Jacksonville Sports Day

NCAA: Gators Three Year-Reign Comes to an End

The Florida Gators’ three years at the top of the women’s collegiate gymnastics world came to an end Saturday. Oklahoma ended Florida’s reign with its win in front of 8,338 fans at the Fort Worth Convention Center Arena.

“It was not the outcome we were looking for tonight. We left several tenths out there on the floor. Other than that, the performances were very strong. We didn’t have any major problems tonight, but there was just enough little issues to keep us from challenging for the win,” said Florida coach Jenny Rowland.
Oklahoma claimed its second NCAA title – and first outright – with a team total of 197.675. Following the Sooners were three Southeastern Conference schools. LSU posted its highest NCAA finish of second at 197.45, followed by Alabama (197.4375) and Florida (197.35). UCLA (196.825) and Georgia (196.8125) rounded out the NCAA Super Six team results.

 

No falls were counted toward Florida’s team scores, but mistakes kept the Gators from reaching their maximum score potential on each event.
Florida drew the same rotation it used to win its third consecutive NCAA team title in 2015, opening the meet on balance beam. Florida was led on the event with a 9.90 from senior Bridget Sloan and a 9.875 from Alex McMurtry. Sloan again led the Gators on floor exercise with her 9.925. Another Gator senior, Bridgette Caquatto, turned in a 9.90.

 

At the midway point of the meet, just 0.2375 separated the top five teams. Alabama led the meet by just 0.025 over Oklahoma. Florida was third, followed by Georgia and LSU.

A pair of sophomores led the Gators on its next event with vault marks of 9.90 – Kennedy Baker and McMurtry. Florida finished competition by posting a meet-high 49.45 on uneven bars. Sloan and McMurtry anchored with bars lineup with marks of 9.9375 and 9.925, respectively.

“I’m very proud of the seniors. They left on a high note individually. I couldn’t be more proud of Bridget [Sloan], Morgan [Frazier], Bianca [Dancose-Giambattisto] and Bridgey [Caquatto]. They put their heart and soul into every role and position they’ve been put in this season. They’ve just been amazing.” noted Rowland

SLOAN WINS ALL-AROUND: Senior Bridget Sloan, who claimed her second NCAA all-around title last night, also topped the all-around competitors in Saturday’s Super Six competition. She turned in a total of 39.65. Sloan has led all gymnasts in NCAA Super Six competition three of her four seasons (2013, 2014, 2016). The two all-around wins this weekend moves Sloan to the top of Florida’s career all-around victories chart. She now shares the record at 27 wins with former Gator All-America Elfi Schlegel (1983-86).

GATOR NOTEBOOK: This was Florida’s fifth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Super Six and 14th in the program’s history. Sophomore Alex McMurtry, who was making her fifth collegiate all-around appearance Saturday, took third among Saturday’s competitors at 39.5625. Sloan led all competitors on bars Saturday with her mark of 9.9375. She claimed a share of the NCAA Event Titles for bars and beam in Friday’s NCAA Semifinal competition.

 

Thanks to Mary Howard of Florida Sports Information for contributing the information for this report.

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