Florida Gators gymnastics to take on LSU at home

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It’s Friday’s top dual meet – No. 2 Florida gymnastics versus No. 8 Louisiana State. Action begins at 7:15 p.m. ET at the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center<https://www.oconnellcenter.ufl.edu/general-information/plan-your-trip/>.

This is the 24th consecutive time both teams bring top-10 rankings. Meetings between these two teams are traditionally close. Of the 22 meetings since 2013, less than a half a point was the deciding margin 17 times – including both times the teams faced each other last season.

2019 SEC Champions Meet Friday
Both teams claimed 2019 Southeastern Conference team titles. Florida won its first SEC regular-season title in 2019 after posting a 6-1 record<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_news_2019_3_1_gymnastics-2Dgators-2Dwin-2Dsec-2Dregular-2Dseason-2Dtitle.aspx&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=W2AonADBGW_cdPywh2QWDOvFbE958W8FTIJ_rpORIjY&e= >. The league began awarding regular-season gymnastics titles in 2017 based on dual meet records.

Later in New Orleans, LSU won the 2019 SEC Championship meet with a 197.90-197.75 decision over UF.

Arrive Early to Cheer Your Gators
Much is planned for Friday’s top-10 matchup. Be in your Exactech Arena seat by 7:15 p.m. to take in the floor projection show prior to the teams entering the competition floor.

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

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.
*   A complimentary parking shuttle transports fans from which originates at the Commuter Lot on Lemerand Drive to the O’Connell Center. Parking map for Gator Gymnastics<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_sports_2015_12_10_-5Ffacilities-5Fparking-5Fgymnastics-5F.aspx&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=offG2DewUESOeI2QlUCpxant2iLBgEJ7C3AbGsWyv3Y&e= >
*   Use the Waze app<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.waze.com_-3FDB-5FOEM-5FID-3D5200&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=rmEVTNGR2o7XJcjaOHq0YnZ5F0WQgQBKS3ZydhwmY8Q&e= > to provide the best route to Commuter Lot.
*   For 5-10 minutes following Gator gymnastics meets, Lemerand Drive will close for north and south bound traffic from University Avenue to Stadium Road to provide pedestrians a safe exit.

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=https-3A__floridagators.com_sports_2015_12_10_-5Ftickets-5Fgymnastics-5F.aspx&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=pc76Px-4agpI53AhvjNhZ3fei8gm3M1xOfKx3LDvNBI&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 5:30 p.m., with the gates opening at 6 p.m. Gates 1 and 2 will be open for each gymnastics meet. UF students should enter at Gate 3.
Entry Gates for Gymnastics<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__floridagators.com_images_2020_1_7_2020-5FGymnastics-5FMap-5Fwith-5F101-5F105-5Fas-5Freserved.png&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=n3dYglOLomHorSgqyxQVT01kPTWu10Io-u9vyaHNHyI&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:

*   Gator Gymnastics Scrunchies – First 1,000 fans get a free scrunchie!
*   Gators Gymnastics Alumni Night – Be in your seat early to welcome Gator Greats back to the Exactech Arena for a pre-meet ceremony.
*   Sonny’s Barbeque Student Tailgate – Arrive early at Gate 3 to enjoy Sonny’s Barbeque, great music from GHQ, games, giveaways, and more!
*   SEC Gymnastics Champion Ts – First 500 UF students at Gate 3 get a 2019 SEC Champions t-shirt.
*   Comfort Temp Kid’s Corner – Located on the Practice Courts near Gate 4, kids can have their face painted, get a balloon animal, play games, make posters, meet the mascots & Dazzlers, and more!
*   Posters & Schedule Magnets – Make sure to grab a 2020 poster and schedule magnet at the marketing table in the main atrium throughout the meet.

How to Follow the Gators:
Follow the action live:

*   ESPN2 – action called by Olympic medalists Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson-Clarke.
*   On the go Friday? Follow the ESPN 2 stream<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__www.espn.com_watch-3Fid-3Db3d51570-2D2d34-2D429c-2Dba8b-2D88871253b702&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=UUt11fD3PpGVWySP8CjbJTmjg0PFUpGfuMooIf9gdGA&e= >.
*   Live scores<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__sidearmstats.com_florida_gym_&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=B_7MOPk9x9ydhutkziqMqQE1qc4TWV_J8QXSleyMOhg&e= >

The Gators’ Last Meet:
Florida opened road action on Jan. 17 with a 196.85-195.60 win on an icy evening at No. 19 Missouri.

A Gator won three event titles. Nya Reed equaled her collegiate best of 9.875 for the second consecutive Friday to claim her second vault title of 2020. Fellow sophomore Trinity Thomas also won her second consecutive beam (9.925) and floor (9.95) titles.

About the LSU Tigers:
LSU is 3-0 in 2020 after wins versus Arizona (195.725-195.025), at then No. 8 Georgia (196.725-196.150) and versus No. 20 Auburn (196.575-196.275). Freshman Kiya Johnson is the reigning SEC Gymnast of the Week after tallying the Tigers’ top 2020 all-around with her winning total of 39.60 versus Auburn last Friday.

Senior Kennedi Edney won the 2019 and 2017 NCAA vault titles. The Tigers took second at the 2019 NCAA Championships, equaling the program’s top NCAA finish.

The last three No. 1 CollegeGymFans.com Recruiting classes came from these programs (LSU – 2020; UF – 2019, 2018).

National Rank:
Florida – Florida is No. 2 in the Week 3 Road to Nationals rankings<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=https-3A__roadtonationals.com_results_standings_season_2020_3_0_5&d=DwIF-g&c=sJ6xIWYx-zLMB3EPkvcnVg&r=o5LKAX7slotfFMyE71jI7L22NYBIi1-KbRGNSXudTPo&m=fu4KoguLcCIuuh4hceDqnwQz9vcAdsEt_4NITPCPm1o&s=B8_UwUUAJxZnik9m9_65HObdYGNxF6pfpPiTlfIdD3Y&e= >.
LSU – The Tigers are No. 8.

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.