Florida's Alicia Boren performs her floor exercise during an NCAA gymnastics match against Missouri, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Gators Gymnastics Stuns Kentucky at Home in Record-Setting Meet

Florida Gators Gymnastics outlasted the Kentucky Wildcats at home Friday night to bring their perfect season start to 3-0.

No. 3 Florida put up a season-high team total of 197.675, for a final score that was an entire point over No. 17 Kentucky’s 196.650 (also a season-high).

But the most impressive stat of the night came much earlier.

A Rotation to Remember

Florida entered the meet ready to capitalize off of the momentum from last week’s win at LSU. But a shaky initial vault score of 49.050 gave Kentucky an early lead after posting 49.225 on bars.

That mishap was quickly dismissed when program history was made on uneven bars. No score was calculated below a 9.9. SEC Freshman of the Week Trinity Thomas concluded the rotation with a 9.975. But three 9.950 scores from Alicia Boren, Amelia Hundley, and Megan Skaggs assisted the effort. The overall score of 49.725 set a school record. The tone for the meet was set, and Florida’s resilience would remain unmatched for the rest of the evening. Kentucky failed to contend at vault. Florida claimed the lead with ease, 98.775-98.300.


Holding Their Own

Florida held on strong after their dominant second rotation. The last two rotations were plenty enough to keep Kentucky at bay. On beam, Thomas led the team with a 9.925, while junior Amelia Hundley wasn’t too far behind with a 9.900. Kentucky’s best rotation of the night was at floor, but it still wasn’t enough to catch up to Florida. Junior Mollie Korth posted her best score of the night with a 9.925 with help from Sidney Dukes’ 9.900. Florida would maintain their lead, 148.125-147.550.

The Gators secured the win with a stellar performance on the floor. Like bars, the Gators’ total score would only account for scores above 9.9. The drop score of 9.600 would come from freshman Sydney Johnson-Scharpf in her only event of the evening. Senior Alicia Boren and Thomas earned team-high 9.925s. Kentucky ended their night with an average performance on beam.

Coach Jenny Rowland was quite pleased with the team’s performance but acknowledged that there was work to be done.

“There’s still room for improvement. We left a lot out there, but that’s okay, it’s a process,” Rowland said.


What’s Next?

The Gators will embark on a road test to Norman, Oklahoma next Friday to face the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners.

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