team results from Semifinal I were Washington (196.5625), Denver (196.475) and Oregon State (196.3625).

As the runner-up team in Semifinal II, Florida starts on balance beam for Saturday's NCAA Super Six team final.

Notes: Florida opened the meet with the day's second-highest vault team total of 49.5125. Florida's final three vaulters - Alicia Boren (9.90), Rachel Slocum (9.90) and Alex McMurtry (9.975) all earned All-America honors on the event. McMurtry's mark equals the third-highest ever for a Gator in NCAA Championships' competition (behind a pair of 10.0s from Susan Hines in 1998. Kytra Hunter also posted a 9.975 in 2012 NCAA semifinal competition). She was runner-up on vault to LSU's Kennedi Edney (9.9875).

The team's uneven bars total of 49.425 equals the 10th highest for the Gators in NCAA semifinal history. McMurtry's 9.95 put her in a six-way tie for the NCAA uneven bars title.

A six-for-six balance beam performance gave Florida a 49.3875, the program's fifth-highest total in NCAA Championships' competition. McMurtry again led UF with her 9.9375, which is the third highest for a Gator in NCAA Championships' semifinal competition (trails 9.95 by Sloan/2016 & Mackenzie Caquatto/2013). McMurtry shared third on beam in the final standings.

Florida finished the meet on floor exercise, turning in a 49.4875. Both McMurtry (9.95) and Kennedy Baker (9.9375) earned All-America honors on the event. McMurtry's marks equals the highest ever for a Gator in NCAA semifinal competition and placed her in a four-way tie for third in the final floor standings.

McMurtry is the 2017 NCAA all-around champion - the fifth Florida win of the last six seasons. The NCAA all-around champion is determined by combining all-around results from both of Friday's semifinals. McMurtry's 39.8125 trails only the 39.90 set by Georgia's Courtney Kupets in the 2009 Super Six in all-time NCAA all-around history.

Three Gator all-arounders (McMurtry, Baker and Amelia Hundley) earned All-America honors Friday. This is the sixth time three or more Gator all-arounders earned All-America honors in a single NCAA Championship.

Georgia

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- Senior Rachel Schick and freshman Rachel Dickson earned NCAA All-America honors as the Georgia gymnastics team (15-15) closed out its season with a sixth-place finish in the second semifinal session of the NCAA Championships at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

LSU (198.275), Florida (197.8125) and Alabama (197.600) advanced to the Super Six, finishing first through third, respectively, in Friday's meet. Nebraska (197.2125) finished fourth, followed by Michigan (196.4625) and Georgia (195.800). Oklahoma, UCLA and Utah make up the other half of this year's Super Six, with those schools advancing from the afternoon semifinal session.

"It was a rough season," said Georgia gymnastics head coach Danna Durante. "It certainly started in a tough spot but we saw some immediate resilience in this group. They had a great deal of discipline and commitment. I think we got better and better and better, and they gave it everything they had. The 2018 season starts tonight for me, for our coaches and for our athletes."

Georgia started slow with a tough beam set, finishing with a team total of 48.5. The Gymdogs were paced by Vivi Babalis and her 9.825 on beam, her sixth score of 9.825 or better in her last seven beam routines. Heading into a bye, Georgia was in fourth place in the six-team meet.

Georgia claimed a 49.225 with a nice bounce-back effort on floor. The Gymdogs took five scores of 9.8 or better, led by Gigi Marino's 9.8875 from the anchor spot. Babalis received a 9.8125, Beth Roberts a 9.825, and a pair of 9.85s for Morgan Reynolds and Sydney Snead.

The Gymdogs lost some ground in their third event with a 48.9125 as a team. Senior Ashlyn Broussard claimed the high score for UGA with a 9.825 in the event as the team prepared to head into its final bye.

Kentucky

ST. LOUIS -- Kentucky freshman Mollie Korth and sophomore Alex Hyland represented the Wildcats at the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships as individual all-around competitors on Friday night in St. Louis. Korth was named first team All-America on bars and second team All-America in the all-around for her performance at the national championships.ST. LOUIS - Kentucky freshman Mollie Korth and sophomore Alex Hyland represented the Wildcats at the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships as individual all-around competitors on Friday night in St. Louis. Korth was named first team All-America on bars and second team All-America in the all-around for her performance at the national championships.

"Becoming a first team All-American on bars and second team in the all-around is a great end to an outstanding freshman season for Mollie," head coach Tim Garrison said. "She has impressed throughout the year and brought solid performances against at this championship. We are looking forward to what the future holds for this talented young lady.""Becoming a first team All-American on bars and second team in the all-around is a great end to an outstanding freshman season for Mollie," head coach Tim Garrison said. "She has impressed throughout the year and brought solid performances against at this championship. We are looking forward to what the future holds for this talented young lady."

The freshman earned first team honors after tying her career-high on bars with a score of 9.925. The career-best put her fourth in the session, landing her on the first team. The Cambridge, Wisconsin native finished seventh overall in the semifinal event, putting her on the podium for the semifinal standings. Korth was impressive on vault with a 9.8875, good for 10th in the late night session. Her other scores of 9.8375 on the floor and 9.800 on beam put her at an all-around total of 39.4500. The score sat her in sixth place, good for second team All-America honors.The freshman earned first team honors after tying her career-high on bars with a score of 9.925. The career-best put her fourth in the session, landing her on the first team. The Cambridge, Wisconsin native finished seventh overall in the semifinal event, putting her on the podium for the semifinal standings. Korth was impressive on vault with a 9.8875, good for 10th in the late night session. Her other scores of 9.8375 on the floor and 9.800 on beam put her at an all-around total of 39.4500. The score sat her in sixth place, good for second team All-America honors.

Hyland finished the day at No. 12 in the all-around standings with a score of 39.1875. Her best event was the on the floor, where she put up a 9.8625. She followed with a 9.8250 on beam, a 9.7625 on bars and a 9.7375 on the vault.Hyland finished the day at No. 12 in the all-around standings with a score of 39.1875. Her best event was the on the floor, where she put up a 9.8625. She followed with a 9.8250 on beam, a 9.7625 on bars and a 9.7375 on the vault.

"I'm very proud of Alex for qualifying to NCAA's for the second-consecutive year and having a strong meet. She is now a seasoned veteran and knows what it takes to compete at the championship level. Not it's time for that experience to benefit the team and I have challenged her with that responsibility. Knowing the caliber of athlete and person she is, I have no doubt she will take the responsibility seriously and help her achieve at the highest levels.""I'm very proud of Alex for qualifying to NCAA's for the second-consecutive year and having a strong meet. She is now a seasoned veteran and knows what it takes to compete at the championship level. Not it's time for that experience to benefit the team and I have challenged her with that responsibility. Knowing the caliber of athlete and person she is, I have no doubt she will take the responsibility seriously and help her achieve at the highest levels."

Korth becomes the fifth postseason All-American in Kentucky history. She joins former NCAA champion Jenny Hansen, Robin Ewing, Arondo Primault and current Wildcat Sidney Dukes. Korth is just the third Wildcat to earn first team honors. The 9.925 on bars was the highest score for a UK gymnast all-time at the NCAA National Championships.Korth becomes the fifth postseason All-American in Kentucky history. She joins former NCAA champion Jenny Hansen, Robin Ewing, Arondo Primault and current Wildcat Sidney Dukes. Korth is just the third Wildcat to earn first team honors. The 9.925 on bars was the highest score for a UK gymnast all-time at the NCAA National Championships.

Both Korth and Hyland were regular season All-Americans.Both Korth and Hyland were regular season All-Americans.

"It feels great (to be All-America)," Korth said. "I'm going to have to go into the gym and work even harder and have a better season next year. I'm excited to improve.""It feels great (to be All-America)," Korth said. "I'm going to have to go into the gym and work even harder and have a better season next year. I'm excited to improve."

Korth had been pushing all year to improve and get to this point.Korth had been pushing all year to improve and get to this point.

"Hard work in the gym (got me here)," Korth said. "My teammates have been pushing me all year. I'm so thankful for them and knowing they are supporting me means a lot.""Hard work in the gym (got me here)," Korth said. "My teammates have been pushing me all year. I'm so thankful for them and knowing they are supporting me means a lot."

The 2017 NCAA Gymnastics National Championships marked the sixth time in Kentucky's history that the team has sent two all-around competitors to the championships in the same season. UK also achieved this feat last season. Korth was the 15th different individual to qualify for the NCAA championships in program history, while Hyland qualified for the event last season as well. Korth led Kentucky with 19 event titles throughout the season. Hyland led on beam with 11 event titles, including the SEC beam title.The 2017 NCAA Gymnastics National Championships marked the sixth time in Kentucky's history that the team has sent two all-around competitors to the championships in the same season. UK also achieved this feat last season. Korth was the 15th different individual to qualify for the NCAA championships in program history, while Hyland qualified for the event last season as well. Korth led Kentucky with 19 event titles throughout the season. Hyland led on beam with 11 event titles, including the SEC beam title.

LSU

ST. LOUIS. -- No. 2 LSU posted a 198.275 for the highest score ever by any team at an NCAA Championship meet to secure a spot in the program's sixth Super Six in school history Friday evening at Chaifetz Arena.

It was a historic night as three gymnasts won individual national championships for the most at a single meet in school history. Senior Ashleigh Gnat, sophomore Sarah Finnegan and freshman Kennedi Edney all won individual national championships.

Gnat captured the floor title with a 9.9675. It marked the third floor title in school history and the first since volunteer coach Ashleigh Clare-Kearney did it in 2009. Finnegan took home the first bars national championship in school history after posting a 9.95 in the fifth spot of the lineup.

Edney stuck her Yurchenko 1 ½ to capture the vault title outright for a 9.9875 and a new career high. Edney became the first freshman in school history to win a national championship with the outright title win. The Chino, California native set the highest score by an LSU gymnast ever at an NCAA Championship.

Junior Myia Hambrick and Finnegan each posted a 39.5875 in the all-around to tie for fourth overall. The duo's score was the third-highest score in the all-around at an NCAA Championship in school history.

LSU will return to action at 8 p.m. CT Saturday for a shot at the national championship. The Tigers will face off against Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, UCLA and Utah. The meet will be televised live on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN.com.

Tomorrow's rotation will be the exact same for the Tigers with the squad starting on bye before competing on floor and vault. The team will take another bye before closing out the meet on bars and beam.

Breaux on the Historic Night "It was an incredible first night of competition and there was so much energy in the building tonight," head coach D-D Breaux said. "I am really excited and proud of what our team did. It's been a great season and I can't expect this team to do any more than they've done tonight. We'll regroup and go out there tomorrow night with a lot of energy and the same outlook as tonight.

Tigers Open Record Books on Floor The Tigers' floor team totaled an incredible 49.7125 for a school record and the best vault score ever in an NCAA semifinal. Senior Sydney Ewing started things off with a 9.90 and fellow senior Shae Zamardi added a 9.8875.

The squad never looked back in the rotation as the next four Tigers all earned a score of 9.95 or higher. Hambrick, Finnegan and McKenna Kelley all totaled 9.95s on floor with Finnegan's score setting a new career high. Gnat closed out the opening rotation with a 9.9625 for the floor title and second-highest flor score in NCAA Championship history.

Vault Picks up Best Score at an NCAA Meet in School History Fresh off the momentum from an incredible opening rotation, the Tigers continued the hot start with a 49.5625 for the highest vault score at an NCAA Championship in school history. Hambrick earned a 9.8625 in the second spot and Ewing followed with a career high 9.9625 on a stuck 1 ½.

After a 9.85 from freshman Ruby Harrold, Edney drilled her vault in the fifth spot for a 9.9875. Gnat then closed out the second rotation with a 9.90 for the Tigers heading into the bye.

Tigers Close out Bars Strong After the Tigers' final bye, the squad went out and posted a score of 49.4125. Zamardi got things off to a strong start with a 9.85. Hambrick and Edney followed with a 9.8375 and 9.85 in the second and fourth spots respectively. Finnegan performed an incredible routine for a 9.95 and Lexie Priessman closed out the rotation with a 9.925.

Beam Seals the Super Six Birth The squad closed out the night with a 49.5875 to blow away the previous best at an NCAA Championship meet set last season. Erin Macadaeg started things off with a 9.90 for the best leadoff performance by a gymnast on Friday. Hambrick followed with a 9.9375 in the second spot. After a 9.7875 by Edney, Finnegan and Gnat closed out the rotation with scores of 9.9125 and 9.9375.

Fourteen Tigers Claim All-America Honors Fourteen LSU gymnasts claimed All-America honors on the night for the most in a single year in school history. Finnegan led the way with four honors on bars, beam, floor, and the all-around. Gnat and Hambrick took home three honors on the night. Edney, Ewing, Priessman and Kelley also each earned honors.