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Record-setting win for AU gymnasts

AUBURN – Behind a school record score of 197.175, the No. 14 Auburn gymnastics team made history Friday night, defeating No. 6 LSU 197.175-196.975 at Auburn Arena.

Caitlin Atkinson was the all-around winner as Auburn beat LSU/Anthony Hall photo

The previous school record was 197.00 against Florida in 2004.

“I’m excited,” Auburn coach Jeff Graba said. “This is what we expect to see every night. It still wasn’t a perfect night for us, but it’s as close as we’ve gotten all year. I’m really proud of the team.”

More history was made as Auburn posted its fifth consecutive score of 196 or higher for the first time in program history.

Auburn trailed entering the final rotation but responded with its top event score of the season to pull the upset.

“We feel like we are one heck of a floor team when we are on,” Graba said. “If we do what were are capable of, then we know that’s what can happen. I’m just so proud of this team and how they performed tonight. This is really exciting.”

Behind floor exercise career bests of 9.925 for Caitlin Atkinson, 9.900 for Toi Garcia, 9.850 for Brittany Webster and 9.850 for Petrina Yokay and a season high of 9.850 for Caryn Kadous, Auburn set its best score of the season on floor exercise with a total of 49.450, its best score for any event this season. Bri Guy also set a season high on floor with a 9.925. LSU’s team mark on the floor was 49.350.

The score is the third-best floor total in Auburn history and the highest since 2004.

Auburn posted its highest team score of the season on the uneven bars, recording a 49.275 on the apparatus. Career bests from senior Petrina Yokay (9.950), sophomore Megan Walker (9.900) and freshman Caitlin Atkinson (9.900) led the terrific effort from the Tigers.

Yokay’s score, winning that event, was an individual season high for Auburn and marked the third time in her career that the senior posted a 9.950 on bars. Other scores for Auburn were: Bri Guy (9.800), Abbey Habicht (9.725) and Kait Kluz (9.150). LSU had a team score of 49.175 on bars, led by Sarie Morrison (9.950).

In front of a raucous crowd of 4,448, Auburn started the meet strongly on vault, posting a 49.275, its second highest mark of the season. Sophomore Bri Guy set a career high with a vault of 9.925, winning that event; Guy’s vault mark tied the individual season high for Auburn.

Atkinson posted a 9.900 on vault and senior Toi Garcia tied her season best with a score of 9.875. Yokay scored a 9.875 and freshman Kait Kluz and sophomore Brittany Webster each had vaults of 9.775. LSU’s team vault total was 49.550, a season high.

Auburn’s score of 49.175 on balance beam tied its second-best mark of the season. Sophomore Caryn Kadous tied her career best with a beam score of 9.875. Other Auburn beam scores as part of the solid beam set included Walker (9.875), Habicht (9.825), Guy (9.825), Atkinson (9.825) and Yokay (9.725). LSU scored a 48.900 on the balance beam.

In the all-around competition, Atkinson scored a career-best 39.550 to win her third all-around title of the season. Additionally, Yokay (39.325) set a career high and Guy, with a score of 39.475, tied her career best total.

Friday was Auburn’s final SEC meet this season; the Tigers have home meets against Maryland (March 1) and Lindenwood (March 8) and a road competition at Pitt (March 16) before competing in the SEC Championships at Arkansas March 23.

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