No. 1 Gator gymnastics team win at Kentucky – another 10.0 for Bridget Sloan
LEXINGTON, Ky. - No. 1 Florida gymnastics team turned in its third consecutive meet with a 10.0 to win the dual at Kentucky Friday in front of a Memorial Coliseum crowd of 2,282. Florida turned in a 197.175 while the Wildcats posted a 195.45.
It was a steady performance for the Gators throughout the meet, scoring a 49.25 or above on every event. Florida opened and ended the meet with meet-high team totals of 49.325 on uneven bars and balance beam.
That beam total included a 10.0 by sophomore and defending NCAA beam champion Bridget Sloan. She is the second Gator to earn a perfect mark on beam, with the first also coming at Kentucky in 2004 when Kristen Stucky set the school record.
Sloan led a Gator sweep of the all-around, as she used a 39.675 to win her fourth consecutive title. Junior Kytra Hunter was second at 39.425 while senior Alaina Johnson posted a 39.40 in her first all-around performance in more than a year.
Florida also swept the event titles. In addition to the beam win, Sloan shared the evening’s uneven bars title with senior Mackenzie Caquatto at 9.90. Hunter used 9.925 marks to take both vault and floor exercise wins.
No. 3 LSU Beats No. 11 Arkansas with Third Straight 197 Score
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – For the first time in school history, the third-ranked LSU gymnastics team scored higher than a 197 at Arkansas as the Tigers defeated the 11th-ranked Razorbacks, 197.225-196.275, Friday night in Barnhill Arena.
LSU (4-1, 3-1 Southeastern Conference) scored a 49.375 on vault, 49.200 on bars, season-high tying 49.250 on beam and 49.400 on floor to reach 197.225, the third straight meet with a 197 total.
Freshman Ashleigh Gnat won the first individual title of her career with a 9.90 on vault, sharing the title with Rheagan Courville who also scored a 9.90.
Sarie Morrison won her third bars title of the season and 23rd of her career, and Courville and Jessie Jordan shared the beam title with matching 9.925 scores.
“It was a great environment tonight against a tough Arkansas team, and I thought we performed pretty well,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “We need 9.875s to become 9.9s, so we are going to rest tonight and talk about the things we need to do to improve.
“Hopefully we will be a more motivated and stronger LSU team that shows up on Sunday at Oklahoma.”
LSU opened the meet with a 49.200 on bars, highlighted by a 9.925 from Morrison. Courville and Jordan added 9.85s, Britney Ranzy scored a 9.80 and Kaleigh Dickson tallied a 9.775 to round out the Tigers’ scoring. Randii Wyrick recorded a 9.70 in her first routine of the season.
LSU posted a 49.375 on vault in the second rotation. Gnat and Courville paced the team with 9.90s. Jordan stuck her vault to earn a 9.875, and Morrison and Ranzy provided 9.85s. Dickson led off the event with a 9.825.
The Tigers increased the lead over Arkansas in the third rotation with a 49.400 on floor. Courville and Lloimincia Hall led the way with matching 9.925s. Gnat and Jessica Savona added 9.875s, Jordan scored a 9.80 and Dickson tallied a 9.75.
LSU closed out the meet with a strong performance on beam, equaling the season high with a 49.250. Courville and Jordan gave the Tigers a solid one-two punch at the end of the lineup as both scored a 9.925. Savona tied her career high with a 9.825, and Gnat posted a 9.80. Hall led off with a 9.775, and Dickson scored a 9.725.
Arkansas (3-3, 1-3) was led by senior Katherine Grable who edged out Courville for the all-around title with a 39.625 to Courville’s 39.600.
After completing the first leg of the double-meet weekend, the Tigers get a short rest on Saturday as they travel to Norman, Okla., to take on the second-ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a 2 p.m. CT contest on Sunday.
Alabama Gymnastics Beats Georgia, 197.500-196.825
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 7 Alabama gymnastics team won a tight back-and-forth battle against No. 5 Georgia Friday night in front of 12,381 fans at Coleman Coliseum, 197.500-196.825.
“I feel like some teams might have been discouraged after losing by almost a point at LSU - and we didn’t have a bad meet at LSU – but I think for them to come in and step it up like this I think mentally that is what we need right now,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said.
Down by five-hundredths of a point going into the final rotation, Alabama turned up the heat on the floor exercise. Sophomore Lauren Beers and senior Sarah DeMeo brought an appreciative crowd roaring to its feet with matching career-best scores of 9.925. The crowd grew even louder when seniors Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner closed out the rotation and the meet with huge routines that both went for 9.95, matching both women’s career-best marks.
“I think we took a big step forward tonight,” Milliner said. “But I think we need to figure out how to start meets how we end meets, because we’re ending them really great. We just need to have the momentum through the whole meet.”
While Alabama was going on its tear on the floor, scoring a 49.625, Georgia had some trouble on the balance beam, scoring a 48.900, extending the final margin to .675.
The Tide’s floor score was the fourth highest in school history, just .025 shy of third place. The victory extended the Crimson Tide home win streak to just shy of five years. Alabama’s last loss in Coleman Coliseum, regular or postseason, came on Feb. 13, 2009.
Alabama opened the meet with a 49.300 on the vault, anchored by a huge vault from Milliner that went for a score of 9.925. On the uneven bars, the Tide tallied a 49.350 led by a 9.9 from Jacob and a 9.925 from junior Kaitlyn Clark. The Tide posted a 49.225 on the balance beam paced by 9.875s from Clark and freshman Aja Sims.
It was “Alumni Night” in Coleman Coliseum and more than 60 former Tide gymnasts were introduced prior to the meet, including Penney Hauschild Buxton, Dee Foster Worley and Meredith Willard Luber, the Tide’s first three NCAA all-around champions.
The Tide returns to the road for it next meet, traveling to Auburn, Ala., to take on the Auburn Tigers Friday, Feb. 14 at 7 p.m.
“The hard thing is the next three meets will be exactly like this,” Patterson said. “We go down to Auburn who is ranked in the top 10 and it’s going to be just as tight and then we have Oklahoma, the No. 2 team in the country, followed by Florida, who is ranked No. 1.”
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Missouri Gymnastics Victorious At Beauty & The Beast, 194.125 - 190.900
COLUMBIA, Mo. - The Missouri Gymnastics team joined forces with the Missouri Wrestling program Friday evening in front of 3,053 fans at the Hearnes Center in Columbia, Mo. The popular Beauty and the Beast meet saw gymnastics take a 194.125 - 190.900 victory over the visiting SEMO Redhawks.
Missouri began the evening on vault for their first rotation. Fresh off her banner night last week at NC State, junior Laura Kappler started things off well with a 9.750 score. Freshman Angie Kern followed with a solid score of her own, and posted a 9.725. Junior Rachel Updike continued the scoring trend for the Tigers, with a 9.850 score. After the first rotation in Columbia, Mo. the Tigers led 48.425 to 48.200.
Up next for Missouri was their second rotation on bars. Sophomore Blair Elmore was in the leadoff spot for the Tigers and began with a 9.700 score. Fellow sophomore Miranda Eubank delivered next with a 9.725. Updike followed Eubank, and continued her strong start after tallying a 9.825 score. Junior Rebecca Johnson anchored the Tigers bars lineup and matched her personal best with a 9.800. After the midway point, Missouri remained on top with a 97.125 to 96.650 team total.
The third rotation saw the Tigers head to beam, while the visiting SEMO Redhawks moved to floor. Freshman Alyson Heimsath got Missouri back on track after an early slip-up, and posted a strong 9.700 score. Freshman Sasha Sander followed her teammate with a solid score of her own, and tallied a 9.750. Updike rounded out the Tigers effort on beam, and recorded a 9.775 score. Heading into the fourth and final rotation, Missouri remained on top with a 145.150 to 143.600 advantage.
Floor has proven to be the team's most successful event the past two weeks, and the Tigers looked to continue that trend against the Redhawks. Heimsath began the rotation with a 9.775, which tied her previous career-high last set vs. Kentucky earlier this season. Junior Bri Conkle was up third for Missouri, and came away with a 9.700 score. Kern followed up her solid vault earlier, with an impressive 9.800 for the Tigers. Updike concluded another outstanding all-around night for Missouri, and tallied a 9.900 score. Freshman Anna Bowers ended the gymnastics portion of the Beauty and the Beast with yet another solid anchor floor routine. After Bowers' score of 9.800, the Tigers finished with an event total of 48.975.
Updike would end up having an outstanding all-around effort Friday night against SEMO, as the junior picked up all four event titles in addition to the top honors in the all-around. The five total first place finishes moved her season total to nine.
The Tigers return to conference play in the SEC next Friday (Feb. 14), with a road trip to Athens, Ga. to take on the Georgia Bulldogs. Competition begins at 6:30 p.m. CT inside the Stegeman Coliseum.
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