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Florida claimed the program's 12th NCAA Regional title Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.

Saturday April 7, 2012No. 1 Florida Gymnastics Wins NCAA Regional - Top Seed for NCAA Championships

RALEIGH, N.C.

Florida claimed the program's 12th NCAA Regional title Saturday in Raleigh, N.C.

photos by Hugh Harling

 

It’s on to the NCAA Championships for the No. 1 University of Florida gymnastics team after claiming the Raleigh Regional meet title Saturday evening in front of 2,265 at theReynolds Coliseum on North Carolina State’s campus. The NCAA Championships are set for April 20-22 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga., and Florida will be the top seed.

 

This will be 30th national championships appearance for the Gators, missing only the 2000 meet in the 31-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships.

 

Gator Event Winners Saturday

Vault

9.95

Ashanée Dickerson

 

 

Alaina Johnson

Uneven Bars

9.90

Ashanée Dickerson

 

 

Alaina Johnson

Balance Beam

9.925

Marissa King

Floor Exercise

9.95

Kytra Hunter

All-Around

39.65

Ashanée Dickerson

The Gators posted a 197.325 Saturday to bring the program’s total number of regional wins to an even dozen. Ohio State was second at 196.225 to claim the other NCAA Championships’ berth, which will be the Buckeyes first national championship appearance since 1990. NC State was third at 195.975, followed by Penn State (195.65), North Carolina (194.025) and Kent State (193.575).

 

At the Southeastern Conference Championships, the Gators won the title, but there were some areas that needed some polishing as the team continued in the championship portion of their season. Florida coach Rhonda Faehn liked that her team showed some improvements, but also acknowledged there are still some areas that will be focused on in the upcoming training sessions.

 

“I think our main focus was just coming in here to compete aggressively and to correct the problems we had at SECs. I think we accomplished that,” Faehn said. “I’m happy with the results and the way the team carried themselves and performed and I’m happy that we have some things to work on when we get home.”

 

Four of the meet’s top six all-arounders were Gators. Junior All-American Ashanée Dickerson used her season-best total of 39.65 to claim her third all-around title of 2012. It is also her second regional all-around win, as she used her collegiate-best total of 39.70 to take the NCAA North Central title in 2010.

 

Sophomore All-American Alaina Johnson was second at 39.55, while junior All-American Marissa King was fourth at 39.325 and freshman Kytra Hunter took sixth at 39.25.

 

At least a share of each of the four event titles went to a Gator. Dickerson shared the vault title with Johnson as each turned in collegiate-best marks of 9.95. It is the fifth time for each to post a 9.95 on vault. Hunter also turned in a 9.90 to tie for fourth on the event.

 

Dickerson and Johnson again combined to share the uneven bars title, as they each posted a 9.90 on the event in Florida’s opening rotation. They shared the event title with NC State’s Rachel Fincham. The win pushes Johnson’s career total of bar titles to 12 while Dickerson earns her third of the season. Sophomore Mackenzie Caquatto shared fourth overall at 9.85.

 

King anchored the Gators’ balance beam lineup with her winning mark of 9.925 – her sixth beam mark of 9.925 or higher in the last eight meets. It was her eighth beam win of 2012 and the 10th of her career. Dickerson was second at 9.90 while Johnson and junior Randy Stageberg were among a five-way tie for third at 9.85.

 

Hunter used a 9.95 to pick up her seventh title of the season on the event. It was her fifth floor exercise mark of 9.95 or higher this season. Dickerson was second at 9.90, while Johnson was among a four-way tie for third at 9.85.

 

Uneven bars was the starting event for the top-seeded team at each of the nation’s six regional sites. Faehn like the way the Gators opened competition on that event and carried that focus throughout the meet.

 

“I’m really pleased. They did a great job starting out aggressively on bars. We were able to stick three of the landings and carry that energy and momentum to the beam,” she said. “Beam I thought was lights out. We had two wobbly routines but the other four were magnificent. So that helped keep the energy up.

 

“We had a few little things on floor, like going out of bounds. We were happy to see some of the things improved upon from SECs. Alaina landed her last pass so much better. Marissa, even though she went out of bounds on her first pass, she corrected her second and third pass. Ashanée was just on fire tonight. She nailed her passes and hit the last one without even a lunge,” she said. “Vault was a wonderful way to finish. Tonight and probably SECs were our best vault sets of the season.”

 

For Dickerson, she pointed to a key factor present tonight that seems to be a boost for this team’s performances.

 

“We had a lot fun with each other,” Dickerson said. “I think that helped us perform to the best of our ability tonight.’

 

Next up, the Gators await the NCAA’s announcement Monday of team assignments for the two April 20 NCAA semifinal sessions.

 

The National Qualifying Score (NQS) determines the pairings for day one of the team competition at the NCAA Championships. The NQS is calculated by adding a team's regional qualifying score (RQS) and score from the regional meet. Teams are ranked 1 to 12 based on the NQS. Teams 1, 4, 5, 8, 9 and 12 will be placed in one semifinal and teams 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11 placed in the other.

 

The top three from each of the semifinal sessions advance to the NCAA Super Six on April 21 where the national team champion will be determined.

 

Florida at NCAA Raleigh Region Championships

Final Team Totals

April 7, 2012 ● Reynolds Coliseum (2,265)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.550

49.300

49.200

49.275

197.325

Ohio State

49.225

49.125

48.925

48.950

196.225

NC State

49.125

49.100

48.625

49.125

195.975

Penn State

49.225

49.050

48.325

49.050

195.650

North Carolina

49.025

47.600

48.775

48.625

194.025

Kent State

48.900

48.325

48.350

48.000

193.575

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2012NCAA Championship Field

Seed

School

Region Score

RQS

NQS

Region Champion

1

Florida

197.325

197.445

394.77

X

2

UCLA

197.225

197.270

394.495

X

3

Oklahoma

197.025

197.360

394.385

X

4

Alabama

197.025

197.245

394.27

X

5

Georgia

197.100

196.995

394.095

X

6

Nebraska

196.525

197.030

393.555

 

7

Utah

196.825

196.705

393.53

X

8

Arkansas

196.825

196.545

393.37

 

9

Oregon State

196.450

196.760

393.21

 

10

Stanford

196.675

196.410

393.085

 

11

L.S.U.

196.075

196.570

392.645

 

12

Ohio State

196.225

196.245

392.47

 

Shading denotes teams in Florida’s semifinal session

 

 

Gator Notes:

● Florida owns 12 NCAA Region team titles – (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) .

● Ashanée Dickerson wins all-around with a season-best 39.65. Second NCAA Region title for Dickerson, as she won the 2010 NCAA North Central all-around with a collegiate-best 39.70.

● Florida’s vault total of 49.55 is UF’s second-highest of 2012 and third-highest in the program’s history.

● Both Ashanée Dickerson and Alaina Johnson matched their collegiate-best of 9.95 for the fifth time each to share the regional vault title.

● The last time Florida claimed at least of share of each NCAA Regional event title was in 2008. The 2008 winners were All-Americans Amanda Castillo (floor), Ashley Reed (vault, beam), Melanie Sinclair (all-around, vault, bars, floor) and Nicole Willis (floor).

● Kiersten Wang made her first appearance in the Gators’ vault lineup since Jan. 13, upping her collegiate-best by 0.125 to 9.875.

● Florida has won the NCAA Regional team title in seven of the 10 season under Rhonda Faehn.

● The Gators’ winning total of 197.325 led each of the nation’s six regional sites. Ashanée Dickerson’s all-around total of 39.65 also topped the six regional sites.

● Florida will enter the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed. The only other time Florida entered the NCAA Championships as the top seed was in 2007 when the Gators shared the No. 1 position with Utah.

 

 

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