Florida Gators gymnastics knocks off No. 5 Kentucky

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:
LEXINGTON, Ky. – In the meeting of the collegiate gymnastics teams ranked No. 6, it was Florida with the win Friday in front of a Memorial Coliseum crowd of 5,549. The Gators took the win, 196.325 – 195.95, over Kentucky.

Florida Event Winners Friday

Vault:

Rachel Slocum

9.925

Uneven Bars:

Rachel Gowey

9.825

Balance Beam:

Rachel Gowey

9.90

The Gators trailed by 0.15 after the opening rotation but owned more than a point lead at the midway point. That lead narrowed to a point after the third rotation. The final rotation was a bit uncomfortable as the Gators had a fall at the beginning and end of the beam lineup, but the Wildcats could not close the gap.

Florida’s two Rachels claimed the first two event titles. Sophomore Rachel Gowey used a 9.825 to win her first collegiate uneven bars title. Then senior All-American Rachel Slocum used the Gators’ season-high of 9.925 to claim a share of her first vault title of 2018.

Senior All-American Kennedy Baker led Florida on floor exercise to tie for second at 9.90. Gowey collected her second event win of the evening, sharing the beam title at 9.90.

Kentucky sophomore Mollie Korth took the all-around at 39.50 and shared the vault win with Slocum (9.925). UK’s Sidney Dukes won floor at 9.95 and shared the beam with teammate Alex Hyland and Gowey at 9.90.

GATOR NOTABLES:

* Of the 84 all-time meetings between these two programs, this was the first both teams brought a top-10 ranking.

* Florida’s season-best vault total (49.375) resulted when five in the Gators’ lineup turned in season-best marks. Slocum’s 9.925 earned her the 11th vault title of her career.

* Gowey won two event titles in a single collegiate meet for the first time. She took her first collegiate bars win with a 9.825. She claimed the beam title in each of Florida’s three meets this season and tonight’s win was her fifth beam win as a Gator.

RECORDS: Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC), Kentucky (4-1, 1-1 SEC).

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 83-1.

HEAR FROM THE GATORS:
Thoughts on tonight’s meet:
“It wasn’t a perfect night. We made a lot of improvements in different areas from our first road meet, which is always good to see. We worked better together as a team, the energy was fantastic. The Gators were really having a good time and that did show in a lot of ways.

Our performance on vault was much better this week. We has a great floor performance. Bars was ok – a few missed opportunities here and there. Beam was a missed opportunity. It was good to see that after Kennedy [Baker] fell during the first routine, we had a freshman [Megan Skaggs] come up second and she nailed her routine. The team was able to keep their confidence up and keep moving through most of the lineup.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

PRESEASON NATIONAL RANK:
Florida – The Gators are No. T-6 in the Road to Nationals rankings.
Kentucky – The Wildcats are No. No. T-6 in the Road to National rankings.

UP NEXT:
Winners of the last five NCAA championships meet next Friday in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center when Florida (NCAA champ: 2013, 2014, 2015) plays host to Oklahoma (NCAA champ: 2014, 2016, 2017). The meet begins at 6:45 p.m.

Friday’s meet airs live on the SEC Network and can be found on WatchESPN.

Here’s what is planned for Friday’s fans:

* Alumni Night – Help the Gators welcome home Gators Gymnastics Alumni and cheer on some of your favorite Gators Gymnastics from over the years! Arrive early for a special pre-meet recognition with these Gator Greats!
Giveaway – 100 Pairs of Gators Gymnastics socks – just like the team wears!
Student Giveaway – UF students can arrive early to sit in the lower level student section and receive orange and blue glow bracelets to wear during intros.

There are still general admission tickets available for the Florida-Oklahoma dual.

2018 Gator Gymnastics Season Ticket Pricing

General Admission Adult

Season $20

Single Meet $5

General Admission Youth (12 & under)

Season: Free

Single Meet: Free

UF Students w/ Gator1 ID

Season: Free

Season Parking (available to all reserved & general admission season ticket holders)

Season: $25

NoT-6 Florida at No. T-6 Kentucky
Final Team Totals

Jan. 19, 2018 – Memorial Coliseum (5,549)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.375

48.950

48.725

49.275

196.325

Kentucky

49.150

48.950

49.350

49.350

195.950

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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.