Home / Gators Gymnastics / No. 1 Gators Gymnastics Goes Looking For a Ring in LA

No. 1 Gators Gymnastics Goes Looking For a Ring in LA

The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship madness has invaded Los Angeles this week, and the No. 1 team in the land, the Florida Gators, are hoping this year is better than the last.

Go back one year to the 2012 NCAA Championship. The Gators trailed defending champion Alabama by 0.025 going into the last rotation. Florida was up on floor, Alabama on beam. It all came down to the final performance. Alabama senior Ashley Priess took to the beam and stuck herself a 9.95 routine. Alabama would win it all 197.850. Florida came in a close second with a 197.775 followed right by UCLA with a 197.75, in one of the closest National Championship battles in NCAA Women’s Gymnastics history.

The next day the Gators came out for the All-Around and individual event title events and Kytra Hunter, who was only a freshman at the time, stole the NCAA All-Around award as well as the Vault title. This is interesting to note, because Hunter, who won the 2012 Vault title the next day with a score of 9.975, which is arguably her best event, took a big hop and a step the day before on the vault in the team finals and scored an uncharacteristic 9.85.

While head coach Rhonda Faehn quickly dismissed the idea that it was Hunter’s vault that lead to the championship to slip through their fingers, it left a bad taste in the Gators mouths. They wanted to work hard in the off season and come back better. And that’s exactly what they did. Hunter talks about what she learned from post season action last year.

Fast forward to the 2013 Championship and the Gators are in LA on a very important business trip. Florida starts their action Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET in the first session of the semi-finals, competing against Minnesota, Illinois, Georgia, LSU and Stanford. The top three from this session will advance to the Super Six on Saturday competing against the top three finishers of session two which includes Arkansas, Alabama, Michigan, UCLA, Utah and Oklahoma. The winner of the Super Six will be crowned the new champion of the collegiate gymnastics world. Faehn talks about the draw the Gators received for the semi-finals.

Florida has been dominating the country this year, and at times, looks like an elite team with the competition far away. And this team just keeps getting better. Most recently, the Gators are coming off a stellar performance in NCAA Regionals, where they posted a 198.4, only .025 away from the highest score in the nation, which of course, was also posted by the Gators earlier this season against Minnesota. Faehn says that the schedule was carefully made to make sure the Gators were tested in all aspects this season.

Although sad news came out two weeks ago as senior Randy Stageberg was out for the rest of the season with a dislocated shoulder, Florida finally got back junior All-American Alaina Johnson. In her first meet since January 18th, Johnson stuck an impressive vault that earned her a 9.925.This team is loaded with talent in sophomore on a mission, Hunter, Olympic alumni freshman Bridget Sloan and senior Marissa King, and crowd favorite Ashanée Dickerson. Hunter says that all this team needs to do is compete how they practice in order to succeed.

I could load you with statistics proving why Florida will probably win the national championship for the first time this year. Instead, I’ll leave you with this: this is a team to be proud of. This team has made history in more ways than one. This team has not only posted the highest score in Gator gymnastics history, but also the highest score in the nation this year, a score that is higher than any other National Championship winning score ever. This team has the will to succeed and their energy and determination have set them apart from the rest of the competition. This year this team won’t settle for walking away with second place. They’re going to make sure of it.

The NCAA will be streaming live coverage of the semi-finals online with the Gators starting Semifinal I competition on the floor exercise. Start time for Semifinal I is set for 3 p.m. ET.

 

About Reva Labbe

Check Also

Jan 23, 2016; Tuscaloosa, AL, USA; Southeastern conference commissioner Greg Sankey holds the College Football Playoff trophy with Alabama running back Derrick Henry (2) and head coach Nick Saban during a presentation to celebrate the victory in the CFP National Championship game at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

College Football Playoff Shakes Up Schedule

The College Football Playoff was a success in its first year. Yet, that doesn’t stop …

Apr 4, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; NBA former player Michael Jordan looks on during the first half between the Villanova Wildcats and the North Carolina Tar Heels in the championship game of the 2016 NCAA Men's Final Four at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Jordan Speaks out about Shootings, Police Officers

NBA great Michael Jordan opened up about his thoughts about shootings of African-Americans and the …

USATSI_9029799_168381752_lowres

Treon Harris to Transfer

With the college football season approaching, the Florida Gators have announced that former starting QB …

July 24, 2016; Los Angeles, CA, USA; USA guard Kevin Durant shoots against China in the first half during an exhibition basketball game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

USA Basketball Wins Second Exhibition Game

Just a few short days after their big win over Argentina, team USA won its …

USATSI_9113793_168381752_lowres

Charlotte Is No Longer The Home Of The 2017 NBA All-Star Game

The House Bill 2 came between Charlotte, North Carolina and the 2017 All-Star Game. The …

USA; Tampa Bay Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) and catcher Luke Maile (46) and third baseman Evan Longoria (3) and second baseman Logan Forsythe (11) and second baseman Tim Beckham (1) Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Rays Continue Series Against Oakland

The Tampa Bay Rays are continuing their three-game winning streak. The Rays defeated the Oakland …

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Preview Tonight

It’s summer time—the best time to go to a baseball game and experience the atmosphere. …

Jul 16, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (26) throws a pitch against the Colorado Rockies in the fourth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Begin Series With Rockies

The Atlanta Braves (33-62) open up a four-game road series with the Rockies (43-51) tonight …

Jul 19, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Miami Marlins relief pitcher A.J. Ramos (44) and catcher J.T. Realmuto (11) celebrate a win against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. The Marlins defeated the Phillies 2-1 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Marlins To Close Out Series With The Phillies

The Miami Marlins are in the middle of a crucial ten game span against NL East …

Jul 20, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Tim Beckham (1) doubles in the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. The Rays defeated the Rockies 11-3. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Rays Crush Rockies 11-3, Face A’s Next

In the midst of a terrible season that has seen the Tampa Bay Rays (37-57) …

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

American League Second Half Outlook

The second half of the baseball season is in full swing which translates to? Pennant races. Teams …

Jul 19, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; San Francisco Giants relief pitcher George Kontos (70) hangs onto the ball after tagging out Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts (50) during the eighth inning at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

National League Evening Preview

Tonight is a busy night for the National League in the MLB. Starting with the …

Dec 31, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) throws against Clemson Tigers linebacker Ben Boulware (10) during the second quarter of the 2015 CFP semifinal at the Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium.  Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Big 12 Looks To Expand

Following a Tuesday meeting between Big 12 presidents, Oklahoma president David Boren announced that the …

Dec 29, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; LSU Tigers running back Leonard Fournette (7) holds the MVP Texas Bowl trophy after defeating the Texas Tech Red Raiders 56-27 at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

LSU Looks To Capitalize On Its Opportunity

The Louisiana State University Tigers will enter the 2016 college football season with high expectations, …

Jul 14, 2016; Hoover, AL, USA; South Carolina head coach Will Muschamp speaks to media during SEC media day at Hyatt Regency Birmingham-The Wynfrey Hotel. Mandatory Credit: Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

Muschamp Helps Close Out SEC Media Days 2016

It wasn’t Will Muschamps first SEC Media Days experience, but 2016 marked the first time …

Jul 14, 2016; Ayrshire,  SCT;Phil Mickelson (USA) hits his second shot from the 18th fairway  during the first round round of the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Phil Mickelson Leads British Open After First Day

The 145th annual 2016 British Open is underway at Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. The …

USATSI_9382528_168381752_lowres

Missouri’s Football Crisis: Rebuilding A Program

On the final day of SEC Media Days, Barry Odom took the stand as Missouri’s head …

Jul 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller (13) bats during the sixth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half Of MLB Season Begins

The All-Star Break is a good time for teams to rest up and reform themselves …

Jul 12, 2016; Ayrshire, SCT; Jason Day plays from the 3rd tee during a practice round for the 145th Open Championship golf tournament at Royal Troon Golf Club - Old Course. Mandatory Credit: Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports

British Open Underway

The 145th Open Championship is already underway at the Royal Troon Golf Club in Scotland. Welcome …

Florida State Seminoles head coach Jimbo Fisher. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Noles Set to Face SEC Opponent Ole Miss For Season Opener

The Florida State Seminoles will kick their season off this Monday, as they take on Ole Miss …