By: Sean Cartell
SEC Digital Network
VIDEO: SEC Gymnastics Recap
VIDEO: Florida's Rhonda Faehn
DULUTH, Ga. –
No. 1 Florida claimed its eighth all-time Southeastern Conference Championship in program history and its second in the last three years, posting a score of 197.150 on Saturday in front of 7,170 fans at The Arena at Gwinnett Center to take home the league crown.
The Gators, who placed first on vault and took home the team title on bars, captured their first conference title since winning the 2010 event in Jacksonville. Alabama finished second with a score of 196.775, while Georgia was third at 196.575. LSU (196.425), Kentucky (194.350), Arkansas (194.175) and Auburn (194.100) rounded out the field.
“We’re really excited,” Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn said. “The team just stayed tight; they went so aggressive in the last two events that it was just amazing because they didn’t give up and they just competed with so much heart, and I’m just really proud of them.”
Florida freshman Kytra Hunter, the 2012 SEC Freshman of the Year, won the all-around event with an individual total of 39.625. She became the first Gator to win the all-around since Kristen Guise in 1995 and was the first UF freshman to capture the all-around since Elfi Schlegel in 1983.
“We’re in a good place right now,” Hunter said. “Rhonda told us that we need to remember this feeling. It felt great winning the SEC Championship and Freshman of the Year, which is an honor for me, but we’re all going to go back to the gym and work 10 times harder now.”
Hunter also claimed the vault title with a collegiate-best score of 9.975. She became the sixth different Gator to earn the nearly perfect mark and became the first Florida athlete to capture the event since Ashley Reed shared the 2008 title in the SEC meet, also contested in the Gwinnett Center.
Florida sophomore Alaina Johnson won the SEC bars title with a score of 9.925, becoming the first Gator to win the bars title since Melanie Sinclair shared the 2008 title.
Arkansas senior Jaime Pisani, the 2012 SEC Gymnast of the Year, took home the balance beam title with a score of 9.9. She became just the second-ever Arkansas athlete to take home that title and the first since Casey Jo Magee tied for the event honors in 2009.
LSU freshman Lloimincia Hall captured the floor exercise title with a score of 9.925, becoming just the third different LSU athlete to win a conference floor title and the first since Ashley Clare-Kearney took a share of the 2009 crown. Hall, Clare-Kearney and Sandra Smith are the only three athletes in LSU history to win floor titles.
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2012 SEC Gymnastics Championships (Duluth, Ga. – March 24, 2012)
Final Team Standings
1. Florida 197.150; 2. Alabama 196.775; 3. Georgia 196.575; 4. LSU 196.425; 5. Kentucky 194.350; 6. Arkansas 194.175; 7. Auburn 194.100.
Kytra Hunter, Florida (39.625)
Kytra Hunter, Florida (9.975)
Alaina Johnson, Florida (9.925)
Jaime Pisani, Arkansas (9.9)
Floor Exercise Champion:
Lloimincia Hall, LSU (9.925)
• A total of 7,170 were in attendance at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., the seventh-most all time.
• The top-ranked Florida Gators won the 2012 SEC Championship title with an overall team score of 197.150. The SEC Championship was the eighth in school history and the second in three years.
• Florida placed first on the vault with a score of 49.525 and took the team title on bars with a score of 49.375.
• The Georgia Bulldogs, who placed third overall, tied the Florida Gators for first place on beam with a score of 49.050.
• The second place Alabama Crimson Tide took the overall floor title with a team score of 49.350.
• Kytra Hunter from the Florida Gators took home the overall all-around title for the fifth time this season with a score of 39.625. She scored a 9.975, a career-high and the highest score of the meet, to win the individual vault title.
• Hunter became the first Gator to win the all-around since Kristen Guise in 1995 and was the first Florida freshman to win the all-around since Elfi Schlegel in 1983.
• Alaina Johnson from the Gators placed first with a score of 9.925 to take the individual bars champion.
• Jaime Pisani from the Arkansas Razorbacks won the overall beam title with a score of 9.900. She became just the second-ever Arkansas athlete to take home that title and the first since Casey Jo Magee tied for the event honors in 2009.
• Lloimincia Hall from the LSU Tigers scored the highest on floor with a 9.925 to win the individual title.