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The Gators used the nation's top total of 2012 to win Friday's dual meet.

Friday January 27, 2012No. 8 Florida Gymnastics Use Nation's Top Total to Take Quad Meet

Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators used the nation's top total of 2012 to win Friday's dual meet.

Big marks added up to a big team total, as the No. 8 Florida gymnastics team (6-0, 2-0 SEC) used the nation’s top score of 2012 to claim its first home win over a top-ranked team in 23 years Friday in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 6,198.

 

The Gators used the fifth-highest total in school history of 197.775 to defeat No. T-1 Arkansas (8-1, 2-1 SEC), which posted a total of 196.70. No. 24 Maryland (4-4) was third at 193.075 and Bridgeport (2-4) rounded out the evening’s results at 192.975. The previous nation’s high of 197.575 was turned in by No. T-1 UCLA last Sunday in Los Angeles.

 

A nation’s top-ranked team has entered the O’Connell Center 16 times and Friday’s result is the first time UF claimed the win since taking the 1989 Southeastern Conference title over then No. 1 Alabama.

 

Gator Event Winners Friday

Uneven Bars

9.95

Mackenzie Caquatto

Balance Beam

9.95

Marissa King

Floor Exercise

9.95

Ashanée Dickerson

 

9.95

Kytra Hunter

All-Around

39.60

Ashanée Dickerson

Florida season-best scores of 9.95 won the evening’s uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise event titles. Junior All-American Ashanée Dickerson picked up her 50th event titles of her outstanding Gator career, as she won her first all-around of the season with a 2012 Gator high of 39.60 and shared the evening’s floor exercise crown with freshman Kytra Hunter at 9.95. The 50 event titles ranks seventh all-time among Gator competitors in the program’s 40-year history.

 

Dickerson used collegiate-best marks on floor (9.95) and uneven bars (9.925) plus a season-high 9.90 on beam toward the third-highest all-around total of her Gator career.

 

Did You Know…

A total of 11 collegiate-best marks were set or matched by Gator gymnasts Friday.

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Spicer – 9.775

Ellis – 9.90

Spicer – 9.85

Stageberg – 9.875

 

Dickerson – 9.925

Johnson – 9.925

Dickerson – 9.95

 

King – 9.925

King – 9.95

Hunter – 9.95

 

Caquatto – 9.95

 

 

 “She was on fire tonight. She really just knows where those landings are and that helps her out. She showed off her floor and had the energy of the crowd behind her. I can’t say enough about how excited I am about her because she works so hard,” UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said. “For her to come out and compete the way she did, and win, it can give her confidence that her hard work pays off.”

 

The Gators’ uneven bars total of 49.625, which ties for the third-highest in school history, was boosted by five marks of 9.90 or better. Four Gators earned collegiate-best bar marks as the lineup was led off by senior Nicole Ellis’ 9.90. Dickerson and fellow junior All-American Marissa King boosted their bars best to 9.925. Sophomore All-American Alaina Johnson also had a season-high 9.925 on the event to also share second on the event. The bars title was won by sophomore Mackenzie Caquatto, who matched her collegiate-best of 9.95 to claim her first win of the season and seventh bar victory as a Gator.

 

Caquatto, one of only two on the 20-member 2011-12 U.S. Senior National Team competing as a collegiate this season, was sidelined for the first two meets of the year as she further recovered from spraining both ankles in September at the final camp to select the U.S. 2011 World Championships’ roster. She made her debut last weekend, performing in the bar lineup at Kentucky. This week she stuck the dismount solid, and Faehn credited her courage to go for the stick.

 

“I was super proud of (Mackenzie) coming in and winning bars after such adversity, with the double ankle sprain. Last week was her first week on bars and she was very tentative on the landing. I know she’s in so much pain, but she still went for that stick. For her to really fight and get it and do as well as she did was wonderful and huge for the team to see Macko is back.”

 

Each of the six scores turned in on beam registered as either season or collegiate-best for the Gators as they equaled the eighth-best balance beam total in school history of 49.475. Three Gators posted marks of 9.9 or better. Dickerson turned in a season-best 9.90 and Johnson upped her collegiate-high to 9.925 to share second overall. King once again anchored the Gator lineup with a collegiate-best mark. She set her collegiate-high of 9.925 with her winning performance on Jan. 13 and raised that mark to 9.95 Friday to take her third beam win of the season.

 

King, always a top competitor for the Gators as she owns six All-America honors, has been a strong and steady performer in the early goings of the 2012 campaign.

 

“It shows how much she has matured and the different confidence level she has this season. She trains exactly like she’s competing out there. She’s more focused and more aggressive in her training, and it’s coming out into her competition. I can see it even from the moment she steps out onto the floor,” Faehn said. “On every event, she is at a different level. It’s nice to be able to see that she has maturity in her gymnastics and has taken ownership of it. She’s a leader out there.”

 

The Gators, who trailed Arkansas after the opening rotation, had built a comfortable 0.675 lead over the top-ranked Razorbacks heading into the final rotation. Faehn wanted her team to keep their focus through the entire competition and the team executed that order, as each of the five scores used toward the season-high total of 49.50 were season- or collegiate-best marks. 

 

Florida’s final two floor performers ended the evening sharing the event title with collegiate-bests of 9.95. Dickerson was Florida’s fifth competitor, matching her collegiate-best of 9.95 for the sixth time of her career. Hunter anchored Florida’s floor set, upping her best to 9.95. The floor win is the 16th for Dickerson and the third for Hunter.

 

The Gators opened the meet with a 49.175 on vault and were led by King’s season-best 9.875 on her first Tsukahara one and a half vault of the season. Vault was the only event not won by a Gator as Arkansas’ Katherine Grable took the title at 9.90.

 

Friday’s team total was a surprise for Faehn.

 

“I had no idea what the scores were until they announced it at the end. I was focusing on each and every routine that we were doing and trying to find the little improvements and additions that we were adding here and there,” Faehn said. “I was so focused on each and every athlete that I didn’t calculate the score. That was really exciting.

 

“I think this was a great confidence booster for our team,” she continued. “They haven’t been able to come together as what we would call our “end lineup” so this was the first opportunity of putting them together. I think they gelled really well and I think the chemistry and the energy was phenomenal. Of course there are areas that we can improve upon, and that’s the beauty of it - it’s still really early in the season.”

 

Competing with this team is inspiring and performing for the home crowd gives the team a boost, Johnson said. “

 

“I think that the energy and the excitement started off from the very beginning. All of us were just so excited to be out there and to have another opportunity to compete and just be together. We always have so much fun together whenever we are out on the floor competing and then having a home meet, those are always the best,” Johnson said. “We just had a lot of fun out there.”

 

Tonight’s meet airs on ESPNU (Gainesville/Ocala Cox Cable channel 251 or 1251) Feb. 2 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Florida now goes from facing the nation’s top-ranked team to meeting the defending NCAA champion. The Gators meet No. 6 Alabama (4-0, 1-0 SEC) Friday, Feb. 3 at 8:30 p.m. ET in Tuscaloosa, Ala. That meet will air tape-delayed on Comcast/Charter Sports Southeast (Gainesville/Ocala Cox Cable channel 259) on Tuesday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

 

 

Florida Quad Meet - Final Team Totals

Jan. 27, 2012 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (6,198)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.175

49.625

49.475

49.500

197.775

Arkansas

49.100

49.300

49.050

49.250

196.700

Maryland

48.425

47.450

48.650

48.450

192.975

Bridgeport

48.175

47.425

48.800

48.575

192.975

 

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