The number 18 Ohio State Buckeyes traveled down to Athens, Georgia to face the pre-season seventh-ranked Georgia Bulldogs to open up the season, and both teams introduced quite a few new faces. Georgia returns only five gymnasts from its 2018 season, with a freshman class of nine that is the most in program history.

Gymdog fans got to see some of those freshmen right off the bat, as Georgia freshman Rachael Lukacs and Abbey Ward entered the vault lineup scoring a 9.825 and 9.775 respectively, with Lukacs vaulting a huge Yurchenko double full. The sole senior for Georgia, star all-arounder Sydney Snead, led the lineup with a gorgeous vault for 9.925 and Georgia finished the first rotation with a 49.125 on vault. Ohio State did not start too far behind on the uneven bars, overcoming a fall to count five solid scores for a rotation total of 48.725, highlighted by freshman Colby Miller‘s 9.800. 

In the second rotation, junior Rachel Dickson led Georgia with a 9.875 on the uneven bars to anchor the 49.2 lineup, which featured six hit routines for the Bulldogs. Ohio State moved to vault, where they were very consistent and delivered a rotation total of 48.65 to stay in contention.

The Georgia Bulldogs celebrate during their meet against the Ohio State Buckeyes in Athens, Georgia/Georgia Athletics

Georgia was able to overcome early mistakes on beam to total a 49.075 in the third rotation, with crowd favorite junior Sabrina Vega anchoring the lineup with a huge 9.900 on her near-perfect routine. The Buckeyes were able to put together its best rotation of the night on floor, with Janelle McClelland posting a 9.850 to lead the 48.95 rotation total.

Georgia ended the meet on floor exercise and entertained the home crowd with six exciting routines, with Dickson posting a 9.900 and Vega a 9.875 to close out the meet, giving the Gymdogs their highest opening meet score since 2007 with a 196.600. Ohio State was able to overcome a fall from their first competitor on balance beam to finish strong, totaling a 194.900 on the night. Both teams showed a lot of potential and should be very fun to watch throughout the rest of the season. 

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