The seventh annual Link To Pink event is slated for tonight, as the #3 Florida Gator gymnatics team hosts the #18 Auburn Tigers. The Link to Pink event is an SEC initiative to raise awareness for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer. Every SEC gymnastics team will participate in a ”pink” meet this season. Gator head coach Rhonda Faehn says she loves what the Link to Pink meet stands for.
Another aspect of the meet will include the Gators leaving the orange and blue leotards at home, donning pink ones to support the cause. Auburn will also be wearing pink leotards, just in different shades. Breast cancer survivors will also be honored at the meet, which Faehn says is very significant to the squad, as some of the athletes have family affected by breast cancer.
The Gators are coming off of a 197.300-194.625 win against SEC newcomer Missouri last week, with all star performances from junior Mackenzie Caquatto and senior Ashanee Dickerson. Because of their perfomances, Dickerson picked up the SEC Gymnast of the Week award, marking the fourth such honor of her career while Caquatto claimed the SEC Specialist of the Week for her perfect 10 on the uneven bars. Faehn says the the first three meets have set a solid foundation for success moving forward.
Auburn’s season best of 195.70 came last Friday in its loss to Georgia. Florida’s season best currently sits at the 197.30 posted last week against Mizzou. While the Gators have had success early in the season, little mistakes lead to a close loss to LSU on January 11th. Faehn talks about the importance of managing those little mistakes so they don’t cost a win in important situations.
The first 2,000 fans Friday receive a pink t-shirt, courtesy of Nationwide; be among the first 1,000 through the door to get a Gators Link to Pink poster, also from Nationwide. The Gators are set to get started on vault at 7 pm. The meet airs tape-delayed on ESPNU January 31 at 6:30 p.m. and again on ESPN2 on February 3 at 6 p.m.