The Florida Gators gymnastics team narrowly knocked off back-to-back conference champions LSU as the ladies placed second at the SEC Championships on Saturday with a 197.75 score.
The Gators were the team standing in the way of LSU’s quest for a third consecutive conference championship and they almost knocked the Tigers off.
Florida held a narrow lead heading into the final rotation but LSU took the lead after a strong performance in the top floor exercise. The Gators’ second-place finish came in front of a record crowd in New Orleans as 10,505 saw Florida compete.
A Performance To Be Proud Of
Even though LSU took the conference championship, Florida won two event titles.
Freshman Trinity Thomas put on a show as she broke her own collegiate record on the vault with a score of 9.95 to win the event. Five gymnasts got a share of the balance beam title, three of them were wearing orange and blue.
Alyssa Baumann won her second consecutive SEC beam title. The sophomore made history as she was the first athlete to win the beam title in back-to-back years since Kim Arnold in 1997 & 1998. After taking a break for four meets, Junior Rachel Gowey returned with a vengeance. She equaled her collegiate-best score. Sophomore Megan Skaggs joined in on the party of equalling a collegiate best. She also collected a score of 9.95 to win the beam contest.
The fourth-ranked Gators also collected SEC honors this weekend. Five Gators collected All-SEC/SEC All-Freshman honors on Saturday.
Looking For A National Championship
It is now a waiting game for Florida. Tonight at 5 p.m. the Gators find out where they will compete in the NCAA Regional Championship. Regional competition begins on the first weekend of April.