KISSIMMEE, Fla. --- The No. 8 University of Georgia gymnastics team opened the season with a first place finish at the Critique Classic Invitational in Kissimmee, Florida on Friday evening.
Georgia scored a 195.100, ahead of No. 11 Oregon State (194.450), Iowa (192.700), and Bridgeport (189.300).
"There is a lot to take in to start the season and there was a lot of emotion today," head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. "We had eight routines that were new, whether they were freshmen or competing on events for the first time. Floor was a great start, this team typically does really well when they start on floor. There were a few errors on vault, things that we can definitely improve so that'll be fine and the same thing on bars, we took a little bit of a slump. We finished strong on balance beam and I could not be more proud of this team on beam. This team has a lot of fight and they showed that tonight."
The GymDogs began with a strong start on floor, posting a 49.075. Sophomore Rachael Lukacs performed in the anchor position, posting the first 9.900 of the season. Freshman Soraya Hawthorne debuted in the lineup with a 9.875, followed by a pair a 9.800's from sophomores Mikayla Magee and Rachel Baumann. Sophomores Megan Roberts and Alyssa Perez-Lugones contributed scores of 9.700.
Up next on vault, Georgia scored a 48.675. Hawthorne contributed another 9.875 to lead the GymDogs for the event.
The GymDogs scored a 48.150 on bars. Freshman Loulie Hattaway led the team with a 9.750.
Competition completed on beam with a 49.075. Sophomores Rachel Baumann and Mikayla Magee earned scores of 9.875. Freshman Haley de Jong and junior Marissa Oakley posted scores of 9.825.
Georgia welcomes the LSU Tigers to Athens for the home opener in Stegeman Coliseum on January 10 at 7:30 p.m. The meet will be broadcast live on the SEC Network.