SOURCE: AUBURN ATHLETICS
The fifth-ranked University of Georgia gymnastics team will face the top team in the nation, the Oklahoma Sooners, in the team’s first road test of the season on Friday, January 11 at 7:45 ET at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, Oklahoma.
After scoring the best opening meet score since 2007 with a 196.600 against Ohio State, the GymDogs are ready to keep pushing.
A team that competed five gymnasts on three events 21 times throughout the 2018 season, has added tremendous depth to the 2019 lineup with nine freshmen and five returners, four of which earned All-American accolades a season ago.
The GymDogs opened the 2019 season with a 196.600 against Ohio State, which is the highest score to start the season since 2007. That year Georgia went 31-2-1 and won the program’s third-consecutive national championship.
After making her debut in Stegeman Coliseum to open the season, University of Georgia gymnast Rachael Lukacs has been named the Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Freshman of the Week.
One of six freshmen to compete for the GymDogs, Lukacs is the only one to showcase routines on multiple events. She competed vault (9.825), bars (9.750), and floor (9.850) against Ohio State, contributing points to help the GymDogs to their best opening meet score since 2007 (196.600). The Hillsborough, New Jersey native finished only behind Georgia teammates on vault and floor.
Six of Georgia’s nine freshman on the 2019 roster made their Stegeman Coliseum debuts in the season opener against Ohio State on January 5th. Rachael Lukacs (9.825) and Abbey Ward (9.775) competed on vault before Lukacs (9.750) and Alexa Al-Hameed (9.800) swung on the bars. Rachel Baumann (9.775) showcased her skills on beam and Alyssa Perez-Lugones (8.875), Mikayla Magee (9.725), and Lukacs (9.850) performed on floor.
Junior Sabrina Vega assumed the responsibility of taking over the Georgia moonwalk tradition on beam last season and will continue that this season. She is the sixth Gymdog to perform the moonwalk on the balance beam, following Nikki Childs, Cassidy McComb, Lindsey Cheek, Mary Beth Box, and Morgan Reynolds.
Junior Rachel Dickson will perform the vault that head coach Courtney Kupets Carter did as a GymDog- a yurchenko half on front pike.
Georgia’s freshman class of nine is the largest in program history. There were eight rookies on the roster in 1977.