SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The University of Florida gymnastics team finished third Friday in the NCAA Super Six Championships competition. Georgia claimed its third consecutive NCAA title with a total of 197.85 in front of a Huntsman Center crowd of 9,255. Utah just edged Florida for second place, 197.25-197.225.
Other team results from Friday’s Super Six included UCLA in fourth at 196.925 followed by Stanford (196.825) and Nebraska (195.975).
The finish wasn’t what the Gators, ranked No. 1 for most of the 2007 season, were looking for. UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn knew the Gators needed to be flawless Friday to be in contention for the title, but mistakes – especially on floor and bars – put that goal out of reach.
“I have to hand it to Georgia; they had an unbelievable night. They were on fire and deserved to win,” Faehn said. “We made mistakes that you just can’t do when you are challenging for a national title. I think we did really well on vault and decent on beam, especially since we started on that event. Tonight we just made some mistakes in areas like floor and bars that just hurt our chances the most. It was hard because we were so consistent all season long.
“But I’m just so proud of these athletes for the season that we’ve had this year. Winning SECs for the first time since 1989 and for fighting as hard as they did today, even though we didn’t perform as well as we could have,” she continued. “We will learn from this and try again next year to bring home UF’s first title.”
In yesterday’s draw for competition order, Florida drew balance beam as its opening event. Florida turned in a solid performance on the event, receiving marks of 9.85 from Katie Rue, Breanne King, Melanie Sinclair and Amanda Castillo. UF also used a 9.825 from Corey Hartung for its team total of 49.225.
Florida received 9.90 floor exercise marks from Savannah Evans, Hartung and Castillo. The Gators were forced to use a 9.775 toward its team total, a solid 49.325 that ranked third in the evening’s competition, but it could have been higher.
At the midway point of the meet, UF trailed the leaders – Georgia and Utah – by two-tenths. The Gators moved to vault, where they turned in their second highest total of the season of 49.40 – just off the high of
49.425 set at the NCAA Northeast Region Championships. UF’s started and ended its lineup with marks of 9.90 from Rue and Ashley Reed. The team also received marks of 9.875 from Hartung and Castillo.
The final rotation had both Florida and Georgia on events in which they ranked No. 1 in the nation. But Florida’s minor problems hitting handstands and getting a solid stick on landings resulted in essential tenths being deducted from their score. The GymDawgs used no score lower than a 9.85 toward its vault total of 49.525 to extend their lead on the field.
Florida received team-high bar marks of 9.875 from Hartung, Castillo and Sinclair, as UF tallied a 49.275 on the event. Florida was bumped to third by the Utes by the slimmest of margins, as Utah finished the meet with the evening’s high balance beam total of 49.40.
Florida will have five different gymnasts in Saturday’s NCAA Individual Event Finals. The Gators that advanced to the event finals are as follows:
Amanda Castillo Vault
Savannah Evans Vault
Corey Hartung Beam
Ashley Reed Floor
Melanie Sinclair Bars
NCAA Championships’ Super Six Results
Huntsman Center (9,255) – Salt Lake City, Utah. – April 27, 2007
Vault Bars Beam Floor Rank Total
Georgia 49.525 49.425 49.325 49.575 1 197.850
Utah 49.375 49.100 49.400 49.375 2 197.250
Florida 49.400 49.275 49.225 49.325 3 197.225
UCLA 49.400 49.100 49.150 49.275 4 196.925
Stanford 49.225 49.100 49.250 49.250 5 196.825
Nebraska 49.325 48.925 48.825 48.900 6 195.975
Courtesy UF Sports Info.