Gym Dog senior sets individual record

Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:52 PM
Last updated 10:00 PM
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LINCOLN, Neb. — Georgia’s Courtney Kupets ended her distinguished college career with a record-setting performance on the final night of the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships.

Kupets added individual titles in the uneven bars, floor exercise and balance beam Saturday to the all-around championship she won two days earlier. Her four titles tied the record for a single national meet.

She ended her career with a record nine individual titles, beating the mark of eight by Kentucky’s Jenny Hansen in 1993-95.

Kupets accomplished the feat in three national meets. She missed last year’s because of an Achilles’ tendon injury.

Kupets won the balance beam (9.9875) and uneven bars (9.95) and tied for first with LSU’s Ashleigh Clare-Kearney in the floor exercise (9.95).

Clare-Kearney led LSU’s 1-2 finish on the vault. Clare-Kearney, who fell on the balance beam at the start of Thursday’s team preliminaries, defeated defending champion Susan Jackson for the first of her two titles.

Clare-Kearney’s two-vault score average was 9.9, edging out Jackson’s 9.8938. Kupets, the 2007 champion, and Kristina Baskett of Utah tied for third (9.8563).

Clare-Kearney was awarded a 10 by four of the six judges on her opening vault, but she had points deducted on her second when she caught herself falling backward on her dismount.

Kupets was the second competitor on the bars, and of the 13 gymnasts who followed, only three cracked 9.9. Carly Janiga of Stanford was second (9.9125) and Alicia Goodwin of Florida and 2006 champion Kristina Baskett of Utah tied for third (9.9).

Kupets and Clare-Kearney turned in nearly flawless performances on the floor exercise, outscoring third-place finisher Corey Hartung of Florida (9.9).

Kupets, who earned three 10s the first two days of the meet, came close to another one on the balance beam. Two judges put up 10s for her routine, and she ended up with a 9.9875. Teammate Courtney McCool was second (9.95).


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