Georgia’s Marissa Oakley practices her beam routine before the beginning of the meet. The University of Georgia beat Auburn 197.425-196.350 on Feb. 2, 2020, in Athens, Georgia. (Photo/ Kathryn Skeean, kskeean@randb.com)

The Georgia gymnastics team defeated No. 12 Kentucky 197.05-196.825 in a critical SEC matchup while posting event-high scores. 

“It was a win on the road in SEC territory and we had a great score so there are a lot of things to be proud of tonight,” Georgia head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. 

The GymDogs started the competition on bars and scored a 49.2. Junior Marissa Oakley matched her season-best score of 9.925 in the anchor position. Sophomore Megan Roberts achieved her best road score at a 9.85 while freshman Loulie Hattaway tied her career high at a  9.825. 

The remainder of the lineup included sophomore Rachael Lukacs, senior Sabrina Vega, and freshman Haley De Jong scoring a 9.8. Vega hit her career-high score on this event. 

Georgia scored a season-high score of 49.375 in their next event on vault. Freshman Soraya Hawthorne and Lukacs scored their season-best at a 9.9 and 9.925 respectively. Sophomore Abbey Ward and Vega hit their best scores on the road with a 9.825 and 9.85. Sophomore Mikayla Magee also hit a 9.875.

Kupets Carter noted that Georgia took advantage of an opportunity against Kentucky to strengthen some of their weaker points. 

“Our strongest events are floor and beam, so having a good start on bars and vault really built our confidence to help do their gymnastics without tightening up,” Kupets Carter said. 

On the third rotation, Georgia moved to the floor and scored a 49.225. Vega led the GymDogs with a 9.9. Lukacs scored a 9.875 for her routine and sophomores Alyssa Perez-Lugones and Hawthorne both scored 9.825s. 

The GymDogs finished the meet on beam. Vega finished on a high note with a 9.925. Baumann and Oakley scored a 9.875 and 9.825. 

The GymDogs continued to improve against a top-15 team and Kupets Carter feels confident about the road ahead. 

“No matter who goes in, we can still hit,” Kupets Carter said. “We are going to continue building as a team.”

Georgia will face SEC rival Florida on Friday, Feb. 28 at 7 p.m.


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