Gator Gymnastics records Third highest score in the nation In beating Kentucky

The Florida gymnastics team bounces back from a loss last week at LSU by defeating Kentucky 198.125 to 195.950 Friday in Gainesville. UF’s score is the third highest in the nation, giving them both the first and third highest this season. Rachel Spicer won the Ernestine Weaver “Most Entertaining Award” for her performance on floor, Kennedy Baker and Alex McMurtry tied for vault both scoring 9.950, Bridget Sloan won bars scoring 9.975, Baker, Kytra Hunter, and Kentucky’s Shannon Mitchell tied for beam at 9.90, Bridgette Caquatto won the floor routine scoring 9.975, and Hunter won the All-Around title with an overall score of 39.60. On vault the Gators scored a 49.575 which was a season best, and tied for fourth highest in school history. When the Gators moved on to bars, Bridget Sloan recorded her fifth 9.975 leading to her 15th bar win of her career. Despite a fall on beam, Florida still earned two 9.90’s. On the floor rotation every Gator scored a 9.9 or above. The performances by the Gators were a great sign to head coach Rhonda Faehn. “The team just not only had huge finishes, their tumbling was better than ever, their dance they really showed it off, and it was from everybody.” Faehn adds, “That’s nice for it to really come together now, so it was awesome.” This Link to Pink meet had extra meaning for Rachel Spicer; her Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer late last year. The Gators wore special pink shirts saying “I wear pink for Mickie”, and Rachel wore one that said “I wear pink for Mom”. The meet was filled with moments that reminded the girls how special this meet was for the Spicer’s and for many other families. “I just loved when she came off floor and she blew a kiss to her Mom and pointed to her Mom in the stands.” Faehn adds, “I told the girls after the meet, ‘we all did this for Mickie, and for everyone else out there who’s battling breast cancer.’ I thought it was just really great.” This marked the second week back for Bridget Sloan, who suffered a high ankle sprain in the first meet of the season. Sloan had competed in bars against LSU scoring a 9.9, and improved to her 9.975 this week. Teammates were excited to have her back in competition, and keeping them motivated during the meet. “She is a crazy energetic person, who’s always dancing and screaming. It’s really fun to be around and really comforting.” said Claire Boyce. “Having her there making everybody loose and relaxed and

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having fun, it helps me a lot and I think it helps the whole team.” During Kentucky’s floor rotation, Shelby Hilton had to be carted off the floor after a fall in her first tumbling pass. Both teams were allotted a second two minute warm-up period before continuing competition. The Gators continued on beam, scoring high despite the distraction, while the Wildcats finished strong on floor. Next week the Gators will be visiting defending co-national champion Oklahoma. Click here to listen to Rhonda and Claire: Rhonda Faehn talks about the team’s performance on floor Rhonda Faehn talking about Rachel Spicer’s mom and how important this meet was Claire Boyce talks about Bridget Sloan’s contribution to the team

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