Special to GC
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Florida gymnastics team claimed the NCAA University Park Regional, held Saturday in front of 1,827 at Penn State’s Rec Hall. The win advances Florida to Birmingham, Ala., where the Gators will look to defend their 2013 NCAA team title.
The Gators turned in a 197.05 Saturday to take their third consecutive NCAA Regional title. The top two teams in regional competition advance to the NCAA Championships and Penn State claimed the other berth at 196.725. Oregon State was third at 196.525, followed by Kentucky (195.925), New Hampshire (195.025) and Maryland (194.525).
It wasn’t a clean meet for the Gators, as the team was forced to count a fall for the first time this season, as two Gators recorded misses on balance beam. Florida also had to count a stumbled landing on floor toward its total. But the Gators opened and closed the competition with meet-high totals of 49.55 on both uneven bars and vault. The vault total stands as the Gators’ top tally on the event this season.
The Gators claimed at least a share of each event title Saturday. Senior Alaina Johnson won the all-around title at 39.55 and shared the balance beam win (9.85). Sophomore Bridget Sloan took the vault title (9.95) and shared the uneven bars win with senior teammate Mackenzie Caquatto with the same mark. Junior Kytra Hunter was the floor champion at 9.95.