No. 1 Florida Gators gymnastics takes on No. 15 Kentucky at home

Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It’s a Gainesville community favorite next as No. 1 Florida gymnastics plays host to No. 15 Kentucky for the 15th Annual Gators Link to Pink meet.

Action begins at 6:45 p.m. ET in front of physically distanced sold-out Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center<> crowd. Gates open at 6 p.m.

About Gators 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. Team colors are set aside as the teams wear pink to show their support for the breast cancer fight.

Safety Focus:
The safety and health for our student-athletes, staff and guests is our highest priority. In consultation with UF Health officials and while following COVID-19 safety protocols established by the SEC Medical Guidance Task Force and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the following is in place for the 2021 Gator gymnastics home campaign:

  *   Limited physically-distanced capacity in Exactech Arena (approximately 2,200)
  *   Tickets sold in sets of 2 or 4 to allow for proper physical distancing.
  *   Masks & physical distancing required for all in attendance. UF Campus Health Requirements<>
  *   Tickets sold on a single meet basis. Season-ticket sales resume when full capacity returns
  *   All tickets will be handled Friday, through the Florida Gators Mobile< > app or account< >.

Meet Guide< > (info on arena entrance, policies and more)
Parking / Directions< >
Can’t use your tickets Friday? Here’s how to get your tickets to other fans.< >

How to Follow the Gators:
Follow the action live:

  *   SEC Network< > – action called by Courtney Lyle and Gator Great Bridget Sloan
  *   Live scores< >

The Gators’ Last Meet:
In the nation’s top dual of 2021, it was No. 1 Florida taking the 198.15 – 198.05 win at No. 2 Louisiana State on Feb. 12< >. The two teams put up the nation’s No. 2 and No. 3 totals of the season and the result marked the first time two SEC teams scored above a 198 in the same meet. Trailing the Tigers through the opening three rotations, the Gators used the nation’s 2021 leading balance beam total of 39.65 to move to the top of the final standings. There has been 20 duals between No. 1 and No. 2 since 1995. Florida’s result at LSU is the first visiting team win since 2008.

There were many strong scores posted by the Gators at LSU, as UF recorded season-best team totals for vault (49.55), beam (49.65) and floor (49.55). Junior Trinity Thomas’ 39.90 all-around set Florida’s record and shares No. 5 all-time in NCAA history. It is the nation’s highest total since Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols also had a 39.90 against Arkansas Jan. 20, 2020. The three highest all-arounds of 2021 (39.90, 39.75 twice) belong to Thomas. She won at least a share of each event title – vault & bars (9.975), beam (9.95) and floor (10.0). The perfect mark is her second floor 10.0 and the fifth 10.0 of her career (beam and floor – 2x; bars – 1x). Freshman Ellie Lazzari shared the beam win (9.95) as that mark equals her collegiate best. In all, four Gators posted eight collegiate bests at LSU.

Gator Duo Claim SEC Gymnast of the Week Honors:
The Gator junior duo of Thomas and Nya Reed claimed their third weekly SEC honor of 2021 after their performances at No. 2 LSU.< >

Thomas claimed her 14th overall SEC Gymnast of the Week honor after her UF record and 2021 leading all-around total (39.90).

Scores of 9.925 on vault (collegiate best) and floor earns Reed the SEC Specialist of the Week honor.

About the Kentucky Wildcats:
No. 15 Kentucky is coming off its season-high total (197.00), set in its home win versus No. 5 Arkansas (196.675). Like Florida, the Wildcats overcame a third-rotation deficit (0.15) to secure last Friday’s win. UK’s

Josie Angeny won the all-around with her season-best total of 39.50. UK’s Bailey Bunn shares the current SEC Freshman of the Week honor after posting the top all-around (39.35) among the league’s newcomers in last week’s competition.

National Rank:
Florida – Florida is No. 1 in the Week 6 Road to Nationals rankings< >.
Kentucky- The Wildcats are No. 15.

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, 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.