Florida Gymnastics head coach Jenny Rowland addresses the media.

Gator Gymnastics Championship Run Comes To An End; Sloan Shines

The Florida gymnastics team saw its back to back to back national title run come to an end this past weekend as Oklahoma won the 2016 national championship with the Gators finishing fourth.  .

Florida’s score of 197.350 was good enough for fourth place behind Oklahoma (197.675), LSU (197.45) and Alabama (197.435), and ahead of UCLA (196.8250), and Georgia (196.8125). Oklahoma won its first outright national title, since winning a share of the national championship with Florida in 2014.

Florida entered Saturday’s Super Six riding a wave of momentum after a dominant Friday showing in the semifinals. The Orange and Blue finished first among Semifinal I teams with a score of 197.450. Florida head coach Jenny Rowland says there’s little to no margin for error margin for error at this level of competition. 

In fact, the margin of .325 between first and fourth is the smallest in the 35-year history of the NCAA Championships.

It’s impossible to discuss Florida Gymnastics and not mention senior Bridget Sloan. Sloan solidified her legacy as one of the most accomplished Florida Gator athletes of all time by winning her second all-around title, and tying for the bar and beam titles. The 26-time All-American leaves the program having scored a 10 in every single event. Rowland says Sloan is among the best athletes she’s either coached or competed with. 

Sloan is one of four seniors, including Bridgette Caquatto, Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto, and Morgan Frazier, who said their ‘goodbyes’ to the Florida gymnastics program. Caquatto dazzled on floor with a 9.90 performance. Rowland says she could not be more proud of what these seniors have accomplished.

The departing senior class passes the proverbial torch to 10 returning players. Four all-Americans return to the 2017 Florida squad (Alex McMurtry, Kennedy Baker, Alicia Boren, and Calire Boyce).

McMurtry posted an all around 39.5625 score, which was good enough for third in Saturday’s competition. Baker and McMurtry were equally stunning on bars, posting 9.9’s for the Gators.

Florida welcomes a host of new recruits, and Rowland says she’s excited by what they bring to the table. 

But few will forget the championship run this group of seniors had in their years at the University of Florida.

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