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The No. 1 Gator gymnasts compete Saturday in the Raleigh Regional.

Wednesday April 4, 2012No. 1 Gator Gymnasts Look for NCAA berth Saturday at Raleigh Regional

Gainesville, Fla.

The No. 1 Gator gymnasts compete Saturday in the Raleigh Regional.

The No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (17-1, 5-1 SEC) looks for a top-two team finish at Saturday’s NCAA Regional to send the Gators to their 30th NCAA Championships. Start time is set for 4 p.m. ET at the Raleigh Regional, which will be held at NC State’s Reynolds Coliseum.


Saturday’s Meet Info:

No. 1 Florida (17-1, 5-1 SEC) at Raleigh Region Championships

Date & Time: Saturday, April 7 at 4 p.m. ET
Site: Reynolds Coliseum (8,560) – Raleigh Regional Meet Info

Television: none

UF NCAA Region Titles (all-time): UF has won 11 NCAA region titles (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)

Series Records (all-time): First meeting between Florida and Kent State; UF leads North Carolina 18-1; UF leads NC State 25-1; UF leads Ohio State 12-0; UF leads Penn State 28-13

Internet: live video available on Videos; live stats available on

Twitter: Follow the Gators’ results at Raleigh Regional Championships’ via GatorZoneGym

Tickets: Range in price from $10-6. Visit NC State site to purchase tickets or call 919-865-1510

Six regional competitions across the nation are set for Saturday. What the teams are vying for at each of the six NCAA Regional sites is a top-two finish, which advances those teams to the NCAA Championships, set for April 20-22 in Duluth, Ga. The 12-team NCAA Championships' field competes in two semifinal sessions of six teams each on April 20. The top three teams in each session advance to the April 21 NCAA Super Six, where the team champion is determined. Florida has advanced to the NCAA Championships 29 times in the meet's 30-year history, missing only the 2000 event.


The Raleigh Regional’s six-team field contains four ranked in the nation’s current top-25 – No. 1 Florida, No. 12 Ohio State, No. 13 Penn State and No. 20 NC State. Rounding out the field are No. 26 Kent State and No. 31 North Carolina. Two NCAA Raleigh Region teams advanced to the 2011 NCAA Championships – Florida and Kent State. The NCAA began seeding regional fields in 1999 and UF has been a region's top seed in each of the last seven years. A team ranked No. 1-6, No. 7-12 and No. 13-18 are part of each regional. Florida won six consecutive NCAA Regional titles from 2005-10.


Florida will open competition Saturday on the uneven bars. This is the fourth time since the NCAA went to national seeding for regional competition in 1999 that Florida opens regional competition on uneven bars. Florida is ranked No. 1 nationally in the latest uneven bars and balance beam rankings.


In Florida’s last meet, the Gators built momentum as the meet progressed to claim the program’s eighth Southeastern Conference Championship at The Arena at Gwinnett Center on March 24. Florida took the lead after posting its highest event total ever in SEC Championships’ competition – 49.525 – on vault in the team’s third event. The Gators finished competition on the uneven bars, where they turned in a meet-high total of 49.375. Florida also equaled Georgia for the evening’s high beam total of 49.05.


Kytra Hunter, who picked up Florida’s third consecutive SEC Freshman of the Year honor, claimed both the all-around (39.625) and vault (9.975) titles. Her total shared the high among the nation’s all-arounders in conference championship competition and it was her fifth all-around win this season. She is the first Gator to win the all-around since Kristen Guise in 1995 and is now the third UF freshman to claim the league’s top all-around spot (Elfi Schlegel/1983 and Lynn McDonnell/1981). Sophomore Alaina Johnson claimed the SEC uneven bars title with her mark of 9.925. It is her fifth bars win of the season and first SEC career event crown as she was runner-up in 2011 league all-around and bars competition. Both Hunter and Johnson appear on the All-SEC first team. Two Gators earned All-SEC second-team honors for their runner-up event finishes – Mackenzie Caquatto (uneven bars/9.90) and Marissa King (vault/9.925). Rhonda Faehn shared the SEC Coach of the Year honor. It is her fifth such honor in her 10 seasons with the Gator program.


At the 2011 NCAA North Central Regional meet in Denver, Colo., Florida was second to Arkansas 196.55-196.425 to claim a NCAA Championships’ berth. Johnson won the all-around title (39.525) and shared the vault crown with teammate Ashanée Dickerson at 9.90. Caquatto matched her collegiate-best of 9.95 to take the uneven bars title.



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