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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Compiled from school press releases
Published January 19, 2008
The smallest of margins gave the No. 2 Georgia gymnastics team (2-1, 1-0 SEC) the win over No. 1 Florida (1-1, 0-1 SEC) Friday evening in front of a record Stephen C. O'Connell Center crowd of 10,855. The three-time defending NCAA champions posted a 196.85, while Florida was just a .025 away at 196.825.
Georgia also was the last team to give Florida a regular-season loss, as UGA took a 197.025-196.60 win on Jan. 27, 2006 in the O'Connell Center. Florida was undefeated in 2007 regular-season action.
Each team was forced to count a fall toward its final team total. The Gators had not counted a fall since Jan. 20, 2006 at Alabama, ending its string at 28 meets. Florida was forced to count a fall on the uneven bars, as two of its first three competitors recorded misses on the event. The Gators trailed the GymDogs by just over six-tenths heading into the final rotation. UGA's first and final balance beam competitors had misses, but Florida couldn't quite close the margin.
Although the loss was disappointing, UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn hopes that the Gators can learn and benefit from this experience.
"Definitely, this was something we talked to the team about after the competition was over. Obviously, we would have wanted to win without a doubt. What's most important is this is the second competition of the year. We showed tremendous brilliance in three events and where we struggled was bars. It's different than last week where we added that point back to our score. We would have had a tremendous outcome (without the misses) but it's extremely early," Faehn said.
"We are trying different lineups. We made the mistake last year in having everyone prepared for every single competition. There was pressure to win and to be number one consistently," she continued. "I think this will be really good for our athletes because it is going to continue to fuel them and make them hungry. Obviously, mistakes are bound to happen every once in a while and tonight was one of them. We have to look at those mistakes, especially on bars. We were happy with how they rebounded on beam and on floor and didn't carry that to the rest of the competition."
Junior All-American Corey Hartung won the evening's all-around title with a collegiate-best total of 39.70 - the fifth-highest in school history. Two collegiate-best marks helped up that total for Hartung. She stuck her vault landing, earning a collegiate-best 9.975 to give Hartung her second consecutive vault title of the season. Hartung equaled her balance beam best of 9.95 to also take her second consecutive and 10th career title on the event. "I felt great. Through all the events I stayed focused and took one event at a time. I just relaxed and stayed calm," Hartung said. "I work hard in the gym every day and the coaches push me every day. They tell me I can do it so they give me confidence. So I just go out there and try my best and do one event at a time. "
A pair of 2004 U.S. Olympians claimed the other event titles Friday for the GymDogs. 2006 NCAA uneven bars champion Courtney Kupets used a 9.925 to win that event. Sophomore Courtney McCool earned a 9.95 to take the floor win.
The University of Florida men's tennis team opened play at the Southeastern Conference Coaches' Indoor Championships Friday at the Hilton in New Orleans. Overall, five Gators advanced in singles play while two doubles teams picked up victories.
Each of the Gators' singles wins came in straight sets. Jeff Dadamo, Greg Ouellette and Alex Lacroix picked up wins in the Singles A draw Round of 32, all over members of South Carolina's team. Dadamo picked up a 6-4, 6-4 victory against Diego Cubas. Ouellette (No. 8 nationally) defeated No. 74 Pedro Campos, 6-1, 7-5, while Lacroix (No. 56 nationally) took out Yevgeny Supeko, 6-3, 7-5.
In the singles B draw, freshmen Erik Corace and Johnny Hamui earned wins over Mississippi State players. Corace held off Tanner Stump, 7-5, 7-5, while Hamui outlasted Antonio Lastre in the first set, 7-5, before going on to handle the second set, 6-0.
In doubles play, Dadamo and Hamui defeated Christopher Doerr and Maximilien Genuini from Mississippi State, 8-4. In addition, UF's Hamui and Ouellette (No. 5 seed) edged Tennessee's Matteo Fago and Davey Sandgren (9-8 (2)).Play continues tomorrow through Monday with matches starting each day at 9 a.m. ET.