Places 1-4 (plus ties) in each event and the all-around in each semifinal session are considered first team All-Americans. Places 5-8 (plus ties) are considered second team All-Americans.
No. 1 Florida Gymnastics wins NCAA Semifinal I and on to Saturday’s Super Six Final
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The No. 1 University of Florida gymnastics team advances to the NCAA Super Six team final after winning its semifinal session Friday afternoon in UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion.
The finish advances the Gators to Saturday’s NCAA Super Six, where Florida will seek its first NCAA team title. In 2012, Alabama edged Florida by 0.075 to claim its second consecutive NCAA title. Saturday’s meet time is set for 7 p.m. ET in Pauley Pavilion. The event is streamed live on ESPN3.
Florida won its semifinal session for the third time in the program’s history (also won session in 2008 and 2004) with a 197.775. That total equals Florida’s highest total ever in NCAA Championships’ competition. Joining Florida from session I in Saturday’s Super Six are fellow Southeastern Conference members LSU (197.325) and Georgia (197.15). Minnesota (196.375), Illinois (195.70) and Stanford (194.70) rounded out the opening session’s results.
It could have been a tough start Friday for Florida as the team’s opening floor exercise performer had a fall. But the team ticked off five consecutive solid routines to put up a 49.325. Freshman Bridget Sloan and senior Marissa King both turned in 9.90 marks to lead UF on the event.
Florida posted a 49.45 on vault – the session’s second-highest total on the event. Three Gators posted a 9.90 – Ashanée Dickerson, Alaina Johnson and Kytra Hunter – to lead UF on the event.
The 49.525 by the Gators on the uneven bars led all teams on all events in the opening semifinal session. Junior Mackenzie Caquatto’s 9.95 shared first among the bar competitors and equals the highest bars mark ever for a Gator in NCAA competition. Johnson and Sloan also turned in bar marks of 9.925.
Florida finished Friday on the same event they will open Saturday’s Super Six competition – the balance beam. Its 49.475 was the high beam total among the six teams. Mackenzie Caquatto turned in her second 9.95 of the day to lead all beam competitors. The mark equals her season-best for the third time. King and Sloan also earned beam marks of 9.90.
UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn liked how the team didn’t let the early mistake reflect on the following routines.
“Something that is vital to the success is how we respond – if a mistake happens, how will that next person respond? Kiersten (Wang) has been a rock for us all year long. She has been battling sickness and everything, but we are not making excuses. She struggled out there,” Faehn said. “Bridget (Sloan) didn’t hold back. She nailed this gorgeous routine. It really calmed everyone down. Having the first one go up and make a mistake is a challenge, but I love how the team responded to that challenge.”
That ability to respond positively will be vital for Florida tomorrow as the team seeks its first NCAA team title.
“We trust one another. They’re having fun. That will be a key tomorrow. We have to focus on one thing at a time. We are never looking at the end result,” Faehn said. “They’ve been an absolutely joy to coach this year. We have a lot of fun together.”
LSU Advances to Third Super Six in School History
LOS ANGELES – For the third time in school history the LSU gymnastics team qualified to the Super Six after the Tigers posted a 197.325 to finish second in Semifinal I at the NCAA Championships Friday in Pauley Pavilion.
LSU (24-7) advanced to the Super Six with the highest team score in school history at an NCAA Championship meet at 197.325. The Tigers posted a 49.500 on vault, 49.475 on bars, 49.000 on beam and 49.350 on floor, and the vault and bars totals are the highest at nationals in school history. The floor total is the second highest ever at the championships, and the beam total ranks third.
“We came out and put together a great meet after starting out a little tight on beam,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “This is the best national meet we have had, and the great thing is we know we can score even higher and raise our performances to another level.
“I am so pleased with how hard this team has worked, and I know we can’t wait to go out in the Super Six and give it our best shot.”
Florida won the semifinal with a 197.775, and Georgia made it a clean sweep of Southeastern Conference teams advancing to the Super Six from the first semifinal with a 197.150. LSU is now 1-2 this year against the Gators and 4-0 versus the Gym Dogs. Minnesota finished fourth with a 196.375, Illinois was fifth at 195.700 and Stanford was sixth at 194.700.
Rheagan Courville captured the vault and floor titles with a 9.95 and 9.90, respectively, and Sarie Morrison won bars for the 12th time this year with a career-high tying 9.95.
LSU got off to a slow start in the first rotation, scoring a 49.000 on beam. Ericka Garcia led off with a 9.40 after the judges claimed she missed a connection on her leap series. Kaleigh Dickson followed with a 9.775, and Britney Taylor earned a 9.75. Lloimincia Hall tallied a 9.80, while Courville led the squad with a 9.85. Jessie Jordan posted a 9.825 in the anchor spot to round out the rotation.
After a bye in the second rotation LSU responded with a 49.350 on floor in the third rotation, the highest floor total of any team in the semifinal. Dickson led off with a season-high tying 9.85. Jordan posted a 9.875, and Maliah Mathis and Jessica Savona followed with matching 9.85s. Courville scored a 9.90 to tie for the event title, and Hall anchored with a 9.875.
In the fourth rotation LSU roared to a 49.500 on vault, the highest vault total of any team in the semifinal. Dickson led off with a 9.875, followed by a 9.825 from Taylor. Jordan tallied a 9.875 and Mathis and Morrison posted back-to-back 9.90s. Courville anchored with a 9.95 to take sole possession of first place in the event.
LSU was in second place after four rotations, and the Tigers never looked back as they racked up a season-high 49.475 on bars in the final rotation. Britney Ranzy led off with a career-high 9.85, and Jordan followed with a personal-best tying 9.875. Dickson posted a 9.85, and Courville earned a 9.875. Randii Wyrick matched her career high for the third time this year with a 9.925, and Morrison anchored the event with a 9.95 to tie for the event crown.
As a team LSU earned 10 total All-America honors, including seven first-team selections. Courville recorded first-team honors on vault, floor and the all-around. Morrison posted first-team honors on vault and bars, while Jordan earned second-team honors on floor and the all-around. Mathis recorded First-Team All-America status on vault, and Wyrick tallied first-team status on bars. For the second season in a row, Hall earned second-team All-America recognition on floor.
The Tigers will find out who they will compete against after the completion of Semifinal II, but one thing LSU does know is that the Tigers will start the Super Six on the bye before bars and rotate to bars, beam, bye, floor and vault.
The Super Six will begin at 6 p.m. CT inside Pauley Pavilion, and Tiger fans can listen to all the action for free inside the Geaux Zone at www.LSUsports.net/live. Links to live video and stats are also available on LSUsports.net.
Bama Advances to Team Finals
LOS ANGELES – The Alabama gymnastics team won the second session of the NCAA Championship Semifinals, advancing to Saturday’s Super Six Team Final, giving the Crimson Tide a chance to win back-to-back-to-back national titles.
Alabama scored a 197.350 to win the session and advance to the finals for the 19th team since the Super Six format was instituted in 1993, the most in gymnastics history. The Tide was led by junior Kim Jacob’s 39.425 in the all-around.
Oklahoma and host-school UCLA tied for second with 197.2s, and will join the Tide in the Super Six. Alabama will also be joined in Saturday’s finals by fellow Southeastern Conference teams Florida, LSU and Georgia from semifinal session one.
The Tide scored a 49.45 on the floor exercise led by Jacob’s 9.925 and junior Diandra Milliner’s 9.95 before closing out the night with a 49.35 on the vault, led by a trio of 9.9s from sophomore Kaitlyn Clark, freshman Lauren Beers and junior Diandra Milliner.
Alabama started the night off with a 49.275 on the uneven bars led by junior Sarah DeMeo’s 9.875 and senior Ashley Priess’ 9.9. The Tide followed that up with another 49.275, where junior Kayla Williams set the pace with a 9.9 and Milliner, DeMeo and Jacob all scored 9.85s.
Razorbacks Finish 10th in the Nation
Los Angeles – Junior Katherine Grable earns two All-America honors as the No. 11 Razorbacks posted the fifth-best score at an NCAA Championship with a 196.150 to finish 10th in the nation.
Grable tied for first-place overall on the floor to end the meet and earn first-team All-America honors. She finished with a 39.475 in the all-around competition to earn her second first-team All-America honors for the meet.
Seniors Amy Borsellino, Kelci Lewis and Jordan Salsberg competed for the last time as a Razorback while helping their team reach the NCAA Championship meet for the sixth-straight year. Borsellino scored a 38.500 in the all-around, while Lewis scored a 9.825 on the floor to help the Razorbacks finish 10th nationally.
Arkansas finished sixth in Semifinal II behind Alabama with a 197.350, Michigan with a 196.850, UCLA with a 197.200, Oklahoma with a 197.200 and Utah with a 196.200.
“We had a pretty good meet tonight,” co-head coach Mark Cook said. “We started out a little slow on the vault and the bars, but we did not have to count any falls or mistakes. Then to finish on the floor as strong as we did is really good for our team.”
The Razorbacks would start on the vault in the first rotation with a 48.975. Grable and Heather Elswick would pace the Razorbacks with a pair of 9.85’s, followed by Borsellino with a 9.80. Zumwalde added a 9.775 for the event as well.
On the bars, Arkansas would score a 48.900, led by Grable with a season-high 9.875. Freshman Erin Freier added a 9.85, followed by a pair of 9.80’s for Shelby Salmon and Keara Glover.
At the halfway point, Alabama and Oklahoma would lead the meet with a 98.550 each, followed by UCLA with a 98.525, Utah 98.500, Michigan 98.175 and Arkansas with a 97.875.
On the beam, the Razorbacks posted a 49.000, which is good for the fourth-best beam score at an NCAA Championship. Freshman Sydnie Dillard led the Razorbacks with a 9.825, followed by three 9.80’s from Grable, Glover and Borsellino.
In the last rotation, the floor, Grable anchored the Razorbacks with a 9.95, followed by a 9.85 by Dillard. Next up was a trio of 9.825’s by Borsellino, Lewis and Zumwalde.
“We had a really good meet and I’m really proud of our seniors,” junior All-American Katherine Grable said. “I didn’t start out the meet as well as I would have liked to, but I really settled in and hit my floor routine to finish off the meet.”
Grable will return on Sunday, April 21st, to compete in the individual finals to vie for a national title on the floor beginning at 3 p.m. CST.
For more information regarding Razorback gymnastics or University of Arkansas Athletics, please visit ArkansasRazorbacks.com. Fans can also keep up with Arkansas gymnastics through the team’s sport-specific RazorbackGYM Facebook and Twitter pages.