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UF celebrates Ashanée Dickerson's 9.95 floor mark. UF posted the nation's 2012 highs for team and floor totals Friday.

Friday February 10, 2012No. 4 Florida Gymnastics Uses Nation's Season-Best Total to Take Gators Link to Pink Meet over No. 14 LSU

Gainesville, Fla.

UF celebrates Ashanée Dickerson's 9.95 floor mark. UF posted the nation's 2012 highs for team and floor totals Friday.

Although they were wearing pink, the No. 4 Florida gymnastics team (7-1, 3-1 SEC) was red-hot Friday night, upping the nation’s season-best total to 197.85 to take the win over No. 14 LSU (2-7, 2-3 SEC) in the Sixth Annual Gators Link to Pink, presented by Nationwide. The Tigers also posted a season-best 196.85 to take second.

 

Gator Event Winners Friday

Vault

Alaina Johnson

9.95

Uneven Bars

Mackenzie Caquatto

9.90

 

Ashanée Dickerson

9.90

 

Alaina Johnson

9.90

 

Marissa King

9.90

Balance Beam

Kytra Hunter

9.925

Floor Exercise

Kytra Hunter

9.975

All-Around

Ashanée Dickerson

39.60

 The Gators’ previous season-high of 197.775 in their last home appearance on Jan. 27 held the nation’s top position until Florida raised it tonight.

 

The home win came in front of 8,112 fans—the seventh-largest gymnastics crowd in school history—at the Gators Link to Pink meet held in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The “pink” meets are part of a SEC initiative to raise awareness about breast cancer and all league team will compete in a pink meet this season. The two teams put aside their school colors and wore pink to show their support in the fight against breast cancer.

 

Junior All-American Marissa King’s post-meet words about the competition could be echoed by anyone on the Gator roster.

 

Gator Highs Lead Nation in Three Events

Florida’s season-high totals lead the nation for team total, uneven bars and floor exercise, as of Feb. 10, 2012.

 

Event

Total

Date Posted

Team Total

197.85

2/10/12

Uneven Bars

49.625

1/27/12

Floor Exercise

49.625

2/10/12

“It is one of my favorite competitions of the season,” King said. “It has a great crowd and is for a great cause.”

 

A Gator claimed at least a share of each event title Friday, including junior All-American Ashanée Dickerson matching Florida’s season-best total of 39.60 to give her an even dozen career all-around wins. LSU freshman Lloimincia Hall was second at 39.45 while King and LSU freshman Rheagan Courville shared third at 39.40.

 

Dickerson wasn’t pleased with her performance last weekend at defending NCAA champion Alabama and used the week of training to make the needed corrections. Her all-around total this week was a 0.25 improvement from a week ago.

 

“It was great because I made a few mistakes last week. I was a little disappointed in myself,” Dickerson said. “I went in the gym and worked hard on the landings and mistakes that were made.”

 

Florida Head Coach Rhonda Faehn could see how Dickerson’s attention to detail in the past week of training benefited her tonight.

 

She is just so calm. She worked really hard this week, especially on her landings and her polish, and I think that it was wonderful to see that in her performance tonight,” Faehn said. “She is just continuing to get better.”

 

Dickerson also shared the evening’s uneven bars title at 9.90 with three other Gators – sophomores Alaina Johnson and Mackenzie Caquatto as well as King. The bar win was the third consecutive for Caquatto, the third of the season for Johnson, the second for King and the first for Dickerson.

 

Faehn noted that Caquatto had changed her bar routine for this meet – a routine that is already jammed with difficult skills.

 

“We changed up her bar routine tonight. Her first release move is called a Pak salto, and it was absolutely gorgeous. It’s one of the best performed in the country, I believe,” Faehn said. “We wanted to show her variety and she did a great job.”

 

Johnson was also a double event winner Friday, as the All-American opened her competition by matching her collegiate-best of 9.95 to claim her first vault title of the season and the sixth of her career. It was the third time Johnson had earned a 9.95 on her Yurchenko layout with a full twist vault, with the last coming the previous time she wore pink at the Gators Link to Pink on Jan. 28, 2011.

 

Collegiate-best marks gave Florida freshman Kytra Hunter the evening’s balance beam and floor exercise titles. She used a 9.925 to take her second beam win of 2012, as she had posted her previous high of 9.85 in three previous meets.

 

As the final competitor of the meet, Hunter wowed the crowd with her floor mark of 9.975 to take her fourth win on the event. She is the first Gator freshmen – and the fifth in school history – to earn the nearly perfect mark on floor exercise.

 

Her score finished a strong Florida floor set, as Dickerson was runner-up by matching her collegiate-best of 9.95. King opened her tumbling passes with a double layout for the first time this season, earning a 2012 high of 9.925 to complete the Florida sweep of the top three final floor spots. Junior Randy Stageberg also posted a collegiate-best of 9.90 Friday.

 

It was the fourth different floor lineup for the Gators this season. Stageberg, who has been in each of the six floor lineups, noted that this team can perform well on the event regardless of slight changes in personnel.

 

“It’s amazing to watch each person and what they can bring to the table, especially having a lot of younger girls on the team. Ashanée (Dickerson) has been a rock for us since freshman year and then Kytra (Hunter) did amazing,” Stageberg said. “That’s how we work. We work to perform to our best when we compete. It is nice seeing everyone do that.”

 

Florida’s floor total of 49.625 leads the nation on the event this season and is just 0.025 away from the school record last matched in 2011.

 

Last week at Alabama, Faehn thought it was a good, but not great, performance as the team posted a 196.90. Areas that needed sharpening gave the Gators plenty to focus on in this week’s training.

 

“I think we worked really hard all week on making those improvements from last week on our finishes, landings and trying to get stuck landings, but also showing more control with our finishes and our polish. That showed through tonight,” Faehn said.

 

“On vault, the finishes were so much cleaner,” she continued. “We started out really strong on bars again – five out of the six athletes stuck their dismount, which is really great. On beam, we were aggressive. All of our six athletes hit really great routines. Stepping into floor, what was wonderful was that different athletes came in tonight and made the lineup flow just as well as it flowed with other athletes. It’s nice to see that we can make changes and adjustments on the lineup and it doesn’t affect the flow or the dynamic of the event.”

Tonight’s meet airs on ESPNU (Gainesville/Ocala Cox Cable channel 251 or 1251) Feb. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

 

Florida now faces No. 13 Auburn on the road next Friday. Meet time is set for 8 p.m. ET in the Auburn Arena.

 

No. 4 Florida versus No. 14 LSU

Feb. 10, 2012 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (8,112)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.400

49.475

49.350

49.625

197.850

LSU

49.300

49.150

49.350

49.050

196.850

 

 

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