Three out of the four opponents the undefeated and second ranked Florida gymnastics team have faced so far have been nationally ranked.
As if that wasn’t tough enough, Florida next hosts two ranked opponents Friday as number four Denver and number 18 Iowa State come to town to face the Gators in a tri-meet. Florida head gymnastics coach Jenny Rowland explains the differences in preparing for a tri-meet, in which there is an extra opponent.
The University of Denver travels to Gainesville for the first time since 2005. Florida has been the victor 10 out of the 11 times the teams have met, but the Pioneers have recent history on their side. Denver was one of the squads that qualified for the NCAA Finals over the Gators last April when they outscored Florida in the semi-finals.
The Pioneers are the highest-ranked opponents the Gators have faced so far. They boast a 9-1 record and have already prevailed in two multi-team meets this season, including last week when they registered a season-high total team score.
Senior Maddie Karr will be one to watch in the O’Connell Center. She has claimed Big 12 Gymnast of the Week the past two weeks, and she took home an all-around title in Denver’s last meet.
Week 5️⃣ of #Big12GYM❕
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— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) February 3, 2020
Cyclones Looking For An Upset
No. 18 Iowa State (4-3) has lost two of their last three meets. All of their losses have been to ranked opponents, though, including a 197.600 to 195.00 defeat to the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
Also, the Cyclones may be building some momentum. They are coming off a meet on Sunday in which they scored season-highs in uneven bars and floor as a team. Three gymnasts also hit career-highs, including junior Sophia Steinmeyer, who earned a vault title in the most recent meet.
What to Expect From the Gators
Florida is currently averaging the second-most points per meet in the nation, and the team has registered the highest score in the country so far, a 198.375 two weeks ago against LSU. The Gators are surging, especially sophomore Trinity Thomas. She claimed her third SEC Gymnast of the Week honor on Tuesday.
Fellow sophomore Nya Reed, who has been a vault and floor standout for the Gators, will miss her second-straight meet this weekend; her return date is not known.