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Florida's three seniors - Nicole Ellis (left), Elizabeth Mahlich & Amy Ferguson - will be honored at Friday's meet.

Wednesday March 14, 2012No. 1 Florida Gymnasts Meet No. 7 Utah Friday in O'Connell Center

Gainesville, Fla.

Florida's three seniors - Nicole Ellis (left), Elizabeth Mahlich & Amy Ferguson - will be honored at Friday's meet.

The No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (10-1, 5-1 SEC) finishes its 2012 regular-season schedule with a home dual meet against perennial power and current No. 7 Utah (7-2, 3-1 Pac 12). Competition is set for Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. Utah is one of the five teams which have held the nation’s No. 1 ranking this year.

 

Friday’s Meet Info:

No. 1 Florida (10-1, 5-1 SEC) versus No. 7 Utah (7-2, 3-1 Pac 12)

 

Date & Time: Friday, March 16 at 7 p.m. ET
Site: Stephen C. O’Connell Center (10,126)

Television: meet airs tape-delayed on SUN Sports (Gainesville/Ocala Cox cable channel 48 or 1048) on Sunday, March 25 at 9 a.m.

Series Records (all-time): Utah leads all-time series 30-11. Last meeting, Utah was third in NCAA Championships Semifinal II at 196.20 and Florida was fourth at 196.125.

Internet: video stream available on GatorVision; live stats available on http://www.gatorzone.com/

Tickets: $4 for adults while children 17 & under and UF student with a Gator 1 card are admitted free. For more information, contact the Gator Ticket Office at 352-375-468 3 x6800 or visit the Gator Ticket Office on-line.

Twitter: Follow the Gators’ results at Friday’s meet via GatorZoneGym

Parking Shuttle: Complimentary parking shuttle starting at Lemerand Drive Commuter Lot available Friday

 

Promotions: Senior Night - Three Gator seniors will be honored during a post-meet ceremony (Elizabeth Mahlich, Amy Ferguson, Nicole Ellis); Buy One, Get One Free Tickets -visit a Verizon store from March 5 through March16 in Gainesville, Ocala & Lake City for buy one, get one free general admission passes to the meet; Books to Benefit Shands/Alachua County Schools - fans who donate two children’s books (new/used in good condition) or $5 worth of school supplies will receive a 2-for-1 general admission pass. All donations can be brought to outside of Gate 1 on the night of the meet and will benefit the Shands Pediatric Clinics and Alachua County elementary and middle schools.

 

Visit the meet’s promotions page to see a complete list of promotions/activities for Friday’s meet.

 

Fans who donate two children’s books (new/used in good condition) or $5 worth of school supplies will receive a 2-for-1 admission ticket. Donations should be brought to O’Connell Center Gate 1 and they will benefit the Shands Pediatrics Clinics and Alachua County elementary and middle schools.

 

Fans can pick up buy one, get one free general admission passes from any Verizon store locations in Gainesville, Ocala or Lake City. Tickets for the March 16 meet are $4 for adults while children 17 and under and UF students with Gator 1 cards are admitted free.

 

Friday’s meet is the final home appearance for Gator seniors Nicole Ellis, Amy Ferguson and Elizabeth Mahlich. 2009 team member and current student coach Kailey Tissue will also be honored at the meet. The group has been a part of three teams which advanced to the NCAA Championships, won two NCAA Regional titles and the 2010 Southeastern Conference Championships’ crown.

 

This is the eighth consecutive year these two perennial NCAA-bound programs meet in regular-season action. In that span, Florida owns a 5-2 advantage in regular-season action and the two programs are even at 7-7 in all meetings since 2005. Utah is the only program in the nation to appear in all 30 of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships and Florida has appeared in all but one, missing only the 2000 event.

 

This is the seventh straight meet which Florida will face a team among the top-20 national rankings. On Jan. 27, the Gators defeated then No. 1 Arkansas, then No. 24 Maryland and Bridgeport. The Gators lost at defending NCAA champion and then No. 6 Alabama on Feb. 3 and defeated then No. 14 LSU on Feb. 10 in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center. The Gators took the win at then No. 17 Auburn on Feb. 17, against No. T-3 Georgia on Feb. 24 and at then No. 6 Nebraska on March 4.

 

Florida finished its regular-season road schedule with a come-from-behind win at then No. 6 Nebraska on March 4 in front of a Bob Devaney Center crowd of 2,472. The Gators took the win with a total of 196.95 and Nebraska posted a final total of 196.825. The Gators trailed Nebraska through each of the first three rotations and NU owned a slender 0.05 lead heading into the final event. Florida posted a 49.325 on their final event, the balance beam, to move past the Cornhuskers for the win. Two event titles were claimed by Gators. All-Americans Ashanée Dickerson and Alaina Johnson were among the day's vault winners at 9.90. Junior All-American Marissa King anchored the beam set with a 9.925 to claim her third consecutive beam win.

 

Utah saw its seven-meet win streak come to an end with a 197.60-197.45 home loss to No. 6 Nebraska last Friday in front of a Huntsman Center crowd of 14,423. The Utes turned in their season-best total of 197.55 in its Jan. 27 home win over BYU – a score which elevated Utah to the top of the national rankings, where the Utes stayed for three consecutive weeks. Sophomore Corrie Lothrop, alternate for the 2008 U.S. Olympic team and former Hill’s Gymnastics club teammate of Florida’s Kytra Hunter, owns the Utes’ season-best all-around total of 39.575, set on Jan. 27. The Utes are led by co-head coaches Greg and Megan Marsden.

 

 

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