Florida Gators gymnastics win on senior night

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – No. 5 Florida gymnastics closed home action with a 197.925 – 196.70 win Friday evening over No. 13 Nebraska in front of 5,648 at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

It was a night of records mixed with a few tears.

Friday’s meet was the final home appearance for Florida’s four-member senior class – Kennedy Baker, Grace McLaughlin, Alex McMurtry and Rachel Slocum. They, along with team manager Casey McLaughlin, were honored in a post-meet ceremony. Some notables about this class:

? Baker, McLaughlin and McMurtry part of Florida’s 2015 NCAA and 2016 SEC Championship teams
? Turned in a 49-13 regular season record since 2015
? 18-2 in home action
? Performed 423 routines as part of the Gators’ competitive lineup, with 201 of those scored a 9.9 or better

For the second time in the last three seasons, Florida set its season-average attendance record.

Gator Nation also helped close out home action by setting a season average attendance record of 8,304, breaking the previous record of 7,433 set in 2016.

Five Wins for McMurtry
McMurtry swept the individual honors in her final O’Connell Center appearance, including taking the all-around at 39.825. That total equals Florida’s record set by Alaina Johnson in 2014 and equaled later that season by Bridget Sloan.

She opened the meet with a 9.95 for her Yurchenko double vault. That mark shared the evening’s event title with Nebraska’s Sienna Crouse. McMurtry then posted a nearly perfect 9.975 on bars. It was her third 9.975 of her last six bar routines.

McMurtry used the same mark to win the beam. It was her first 9.975 on beam of her career. She did post a 10.0 on the event earlier this season. She closed with a 9.925 on floor to equal her season best.

The last Gator to claim each of the five event titles was Gator All-American Ashanée Dickerson at LSU in 2011.

Florida’s 197.925 stands No. 12 in the nation and is Florida’s second-highest total of 2018
Five Gators turned in 10 season and/or collegiate best marks Friday
49.575 on bars is Florida’s season-best
McMurtry’s five wins tonight moves her from eighth to sixth (69) on Florida’s career events titles list.
Freshman Jazmyn Foberg turned in collegiate bests for both events she performed Friday – vault (9.990) and bars (9.95).

RECORDS: Florida (8-2, 5-2 SEC), Nebraska (11-3, 5-0 Big Ten).

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 23-10.

Florida – The Gators are No. 5 in the Road to Nationals rankings.
Nebraska – The Cornhuskers are No. 13 in the Road to National rankings.

Florida has a week off before heading to St. Louis, Mo., to look for its 11th team title at the Southeastern Conference Championships. The eight-team meet is set for Saturday, March 24 in two sessions.

Session l 2 p.m. SEC Network 5, 6, 7, 8
Session ll 6 p.m. ESPN2 1, 2, 3, 4
The session assignments are based on the March 19 Road to Nationals team standings. Florida expects to compete in Session II.

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Andrew Spivey
Andrew always knew he wanted to be involved with sports in some capacity. He began by coaching high school football for six years before deciding to pursue a career in journalism. While coaching, he was a part of two state semifinal teams in the state of Alabama. Given his past coaching experience, he figured covering recruiting would be a perfect fit. He began his career as an intern for Rivals.com, covering University of Florida football recruiting. After interning with Rivals for six months, he joined the Gator Country family as a recruiting analyst. Andrew enjoys spending his free time on the golf course and watching his beloved Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter at @AndrewSpiveyGC.