The Florida Gators gymnastics team was barely edged out Saturday night as they took second in the NCAA Super Six in Duluth, Georgia. Alabama finished with a score 197.85, winning their second consecutive national championship.
Florida was not far behind, finishing with a 197.775. Regular contender UCLA took third with a 197.75, only .10 behind the champion. In fact, with the top three scores being so close, this year’s race will go down as one of the tightest in the event’s history.
The title was on the line when the Gators and Crimson Tide headed into the final rotation, when Florida owned a 0.025 advantage, the slimmest of margins. However the Gators could not outdo the reigning champs as Florida finished with a 49.40 on the floor, their last event, to Alabama’s 49.50 on the beam.
In an ironic twist of fate, the Gators finish the season having taken a title from the Crimson Tide: the conference title. Last month, the Gators took care of business at the SEC championship, also held in Duluth, besting Alabama. This was the second time in three years Florida claimed the SEC crown.
However, when it came down to it, Florida could not outlast the perennial contender Alabama on the biggest stage. But all was not lost this weekend, as Florida came away boasting the scores of freshman Kytra Hunter who won the NCAA All-Around title as well as being named the Vault Champion. Hunter is the first ever Gator to take the All-Around, as well as the first Gator to take two titles in one year. She becomes only the fifth freshman in history to take multiple titles in one year.
Head Coach Rhonda Faehn is not one to dwell, as she looks on to next year. “This is incredible motivation for all of our athletes. We feel we did everything right this season and it was just one little thing. They should be very proud of this performance and use it as fuel for next year.”
With much of Florida’s core group returning next season, there is reason to believe that they will.
**Take a Look at The Gators in Action From Earlier in The Season as a Reminder to What Florida Gymnastics has to Look Forward to Next Season…..click below*****