Gym Dogs lead after opening session

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The No. 1-ranked Georgia gymnastics team won the opening session of the NCAA Championships today to advance to the Super Six.

The Gym Dogs scored a 197.45 at Nebraska's Devaney Center on Thursday and will be competing for the program's 10th overall and fifth straight national championship on Friday at 7 p.m. Joining Georgia from the opening session were fellow SEC schools Florida (196.375) and LSU (196.3).

Seniors Courtney Kupets and Tiffany Tolnay went 1-2 in the all-around. Kupets scored a 39.8, including a 10.0 on beam, and Tolnay added a 39.5. Kupets' 39.8 matches the highest figure for an all-around winner at the NCAAs, tying the mark set in 1995 by Kentucky's Jenny Hansen.

The Gym Dogs began on floor, posting a score of 49.225. Kupets led Georgia with a 9.95 and Tolnay followed with a 9.9. The Gym Dogs also counted 9.8s from Abby Stack and Cassidy McComb, and a 9.775 from Hilary Mauro.

Georgia then moved to vault, where it recorded a score of 49.3. Tolnay paced the Gym Dogs with a season-best-matching 9.925. Kupets posted a 9.9, followed by Marcia Newby with a 9.85, Lauren Sessler with a 9.825 and McComb with a 9.8. Through two rotations, Georgia had a score of 98.525.

The Gym Dogs notched a 49.375 on bars as Kupets earned a 9.95 and Aiken's Grace Taylor contributed a 9.9. Georgia also received a 9.875 from Kathryn Ding, a 9.85 from Gina Nuccio, and 9.8s from Tolnay and Newby. After three events, the Gym Dogs had a score of 147.9.

Beam started shakily for the Gym Dogs with a fall, but they righted the ship to score a season-best-matching 49.55. After Kupets' 10.0, Courtney McCool and Taylor each added a 9.95, Tolnay had a 9.875 and McComb earned a 9.775.

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