Florida Gators gymnastics set to take on Auburn

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It’s a meeting of league undefeated team for a traditional Florida fan favorite. The 13th Annual Gators Link to Pink presented by UF Health is this Friday.

The dual features the two remaining undefeated teams in Southeastern Conference action – Florida and Auburn. Action begins at 6:45 p.m. in the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center<https://www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu/events/gymnastics-vs-auburn-link-to-pink/>.

Events aimed to raise awareness about breast cancer prevention and treatment will be included at Friday’s meet. These meets are part of a Southeastern Conference initiative and most of the league’s teams will participate in a “pink” meet this season.

Arrive Early to Cheer Your Gators
The Gators return to the Exactech Arena this Friday. You’ll want to be in your seat at 6:45 p.m. to see the gymnastics’ special pink-hued floor projection and to welcome the Gators for another Southeastern Conference dual.

Here’s some tips to expedite Friday’s trip to the Exactech Arena:

Getting TO the Arena:

*         Season parking holders can enter the O’Connell Center lot off Lemerand Drive OR SW 2nd Avenue.

*         Public parking is available in the O’Connell Center parking garage on first-come basis. Those wishing to park in the garage must enter lot off SW 2nd Avenue.

*         Public parking is also available in the north end of Percy Beard Track (enter off SW 2nd Avenue), tennis stadium lot or fraternity row.

*         A complimentary parking shuttle transports fans from Commuter Lot Garage IX to the O’Connell Center. For more information, visit FloridaGators.com<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_sports_2015_12_10_-5Ffacilities-5Fparking-5Fgymnastics-5F.aspx&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=upIOVokdQuV45DMTiepBLutIAVGlaK8PsbxzVbYw1wc&e=>.

Parking map for Gator Gymnastics<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_documents_2018_11_26_19Gym-5FParkingMap.pdf-3Fid-3D24877&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=RMLsQ2WPdFfSSxjeTOnKrKEclRt3rzOADDOsF59J-S0&e=>

*         NEW this season: Use the Waze app<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.waze.com_location-3Fh-3Ddjm2w54cwh1&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=nH_OitJf5UOqZfYrG6ntlf6CFGaOAZ_lbS6rlpYXdLI&e=> to provide the best route to Garage IX.

Getting IN the Arena:

*         To get tickets ahead of Friday’s meet, visit the FloridaGators.com ticket site<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__floridagators.com_sports_2015_12_10_-5Ftickets-5F.aspx&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=Q-RjyU6cOrj4Ko5-qdrtjxkXE5kXBYnN0YUCg0tzs3U&e=> or stop by the Gator Ticket Office (open Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

*         The O’Connell Center ticket windows open at 5 p.m., with the gates opening at 5:30 p.m. Gates 1, 2 and 3 will be open for each gymnastics meet.
Entry Gates for Gymnastics<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_documents_2018_7_24_19GYM-5Fmap.pdf&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=8tYO1ZqF4c86yYNyJvwpMTdYG8ax1QnzxRQyTzgraE8&e=>

*         Bags are checked before entering the building. Everyone will go through the O’Connell Center metal detectors when entering. When using the metal detectors fans need to empty their pockets prior to screening, then walk through the detector. After that, tickets will be scanned and then you are ready to cheer your Gators!

Friday’s Promotions:

*         Wear pink – Team colors are put aside to wear pink to show support for the fight against breast cancer

*         Pink t-shirt – first 3,000 get a free pink shirt, compliments of UF Health

*         Link to Pink posters – first 1,000 get Gators Link to Pink posters

How to Follow the Gators:
The Gators start a SEC Network double-header of Friday Night Heights action. Olympic medalists Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson-Clarke call the action Friday.

On the go Friday? Follow the action on WatchESPN<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.espn.com_watch_-5F_id_3465590_auburn-2Dvs-2Dflorida&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=ZWdk_LxTdj7FEjjV7bWdctTAbOcrqronqUXikwFROmw&e=>.

Gators in Last Friday’s Meet:
Big scores and a big crowd came together in the first regular-season dual meet between the nation’s top two teams since 2014 when No. 2 Florida visited No. 1 Oklahoma last Friday. OU used 2019’s top score of 198.325 to take the win over Florida, who turned in its season-best of 198.025 in front of a Lloyd Noble Center record crowd of 5,082. There’s been five dual meets in NCAA history with both teams scoring 198-plus – Florida’s been in each of the last four.

The nation’s season high was turned in for three events. Oklahoma equaled Florida’s 2019 uneven bars high of 49.725 and turned in the floor exercise high of 49.825. Florida’s 49.60 on balance beam sets the nation’s high total.

Sophomore All-American Alyssa Baumann matched her collegiate balance beam best of 9.97 to share the title with OU’s Maggie Nichols. Freshman Trinity Thomas led Florida on uneven bars (9.975), floor (9.95) and all-around (39.625).

SEC Awards for the Gators:
After their performances Friday, Baumann and Thomas claim SEC Weekly honors<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_news_2019_2_5_gymnastics-2Dalyssa-2Dbaumann-2Dand-2Dtrinity-2Dthomas-2Dearn-2Dsec-2Dweekly-2Dhonors.aspx&d=DwIFAg&c=pZJPUDQ3SB9JplYbifm4nt2lEVG5pWx2KikqINpWlZM&r=6MG06PG_fwpe7ULfewi6NrFR2j_4ngNZtgGHhDCeRY0&m=gxFtotebzeFmTzT9Wr3SUaW8Azi8sJ8pWtFkr9IJlHk&s=4xY_nvHWwd4lQkcfQL4LFqI7WSLvCh0YJXKaazkiCMg&e=>. Her two collegiate-best marks at Oklahoma – including sharing the beam win at 9.975 – gave Baumann the Feb. 5 SEC Specialist Gymnast of the Week award.

Thomas picked up her third SEC Freshman of the Week after leading the nation’s freshmen last weekend with her all-around total of 39.625. She has been honored each week of the Gators’ season, as she was the SEC Gymnast of the Week on Jan. 29.

About the Tigers:
Auburn is 5-0 this season, which includes three consecutive wins over top-10 teams – then No. 4 LSU (196.70-196.275), then No. 10 Missouri (195.825-194.975) and No. 6 Georgia (196.775-196.400).

Derrian Gobourne owns the Tigers top all-around total of 39.475. She’s competed as an all-arounder in the last four meets and twice was named the SEC Freshman of the Week.

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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.