No. 6 Auburn gymnasts ready for 2016 SEC Championships
AUBURN, Ala. (auburntigers.com) – The No. 6 Auburn gymnastics team qualified for its second-straight appearance in the evening session at the 2016 SEC Championships and will be the fourth seed in this year’s meet. Auburn, along with top seed Florida, No. 2 seed LSU and No. 3 seed Alabama, will compete at 5 p.m. CT, Saturday, March 19, inside Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.
“The night session includes four teams in the nation’s top six,” head coach Jeff Graba said. “We are extremely excited to be back in the night session, going against the very best in the conference and the nation. We’re starting on floor Saturday and are looking forward to putting together some great performances.”
2016 SEC CHAMPIONSHIP SEEDS
The seeds for this year’s edition of the SEC Championships are as follows (national ranking):
1. Florida (2)
2. LSU (3)
3. Alabama (4)
4. Auburn (6)
5. Georgia (8)
6. Arkansas (13)
7. Missouri (20)
8. Kentucky (22)
ESPNU and SEC Network are producing the SEC Gymnastics Championship live on television for the first time Saturday. In conjunction with the unprecedented move, the ESPN networks are unveiling a new scoring interface adjusted to the quad-meet format, new graphics and a real-time stream of each individual apparatus.
ESPN has carried the SEC Gymnastics Championship since 2010. The afternoon session (1 p.m. CT, ESPNU) and the evening session (5 p.m. CT, SEC Network) airings on March 19 mark the first time the tournament is live in its entirety on national television. Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson Clarke and Courtney Kupets will provide commentary.
In addition, SEC Network + is expanding coverage of the SEC Gymnastics Championship with live streams of each individual apparatus, and a quad-box view called “All-Around”. The “All-Around” channel allows a viewer to stream every apparatus live, at the same time, on one screen. All five streaming options, as well as the simulcast of the television coverage, are available through the ESPN app and WatchESPN on the SEC Network+ channels.
ESPNU and SEC Network’s television coverage will use the “All-Around” quad-box view at various times throughout the meet as well.
In addition to day-of coverage, SEC Network will air exclusive footage and new sounds in SEC Inside: SEC Gymnastics Championship on Wednesday, March 23 at 6 p.m. CT.
PROGRAM-BEST RQS SCORE
With its fifth-straight score in the 197s, Auburn moved up to sixth in the national rankings with an RQS score of 197.120.
The No. 6 ranking is the all-time highest this far into the season for the Tigers. In addition, the team’s 197.120 is the highest-ever RQS score in program history. Auburn has now scored 197 five-straight times, which is also a program first.
Heading into Saturday’s SEC Championships, all of the league’s eight schools hold spots in the nation’s top 25. With their current ranking, the Tigers earned their second-consecutive showing in the coveted evening session at the conference championships, competing with No. 2 Florida, No. 3 LSU and No. 4 Alabama. Georgia (No. 8), Arkansas (No. 13), Missouri (No. 20) and Kentucky (No. 22) will open the day in the afternoon session.
Senior Caitlin Atkinson is fifth nationally in the all-around with RQS score of 39.545. She is tied for ninth on beam (9.900), tied for 12th on floor (9.925) and tied for 13th on vault (9.895).
SEC REGULAR SEASON
In head-to-head meets, the Tigers finished 4-3 overall in SEC regular season competition. Overall, Auburn totaled four scores in the 197s against league opponents, including a season-high 197.325 in the team’s win at Georgia. Two of the team’s four 197 scores came on the road.
The postseason continues as the Tigers will await their NCAA Regional seed and selection. The 2016 Selection Show is set for Sunday, March 20, and will be broadcast at 3 p.m. CT on NCAA.com.