Ga. wins 8th straight regional title COLLEGE GYMNASTICS


The seven teams competing in the NCAA Southeast Regional gymnastics championship at Towson Center last night finished almost exactly where they started.

Top-ranked Georgia won its eighth consecutive regional title with 197.575 points. The Bulldogs were led by freshman Kim Arnold, who won the all-around with a 39.6.

Georgia will compete against the winners of the other four regional field meets held yesterday and seven at-large teams April 20-22 at the national championships, which they will play host to.

Florida, a competitor at the nationals every year since gymnastics became an NCAA sport in 1982, placed second with 195.70. West Virginia, seeded fourth before the meet, was the only team that finished higher than it was seeded, taking third place with a meet score of 193.325, followed by Kentucky (192), North Carolina State (191.6), Towson State (190.6) and George Washington (188.025).

Kentucky junior Jenny Hansen, an NCAA all-around national champion, scored a perfect 10 on the vault and finished second in regional all-around competition with a 39.525. North Carolina State junior Christi Newton took third place with an all-around score of 39.3.

The Tigers, who made their ninth consecutive regional appearance, had hoped to better their standing before a home crowd of 2,557 after winning their eighth regional ECAC title in nine years.

"We had a bad meet. . . . If we had been really good tonight we could've walked out in third or fourth place," said coach Dick Filbert.

Team results

Georgia (197.575), Florida (195.700), West Virginia (193.325), Kentucky (192.0), North Carolina State (191.6), Towson State (190.125), George Washington (188.025)

Top individuals

Vault: 1. Jenny Hansen, Kentucky, 10; 2. Chrissy Vogel, Florida, 9.975; 3. Kim Arnold, Georgia, Julie Ballard, Georgia, 9.95. Uneven parallel bars: 1. Lori Strong, Georgia, 10; 2. Agina Simpkins, Georgia, 9.975; 3. Andrea Dewey, Georgia, Jenny Hansen, Kentucky, 9.95. Balance beam: 1. Kim Arnold, Georgia, 9.9; 2. Agina Simpkins, Georgia, 9.875; Jenny Hansen, Kentucky, 9.875; 4. Julie Ballard, Georgia, Christi Newton, North Carolina, 9.85. Floor: 1. Lori Strong, Georgia, 9.95; 2. Leslie Angeles, Georgia, 9.925; 3. Kim Arnold, Georgia, 9.9. Overall: 1. Kim Arnold, Georgia, 39.6; 2. Jenny Hansen, Kentucky, 39.525; 3. Christi Newton, North Carolina, 39.525

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