Missouri Gymnastics finishes last in SEC Championships

Tigers struggle to catch up to high-powered competition.
Missouri gymnast Brooke Kelly performs her routine on the bars during the State of Missouri Meet on Feb. 5, 2016 in Hearnes Center.

In most sports, the 20th-ranked team in the nation usually has a chance at winning its conference. In Southeastern Conference gymnastics, though, that team comes into championships as the No. 7 seed and only a sliver of hope of walking away with a trophy.

The Missouri gymnastics team (6-9, 1-6 SEC) were slated to compete in the afternoon session with No. 8 Georgia, No. 13 Arkansas and No. 22 Kentucky. The afternoon slate was composed of the bottom four teams in the SEC. It

Missouri put together a combined score of 195.750, finishing fourth out of the four teams. When the day was over, Missouri sat in last place out of the eight teams competing in SEC Championships. Georgia put together the top score of the afternoon at 196.850 while Florida took the championship with a score of 197.775. For the Tigers, it was their highest score at the championships.

Freshman Britney Ward dominated the vault, scoring a 9.900, finishing tied for second in the event. Meanwhile, freshman Morgan Porter finished tied for fourth in the event after scoring a 9.850.

The Tigers scored decently in the uneven bars, placing three gymnasts inside the top 10. Sophomore Becca Schugel was Missouri’s top finisher, turning in a performance that merited a 9.825 from the judges and tied her for fifth in the event.

Schugel also placed well on the balance beam. She was Missouri’s top finisher, posting a 9.875 to finish tied for fourth. Porter was the only other Tiger to finish in the top 10, finishing in a tie for sixth place.

The floor exercise was Missouri’s downfall. Only Porter emerged inside the top 10, finishing tied for fifth. Missouri’s remaining competitors finished tied for 15th, 20th and 22nd. Sophomore Shauna Miller finished with the event’s lowest score, 9.350, to finish in 24th.

Missouri’s next event will be the NCAA Regionals on April 2. The time and place is yet to be decided.

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