Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Another addition to the team’s trophy case is the goal for No. 3 Florida gymnastics. Top-seeded Florida looks to add to its regular-season trophy at the 2023 Southeastern Conference Championships meet, held Saturday in the Gas South Arena<https://www.gassouthdistrict.com/venues/detail/arena>.
The 42nd edition of the SEC Championships makes its sixth appearance in Duluth, Ga., since the event moved to neutral sites starting in 2001. Nine of the 21 neutral site SEC meets were won by a team located in the state of the host city (Alabama 2021, 2014, 2011, 2003; Georgia 2008, 2005, 2004; Florida 2010; LSU 2019). Each SEC Championship since 2006 has been contested on podium.
With the addition of Missouri to the league in 2013, the format for the SEC Championships moved to two four-team sessions. Teams seeded No. 5-8 (based on March 13 national qualifying scores) compete in Saturday’s opening session at 3:30 p.m. ET followed by seeds 1-4 at 8 p.m. ET. Scores from the two sessions combine to determine the team and event champions. As the evening session’s top seed, Florida has the Olympic rotation (vault–bars-beam-floor).
The four teams in the SEC Championships’ final session are among the nation’s top-10: (No. 3 Florida, No. 6 LSU, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 10 Alabama).
All SEC programs enter the 2023 SEC Championships among the nation’s top 20<https://roadtonationals.com/results/standings/season/2023/10/0/5> – No. 3 Florida, No. 6 LSU, No. 8 Kentucky, No. 10 Alabama, No. 12 Auburn, No. 16 Arkansas, No. 17 Missouri and No. 18 Georgia. The Pac-12 is next with six and the Big Ten has four top-20 teams. The SEC is the only league with every program offering gymnastics among the current top 20.
Of the 25 team totals of 198.00 or better posted this season, six came from teams in the SEC Championships second session – Florida (3), LSU (2), Alabama (1).
How to Follow the Gators:
Florida competes in the evening session. The meet airs live on the SEC Network with Olympic medalists Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson-Clarke and Samantha Peszek calling the action.
Saturday, March 18 – Gas South Arena – Duluth, Ga.
3:30 p.m. ET
8 p.m. ET
Network: SEC Network
Video: Session I<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/d37a648b-bfd2-48ca-af36-faeafd3e9c61> Vault<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/8a4298bb-1db7-4e65-90e5-99f5dcbcb2c4> Bars<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/0855b7ef-2ad5-4dcb-ab9f-8fd3fcc53e6d> Beam<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/09486d15-f97e-4338-9a6e-3096fe080a69> Floor<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/99feb3bd-1094-4f99-b386-fbb26cf7d7e4> All-Around<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/1f418f4c-7dd9-496a-abf6-cf73dde46bd0>
Session II<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/3a6628d9-fc9a-4c8e-9898-6c24dab51cc1> Vault<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/4d905957-13c8-4844-9e65-b1b51a40005b> Bars<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/fabda9b6-5c61-451b-9378-b3532d7f8648> Beam<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/d15096db-3d6a-4a5a-94b3-1acfc2d89c3b> Floor<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/2f53da98-b9cc-4963-8574-dc3ebe3023dd> All-Around<https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/a8de45ce-39a7-4357-823e-71595156a0af>
Follow the scores: Session I<https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=460433> Session II<https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=460434>
Tickets: Sold out
Florida in the SEC Championships Meet:
Gators are 11-time SEC Championship meet winners: 1982, ’83, ’84, ’85, ’89, ’07, ’10, ’12, ’13, ’16, ’22
Recap of 2022 SEC Championship meet win<https://floridagators.com/news/2022/3/19/no-2-florida-gymnastics-win-sec-championships-meet.aspx>.
In the Gators’ Last Meet:
Florida closed regular-season action by posting its second-highest total of 2023, 198.175, to win the Texas Woman’s University quad Sunday in Denton, Texas<https://floridagators.com/news/2023/3/12/no-3-florida-gymnastics-closes-regular-season-with-win-at-twu-quad.aspx>. No. 25 Washington was second at 196.625, followed by NC State (196.375) and TWU (195.575).
Sophomore Leanne Wong led a Gator all-around sweep at 39.65. Trinity Thomas and Kayla DiCello shared second at 39.625. The win was her second consecutive and fourth overall all-around title of the season. She also won the 12th uneven bars title of her career at 9.95.
Two Gator sophomores set collegiate bests to take event wins Sunday. Riley McCusker’s 9.95 on balance beam gave her the first event title of her collegiate career. Sloane Blakely took her first vault win of the season with her collegiate best of 9.975. Thomas also turned in a near-perfect 9.975 to win her eighth floor exercise title of the season.
SEC Weekly Honors for Two Gators:
After their performances Sunday, Riley McCusker and Kayla DiCello claimed the final SEC Specialist and Freshman of the Week honors of the season<https://floridagators.com/news/2023/3/14/gymnastics-pair-of-gators-claim-final-sec-weekly-honors.aspx>. It was McCusker’s first weekly honor. DiCello’s honor was her ninth of the 10 weeks of the season, picking up one Specialist and eight Freshman of the Week awards. That sets the league record for SEC Freshman of the Week awards.
A Gator picked up at least one SEC Weekly award in each of the 10 announcements of 2023.
SEC Gymnast: Leanne Wong (Week 2), Trinity Thomas (Week 6 & 7)
SEC Specialist: Thomas (Week 1, 4), DiCello (Week 2), McCusker (Week 10)
SEC Freshman: DiCello (Week 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)