The top ranked Gators gymnastics team is set to battle the defending NCAA national champion, fifth ranked Alabama Friday night in the O’Connell Center. Florida is coming off a solid road win against Arkansas last week, posting its second highest total of the season with a 197.575. Alabama dropped its last meet against then eighth ranked Georgia (currently ranked No. 6) 197.500-196.950.
Alabama has taken the NCAA championship two straight years, with Florida coming in a close second last year by .075 of a point. Florida coach Rhonda Faehn talks about the second place finish fueling a motivational fire in the gymnasts this year.
After taking a share of the all-around title last week with a score of 39.55, freshman Bridget Sloan was named SEC Gymnast of the Week. Sloan is the first freshman this year to win the honor. Faehn talks about Sloan’s performance at Arkansas.
The team feeds off the energy of the fans, posting the nation’s top score of 197.65 in front of over 8,000 fans at the Link to Pink meet against Auburn in the O’Dome. Faehn is hoping to see a similar, if not better, turnout for the big meet against Alabama Friday night.
The first 1,200 through the door Friday receive an orange or blue light-up stick. Friday’s meet will air tape-delayed on SUN Sports on Feb. 16 at 8:30 p.m.