Florida's Megan Skaggs competes on the balance beam during an NCAA gymnastics match against Missouri, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019, in Gainesville, Fla. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

No. 2 Gators gymnastics falls short against No. 1 Sooners

Florida Gators gymnastics (3-1, 3-0 SEC) will return to Gainesville with an imperfect record because of Friday night’s road battle against the Oklahoma Sooners.

The battle between the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 ranked teams meant one team’s streak of perfection would be ruined.

That team was the No. 2 Gators.

Oklahoma’s final score of 198.325 edged off the Gators’ season-high 198.025. The meet became the highest scoring dual meet nationally in the 2019 season. But Oklahoma’s mission was to avenge their loss at Florida last year, and they did just that.

https://twitter.com/GatorsGym/status/1091713350327771136

Falling short … or not at all?

For the Gators, the meet proved almost is never enough. Despite their fierce competitive energy, the Gators came up short in every event except the final rotation at beam. The Gators peaked early overall with their opening event at uneven bars. SEC Gymnast of the Week Trinity Thomas dominated for the second week in a row with a team-high 9.975. Sophomore Megan Skaggs assisted the effort with a stellar 9.95, accompanied by freshman Savannah Schoenherr’s 9.925.

While uneven bars was Florida’s highlight for the evening (and is consistently their best event), their evening best score of 49.675 couldn’t compare to Oklahoma’s 49.725 on the event. Oklahoma’s Nicole Lehrmann’s perfect 10 marked the best performance of the evening at any event.

Oklahoma’s dominance didn’t stop there. The Sooners made school history with a floor score of 49.825. Three Sooners each posted a 9.975 for the event: Jade Degouveia, Brenna Dowell and Olivia Trautman.

Florida sophomore Alyssa Baumann tied the Sooners’ Maggie Nichols with a top score of 9.975 for the balance beam. Comparatively speaking, this was a huge improvement for Baumann, who fell during her beam performance and posted a drop score of 9.325 at Florida’s last meet against Kentucky. Surpassing expectations, Florida finished out the rotation with a season-high total of 49.60.

The low point came at vault, Florida’s weakest event. Specifically, the team’s landings have weighed their scores down. Florida’s 49.150 compared to Oklahoma’s 49.575 made for the largest scoring margin of the night. But looking ahead, Trinity Thomas anticipates change.

“I think we’re lacking landings on vault. Once we get those down, watch out,” Thomas said.

What’s next?

The Gators will return home to the Exactech Arena to host No. 11 Auburn (who also remains undefeated in the SEC) in the 13th annual Link to Pink meet on Friday, Feb. 8 at 6:45 p.m.

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