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Florida looks this weekend to become the fifth team to claim the NCAA Championship trophy

Wednesday April 18, 2012No. 1 Gator Gymnasts compete for the NCAA Championship this weekend

DULUTH, Ga. -

Florida looks this weekend to become the fifth team to claim the NCAA Championship trophy

The No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (17-1, 5-1 SEC) looks to become the fifth team to raise the national trophy this weekend at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. The three days of competition will take place in The Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. This is the second consecutive year the event will be contested away from a campus site. The 2011 NCAA Championships held in the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio, was the first.

 

NCAA Championship Information:

No. 1 seed Florida at NCAA Championships

Date & Time: April 20-22, 2012

 

Friday, April 20

Team Semifinal

Semifinal I – noon (ET)

UCLA, LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Stanford, Utah

Live video stream

 

Session II – 6 p.m. (ET)

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Ohio State, Oregon State

Live video stream

 

Saturday, April 21 @ 4 p.m. ET

NCAA Super Six (team final)

Live video stream on ESPN3

 

Sunday, April 22 @ 1 p.m. ET

Individual Event Finals

Live video stream on ESPN3

 

Site: The Arena at Gwinnett Center (13,000)

Official Meet Website: NCAA Championship info

 

Television: meet airs tape-delayed on ESPNU May 2 at 8:30 p.m.

 

Internet: -live streaming video links

April 20 - NCAA.com

April 21 & April 22 - ESPN3

 

live stats available on http://www.gatorzone.com/ or NCAA.com

 

Twitter: Follow the Gators’ results at NCAA Championships’ via GatorZoneGym

 

Tickets: Range in price from $25-$18. Visit The Arena at Gwinnett Center site to purchase tickets or call 770-813-7600.

The 12-team field narrows to six on Friday, April 20 after two NCAA Semifinal sessions. Florida appears in the evening session of the NCAA Championships’ semifinal competition at 6 p.m. (ET). Semifinal II contains four of the five Southeastern Conference teams which advanced to the 2012 NCAA Championships – Florida, Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia – along with Ohio State and Oregon State.

 

Semifinal I (which begins at noon ET Friday) consists of three conference champions - Pacific 12 Conference champion UCLA, Big 12 Conference champion Oklahoma and Big 10 champion Nebraska – along with LSU, Stanford and Utah.

 

The top three teams from each of Friday’s semifinal sessions compete in Saturday’s Super Six, where the NCAA team champion is determined. In the 30-year history of the NCAA Championships, only Alabama, UCLA, Georgia and Utah have claimed the team title. Since the two-day format of determining the NCAA champion began in 1993, Florida has made nine appearances in the NCAA Super Six, including six of the last eight years. The Gators recorded their top NCAA finish of second in 1998.

 

This is the second time in Florida’s 30 NCAA Championship appearances that it is the top seed, as UF shared the No. 1 seed with Utah in 2007.

 

Florida is hoping a more tempered approach to this season will enable the Gators to be at their best during the championship portion of the campaign. The team claimed both the Southeastern Conference and NCAA Raleigh Regional team titles earlier this season. Five of the nation’s top 15 team scores of 2012 belong to the Gators, including three of the top five – 197.90 (2nd), 197.85 (3rd) and 197.775 (4th).

 

In Florida’s last outing, the Gators raised their total of NCAA Regional titles to 12 by winning the Raleigh Regional. Florida’s total of 197.325 led each of the nation’s six regional sites and helped earn the Gators' the top seed for the NCAA Championships.

 

Junior Ashanée Dickerson won the all-around with the nation’s top total in 2012 regional competition, 39.65, which also stands as her season best. A Gator picked up at least a share of each apparatus title. Dickerson and sophomore Alaina Johnson shared both the vault (9.95) and uneven bars titles (9.90). Their vault mark equals their collegiate-best for the fifth time for each gymnast. Junior Marissa King used her sixth mark of 9.925 or better this season to take the balance beam win (9.925) and freshman Kytra Hunter used a 9.95 to take her seventh floor exercise title. She has turned in a 9.95 or better on floor five times this season.

 

At the 2011 NCAA Championships, Florida just missed advancing to the Super Six after finishing fourth in its NCAA Semifinal session. The team took seventh overall. Three returning Gators earned All-America honors in 2011. King is the defending NCAA vault champion and also appeared in the NCAA floor exercise final. Johnson earned All-America first team honors for vault, uneven bars and floor exercise to become just the second Gator ever to advance to the NCAA finals in three events in a single year. Dickerson added three All-America second-team honors in 2011 – all-around, balance beam and floor.

 

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