Florida Gators gymnastics defeats #17 Kentucky

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – A season-high team total, boosted by a school-record on uneven bars, gave the No. 3 Florida gymnastics team the win over Kentucky Friday evening at Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.

Florida’s 197.675 stands as the nation’s No. 4 total for the first month of the season. Kentucky turned in its season-best of 196.65 Friday.

Tonight’s Exactech Arena crowd of 8,615 ranks as the 10th largest in program history.

TONIGHT’S MEET
Florida trailed the Wildcats by 0.175 after the opening rotation. The Gators’ school-record uneven bars set reversed the standings, as Florida owned nearly a half point lead at midpoint.

Senior Alicia Boren started Florida’s bars lineup with a collegiate-best 9.95. Florida turned in six bars scores of 9.9 or better as the final total of 49.725 set the program record. Freshman Trinity Thomas’ 9.975 won the event title and joining Boren in the runner-up position were teammates Amelia Hundley and Megan Skaggs.

Thomas led Florida on balance beam to win the event with her collegiate-best 9.925. Hundley equaled her collegiate best to take second at 9.90.

Florida finished the evening with a season-best 49.55 on floor. Boren and Thomas shared the floor win at 9.925 with Kentucky’s Mollie Korth.

Thomas’ winning all-around total of 39.70 is a Florida season high and ties for second in the nation for 2019.  Boren was runner-up at 39.525 and UK’s Korth shared third with teammate Alex Hyland (39.35).

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:

*         197.675 is Florida’s season-high and nation’s No. 4 total of 2019. Florida’s three totals of 2019 all rank among the nation’s top 10 – 197.675 (No. 4), 197.50 (No. 5) and 197.30 (No. 7)

*         Florida’s 49.725 sets the program’s uneven bars record. The previous record of 49.70 came in the 2007 Gators Link to Pink meet versus Kentucky.

*         The 49.725 adds two-tenths to the nation’s 2019 bars high.

*         Thomas is the fifth Gator freshman to earn a 9.975 bars mark. The most nearly-perfect bars marks earned by a Gator freshman is three by Bridget Sloan (2013).

*         Five Gator freshmen have now earned a 9.975 bars mark eight times in Florida history.

*         Gators with collegiate bests Friday:

o    Alicia Boren – 9.95              Bars

o    Amanda Cheney 9.825      Vault

o    Amelia Hundley   9.90        Beam

o    Savannah Schoenherr       9.90        Bars

o    Megan Skaggs     9.95        Bars

o    Trinity Thomas     9.975      Bars

o    Trinity Thomas     9.925      Beam

o    Trinity Thomas     39.70      All-Around (equals nation’s No. 2 all-around for 2019)

*         Crowd of 8,615 is No. 10 in Florida history

*         Senior Amanda Cheney made her first appearance in a vault lineup in almost two years to the day (Jan. 27, 2017). A knee injury sidelined her for the entire 2018 campaign. Tonight’s 9.825 is a collegiate best.

RECORDS: Florida (3-0, 3-0 SEC), Kentucky (3-3, 1-1 SEC).

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 86-1.

HEAR FROM THE GATORS:
Opening Statement:
“It’s a good thing when we are not paying attention to scores. We’ve been working really hard in staying within our bubble and our zone – going one person at a time, one routine at a time. To be perfectly honest, I did not catch the end score. To me, it doesn’t matter what the score is, that is something we cannot control.

“We talk about improving and focusing on the things we can control. We try to get better and I believe the Gators got better tonight. We had some fantastic performances; there is still room for improvement. We left a lot out there, but that is okay. It is all a process. We can’t fix everything all at once and we won’t have a perfect meet, but tonight was pretty darn good.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On Florida’s record bars rotation:
“The bar rotation was HOT! It was contagious. We were talking about that before the meet started today – being able to build off one another. After Alicia [Boren] stuck her dismount, it was contagious. She really set the tone for that event and everyone followed suit.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On the energy in tonight’s arena…

““Any home meet is always loud so it’s great we can build off of that!” – junior All-American Amelia Hundley

On her first all-around win of her college career:

“(It feels) really cool. Really great. I took it one event at a time, one skill at a time, and I just kept telling myself literally one thing at a time. Because when you get ahead of yourself, that’s when you make mistakes.” – freshman Trinity Thomas

National Rank:
Florida – Florida is No. 3 in the Road to Nationals standings<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__roadtonationals.com_results_standings_season_2019_3_0_5&d=DwIFJg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=URAIsUbOPougLQqLw9xNTw9bSc96mcdwWNcHobSNzZ0&s=f9z4mvEjrFKPKCj48SJikwXBVsQOv-3O25jV03AOLuU&e=>.
UK – The Wildcats No. 17 in the Road to Nationals standings<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__roadtonationals.com_results_standings_season_2019_3_0_5&d=DwIFJg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=URAIsUbOPougLQqLw9xNTw9bSc96mcdwWNcHobSNzZ0&s=f9z4mvEjrFKPKCj48SJikwXBVsQOv-3O25jV03AOLuU&e=>.

UP NEXT:
It’s the top dual meet of the weekend – No. 3 Florida at No. 1 Oklahoma. The winners of five of the last six NCAA Championships meet Friday, Feb. 1 in the Lloyd Noble Center.

The meet airs live on FOX College Sports at 8 p.m. ET and re-airs on FOX Sports-Oklahoma that same evening at 11 p.m. ET.

No. 3 Florida versus No. 17 Kentucky
Final Team Totals

Jan. 25, 2019 ● Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center (8,615)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.050

49.725

49.350

49.550

197.675

Kentucky

49.075

49.225

49.100

49.250

196.650

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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.

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