Wong and Gator Gymnastics Dominate Regular Season Finale

Florida Gymnastics took a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina for a quad-meet with NC State, Penn and Rutgers this past Friday.

The Gators won the meet in dominant fashion as freshman Leanne Wong put together the highest all-around score of the season.

All Florida from the Start

The Gators got on floor exercise to kick off the meet and quickly jumped ahead.  Senior Leah Clapper took a step out of bounds and the deduction resulted in a 9.650 to open up the night. Florida bounced back and earned high enough scores to drop Clapper’s routine.  Wong led the way for the Gators with a near-perfect 9.975.

Rutgers got off to a rough start on bars after sophomore Calah Newman fell off the apparatus. She received an 8.850, but the Scarlet Knights got back on track with a solid finish to remain in second. The remainder of Rutgers’ scores were between 9.725 and 9.850.

Two falls on the balance beam for Penn meant the Quakers counted a fall to their score and fell behind early.

After one rotation:

Florida 49.500

Rutgers 48.775

NC State 48.575

Penn 47.775

Career-highs on Vault

Florida continued to vault ahead in rotation two with two career-highs.  Senior Savannah Schoenherr and Wong each put up near-perfect 9.975s. It was a career-high for the two Gator gymnasts.

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Through two rotations, Florida sat at 99.100, over one point ahead of Rutgers in second place.

Rutgers continued to solidify their second-place position. Two 9.900s from sophomore Stephanie Zannella and junior Hannah Joyner got Rutgers a 49.250 on beam. The Scarlet Knights pushed to 0.500 points ahead of NC State.

Brilliance on Bars

Florida continued to showcase their talent on the uneven bars in rotation three.  Florida managed to stick their final three routines as graduate student Megan Skaggs and Wong received 9.950s and senior Trinity Thomas got the Gators’ fourth 9.975 of the meet.

With just one rotation to go, Florida had a 148.700.

Penn fell behind even further after they failed to register a score over 9.775 on vault.  NC State put together a stellar 49.175 on the beam. The Wolfpack was led by junior Emily Shepard who got a 9.900.

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However, the standings remained the same with Florida leading, Rutgers in second, NC State in third and Penn in fourth.

Slight Stumble on Beam

Florida looked to bounce back from last week’s performance on the balance beam but unfortunately didn’t quite meet the level of their first three rotations.

Graduate student Alyssa Baumann had a big break in the hips that earned her a 9.650. The remainder of the lineup looked to get her score erased but it took a huge save from Clapper to earn just a 9.625.

The senior appeared to hit her foot on the edge of the beam before attempting a layout in her triple series. The mistake left Clapper extremely low on the maneuver, and despite landing with her chest forward, she remained on the four-inch beam.

The Gators’ 49.275 was low by Florida standards, but they expanded their lead to secure the dominant win.

Final Standings:

Florida 197.975

Rutgers 196.400

NC State 195.950

Penn 194.300

With the Gators’ 13-0-1 record, Florida secured their seventh undefeated regular season in Gator history.

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Wong’s Wonderful All-Around

Wong put together a 39.850 in the all-around, the second-highest in Florida history.  With a 9.975 on bars, Thomas became the Gators’ event titles record-holder (96 career wins).

Schoenherr and Wong shared the vault title after their career-high 9.975. All six of Florida’s gymnasts on vault were among the top five scores on the event at the meet.

Wong also took the beam title with a 9.950 and the floor title with a 9.975.

What’s Next?

On March 19, Florida will head to the SEC Championships in Alabama as the likely favorite. NC State will head to Washington D.C. for the EAGL Championships and Rutgers will go to the Big 10 Championships.

Penn will travel to Maryland to take on the Terps, Bridgeport and George Washington on Sunday.

About Christopher Will

Chris Will is a second-year journalism student with a focus in sports and media. Originally from the Fort Lauderdale area, Will is now the beat reporter for Florida Gymnastics and covers all things sports in Gainesville.

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