Football may have entered the official off season, but UGA athletes were still competing in a serious way this weekend, mostly at an elite level.
Of course, the Gym Dogs sent Suzanne Yoculan off into retirement with a fifth consecutive national championship, with resident Olympian Courtney Kupets wining the all-around, bars, beam and floor titles and setting a career record with nine individual NCAA titles. Already proclaimed the best college gymnast ever by her coach, who’s known quite a few exceptional ones, Kupets is one of four finalists for this year’s Honda Award, presented annually to the nation’s top gymnast. She’s already won the AAI national senior gymnast of the year award.
Meanwhile, at Foley Field in Athens the Diamond Dogs weren’t able to sweep Arkansas, thanks to an exceptional one-hitter pitched Sunday by the Hogs’ Brett Eibner, but they took two out of three in the series and sit atop the overall SEC standings with a two-game lead.
But wait, as the TV pitchmen say, there’s more! Georgia’s ultra-successful equestrian team took another national championship, its fourth in just seven years, and the No. 1-ranked men’s golf team notched another SEC championship, winning by 13 strokes. The women’s golf team didn’t do as well, finishing sixth in team competition, but the Dogs’ Marta Silva Zamora, a freshman, took individual medalist honors in the SEC Championship. And the sixth-ranked UGA softball team swept a three-game series with Auburn, securing them a birth in the SEC Tournament.
I know some folks who post on this site don’t think these spring sports are worth talking about, even when the football team is idle, which puzzles me. I suppose they’re strictly tunnel-vision football fans, and that’s it. But a lot of us Dog fans get a kick out of any success UGA students have athletically, even if it’s not at Sanford Stadium.
So I’d say this weekend rates a couple of extra woofs.