AUBURN, Ala. - The No. 16 Auburn gymnastics team clinched its sixth win of the season Friday night against Rutgers, topping the Scarlet Knights, 196.575.194.225, in Auburn Arena. It was a night that not only celebrated the Tigers' triumph, but also raised awareness of breast cancer and celebrated our nation's military.
"I was really happy with our performance tonight," head coach Jeff Graba said. "I think we went 27 for 27 and all of our exhibition routines hit. I don't think you can ask for a whole lot more than that. In total, 17 of our 24 routines are from freshmen and sophomores and we're the youngest team in the Top 20. With that being said, to build off of last Sunday and do this tonight will set us up to have a lot of confidence and let it all hang out next Friday."
Freshman Drew Watson picked up her first all-around title, scoring a career-best 39.225 for Auburn. Junior Abby Milliet took home three event titles, while sophomore Gracie Day won vault.
The Tigers (6-6) opened the meet on vault, where Day led the squad with a score of 9.875. The San Antonio, Texas, product was followed by Watson with a 9.8. Auburn scoring continued as sophomore Katie Becker led off with a 9.775, while junior A'Miracal Phillips and freshman Jada Glenn finished with an identical score of 9.75 to help the Tigers secure a 48.950.
The team carried good momentum into the bars for rotation two, earning a score 49.15. Milliet set a season-best with a 9.9 to win the event for the first time this year. Becker followed with a 9.825, while Day recorded a 9.825 as well. Watson and junior Taylor Krippner contributed with a 9.8 each. Sophomore Kendal Moss finished the scoring with a 9.75.
The third rotation saw the Tigers move to beam, where Milliet continued her exceptional showing, recording another 9.9 to take home her third-straight title on the apparatus. It was also her sixth overall this season. Krippner and freshman Allie Riddle contributed with a 9.875 and a 9.825, respectively. Freshman Meredith Sylvia added a 9.825 to help the Tigers finish with a 49.2.
Auburn closed the night on floor, tying a season-high with a 49.275. Milliet continued the show with her third 9.9 of the night, winning the event. The title was her fourth of the season. Day and Watson contributed to the Tigers' efforts with a 9.875 each, while freshman Ashley Smith and Glenn earned a 9.825 and a 9.8, respectively.
The Tigers close out their home schedule Friday, Feb. 23, hosting rival and nationally-ranked Alabama. Auburn and the Crimson Tide will go head-to-head at 7:30 p.m. CT in Auburn Arena and the meet will be televised on SEC Network. The contest will also serve as the team's Senior Night.