No. 12 Auburn posted the top score in program history at the SEC Gymnastics Championship with a total of 196.550 as it recorded he top mark in the afternoon session. The Tigers finished fifth overall at the meet.
"We started out a little slow, but the girls really put their heads down and kept pushing," Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. "We finished extremely strong. On the last two events, we were setting the world on fire. You can't ask for more than for a young team to handle some adversity early on. This is about what I thought we could do. We are pretty darn good team when we are on.
"To set the SEC school record bodes well for the future of this young team. I'm excited for them."
The fifth-place performance is the highest finish for Auburn since finishing fifth three-straight seasons from 2008-10. Arkansas was second in the afternoon session with a total score of 196.400. Florida won the overall SEC championship with a total score of 198.000, just ahead of Alabama (197.900).
It took until the final routine for the opening session to determine the top finisher, but in the end sophomore Bri Guy brought it home. The Maryland native scored a 9.9, Auburn's only 9.9 on the day, to provide the final margin needed for the Tigers.
"I think everyone knew how tight the score was, because the crowd reacted after every rotation and every routine there at the end," Graba said. "This is where being in tight meets all year has helped us. Bri went out and did what she does every day. I'm excited and happy for her."
Toi Garcia scored 9.875, while Petrina Yokay and Brittany Webster added totals of 9.85 in Auburn's top event of the day. Caryn Kadous' 9.825 was the final score for Auburn as it totaled 49.300 on the apparatus.
Auburn opened the meet with a 49.100 on vault. Leading the way were Guy and Caitlin Atkinson with identical scores of 9.85. Yokay tied her career high with a 9.825 and Garcia scored 9.8.
The Tigers also counted Kait Kluz's 9.775 and stood on top after the first rotation.
Led by three totals of 9.80, Auburn scored 48.875 on uneven bars. The three top scores came from Guy, Atkinson and Yokay. Auburn also counted a 9.75 by Abbey Habicht and a 9.725 from Kluz. At the conclusion of two rotations, the Tigers clung to a 97.975- 97.700 lead over Arkansas.
The event that had proven to be Auburn's top apparatus over the course of the 2013 regular season was again solid on Saturday. The Tigers posted its top score of the day to that point, a 49.275, on balance beam to maintain the lead entering the final rotation.
Led by scores of 9.875 by Megan Walker and Atkinson in the final two spots in the lineup, Auburn recorded its highest event score of the afternoon. The Tigers also counted scores of 9.875 by Yokay and 9.825's from Kadous and Habicht.
Despite the strong event score, Arkansas rallied to tie for the top spot at 147.250 with a total of 49.300 on floor setting the stage for the dramatic final rotation.
Auburn's total of 196.550 marked only the third time in program history it recorded a score higher than 196 at the SEC Championship.
Yokay was Auburn's highest All-Around performer with a total of 39.350 to place 10th overall.
Auburn will find out its NCAA Regional destination on Monday at 3 p.m.