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RIVALRY WIN: Auburn gymnastics beats Georgia
AU Gymnastics

RIVALRY WIN: Auburn gymnastics beats Georgia


Auburn got its hot start in the first two events.

Then by the time the Tigers moved to floor, the meet with rival Georgia had turned into a party on the Plains.

Derrian Gobourne electrified with her show-stopping floor routine at the end of the night, which capped Auburn’s victory and pushed the Tigers over a 197 on the final routine — and the Auburn gymnastics team topped rival Georgia 197.050-196.100 on Friday night in Auburn Arena.

Auburn finished with its best team score this season in three of four events. The meet marked the second time this season Auburn topped a 197, in as many home meets.

Gobourne shined bright as ever winning the vault and the bars and tying for the meet’s top score on floor.

Auburn’s Cassie Stevens won the night’s all-around competition, recording a career-high in the all-around.

“Our team did a really good job of staying together,” Stevens said after the Tigers’ celebration.

“We were all there for each other. We all wanted it. We all wanted it for each other.”

Auburn roared out of the gates, posting season-best team scores on both vault and bars. Gobourne launched way to the vault title with a season-best 9.925, then flipped her way to a career-best 9.950 on bars.

Season-bests lined the night for the Tigers early, going up big after two rotations.

The Tigers hit a lull on beam, though, with Stevens adjusting to throw a conservative routine and net a 9.875 in the anchor position after a few missteps ahead of her — but the Tigers brought the energy right back up on the floor, dancing their way to victory.

“I told the girls I was really proud of them,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “They did what we asked them to do all week, just start fast and stay as a group, stay as a team — and they fought through some adversity as well. We went to beam and that wasn’t what we actually wanted to do.

“That was a challenge — a young squad to go to floor after that and to suddenly be in a game again, I felt like they did a good job of cutting loose and doing what they’re capable of on floor and it’s one of our better performances.”

Auburn had talked during the week about the importance of starting the meet strong, and Friday night did just that.

Drew Watson hit a season-best 9.900 on vault to back up Gobourne’s score there, with Aria Brusch earning silver-medal marks on bars with career personal best 9.925.

“It’s always great when you have a great start, because that just sets the tone for the entire meet,” Stevens said. “You can just continue to build off that already great start. You’re not having to kind of restart or reset. You’re just already going full force and continue to build off that.”

Auburn’s team scores on vault, bars and beam were all season-highs. Auburn threw down a 49.225 on vault, a 49.475 on bars and a 49.350 on floor. Auburn’s 49.000 on beam was only its third-best this season, but the Tigers responded well in the final rotation, with Gobourne’s sizzling routine pushing Auburn past the finish line.

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