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Kytra Hunter added the NCAA vault title to her all-around crown on Sunday.

Sunday April 22, 2012Florida Gymnast Kytra Hunter is 2012 NCAA Vault Champion

DULUTH, Ga.

Kytra Hunter added the NCAA vault title to her all-around crown on Sunday.

University of Florida freshman Kytra Hunter collected her second event title of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships with her vault win Sunday in the individual event finals held in The Arena at Gwinnett Center. Hunter became the first Gator to win the NCAA all-around title on Friday evening and she is the only Gator to claim two event titles in a single year. In the 31-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships, Hunter is the fifth to claim multiple NCAA titles as a freshman.

 

Did You Know…

Kytra Hunter is the fifth gymnast in the 31-year history of the NCAA Gymnastics Championships to win multiple NCAA event titles as a freshman.

 

Name

School

Year

NCAA Event Titles

Kytra Hunter

Florida

2012

AA, V

Courtney Kupets

Georgia

2006

AA, UB, BB

Kate Richardson

UCLA

2003

UB, BB

Theresa Kulikowski

Utah

1999

AA, BB

Hope Spivey

Georgia

1991

AA, V, FX

Her win keeps the vault title in Gainesville as junior Marissa King claimed the 2011 title in Cleveland, Ohio. This is the fourth time a Gator has picked up the vault title as Susan Hines was the 1997 and 1998 titlist.

 

Hunter was one of five Gators in Sunday’s event finals. She also tied for fourth in the floor exercise final with her mark of 9.925. King, appearing in her third consecutive NCAA vault final, took fifth with her average of 9.7875. Junior Ashanée Dickerson, making her second appearance in the NCAA floor final, shared sixth overall at 9.90. Sophomores Mackenzie Caquatto and Alaina Johnson each appeared in the NCAA uneven bars final. Caquatto tied for sixth at 9.825 and Johnson, after some trouble early in her routine, took eighth at 9.4875.

 

Both Hunter and King held an advantage over most of the 10 gymnasts entered Sunday’s event final. The format for the NCAA vault final requires the competitors to perform two different vaults. During the course of the regular season, the gymnasts perform only one vault so few train a second vault. A plus for both Gators in the vault competition was both could perform two different 10.0 value vaults.

 

Hunter, performing as the last competitor in the vault final, earned a 9.95 for the vault she competed all season, a Yurchenko one and a half. She earned a 9.80 for her Yurchenko full to give her the winning average of 9.875. Alabama’s Diandra Milliner was the vault runner-up at 9.825.

 

http://www.gatorzone.com/gallery/photos/1997/Event_finalists_0634_2x2.jpg

Florida’s five representatives in Sunday’s NCAA Individual Event Finals was the second-highest total among programs at the 2012 NCAA Championships. From left: Mackenzie Caquatto, Alaina Johnson, Marissa King, Ashanée Dickerson and Kytra Hunter.

One of just a handful of collegiate gymnasts regularly performing the considered more difficult Yurchenko one and a half vault, Hunter finds the more commonly seen Yurchenko full a bit unnerving.

 

“I don’t train it at all. But in the last week, we’ve been doing one or two in practice. I’m really scared of that vault (Yurchenko full). With the one and a half, I can spot my landing but that is harder for me to do with the full,” Hunter said. “I just went out there and did whatever I could. I’m honored that I can represent the University of Florida and bring back another title.”

Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn thought Hunter handled the two vault requirement very well.

 

“She was just amazing once again. She went out there and did exactly what she wanted to do in one vault. Her first vault was gorgeous once again and then for her to come out and do the second different vault pretty well is great because we just don’t train it all year long. For her to come away with the vault title is really something special for her to add to her all-around title.”

 

King was the only competitor Sunday performing Tsukahara vaults. King’s first vault — a Tsukahara one and a half — earned a 9.775 and her second – a Tsukahara full — earned a 9.80, to give her an average of 9.7875.

 

Earning a spot in the vault final was a credit to King’s ability on the event, as a groin pull limited King’s training following the team’s April 7 regional win. The first vaults King performed since regionals were during the team’s podium training on Thursday.

 

“It was a little bit tough today,” King said. “I landed a little bit low, but I had fun and it was great coming out here to compete today.”

 

Both Hunter and Dickerson turned in solid floor performances Sunday. Dickerson, who stuck her final two tumbling passes cold, said she had fun playing to the crowd and to her teammates Sunday.

 

“I felt like I had a good performance,” Dickerson said. “I had a lot of fun with the crowd and my teammates in the corner. They really boosted me.”

 

Caquatto made her first appearance in the NCAA event finals Sunday and said she enjoyed the experience. She said she could tell adrenaline was fueling the Gators’ performances on this final day of the meet.

 

Florida’s NCAA Event Champions

Name

Event

Year

Score

Kytra Hunter

All-Around

2012

39.725

 

Vault

2012

9.8750

Marissa King

Vault

2011

9.8750

Betsy Hamm

Balance Beam

1998

9.8750

Susan Hines

Vault

1998

9.8625

 

Vault

1997

9.8875

Maria Anz

Floor Exercise

1984

9.7000

 “I was pretty happy with my performance today. I went out there and did the best I could, so I don’t regret that,” Caquatto said. “I think everyone just had a lot of fun. It was our third day in a row competing so we were a little bit tired but everyone got their adrenaline going and did the best they could.”

 

Faehn thought the five Gator first-team All-Americans did well Sunday.

 

“All of our athletes did a great job today,” Faehn said. “It is exhausting and it is tough to do after two days of really rigorous competition. To come out on the third day and perform the way they did is a credit to them. They represented Florida extremely well.”

 

Georgia’s Kat Ding claimed her second consecutive NCAA uneven bars title at 9.9875 and also took the floor exercise win at 9.95. Alabama senior Geralen Stack-Eaton kept all the 2012 NCAA event titles in the Southeastern Conference with her balance beam win at 9.9375.

 

The NCAA Individual Event Finals signaled the end of the 2012 NCAA Gymnastics Championships. The 2013 NCAA Championships are set for April 19-21 in Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif.

 

2012 NCAA Gymnastics Individual Event Finals Results

April 22, 2012 – The Arena at Gwinnett Center

Vault

Place

Gymnast

Team

Score

1

Kytra Hunter

University of Florida

9.8750

2

Diandra Milliner

University of Alabama

9.8250

3

Kat Ding

University of Georgia

9.8125

4

Marissa Gutierrez

University of Alabama

9.8063

5

Marissa King

University of Florida

9.7875

6

Janelle Giblin

University of Nebraska

9.7625

7

Lindsey Cheek

University of Georgia

9.7313

7

Rheagan Courville

Louisiana State University

9.7313

9

Kailah Delaney

University of Utah

9.7000

10

Georgia Dabritz

University of Utah

8.7938

 

Uneven Bars

Place

Gymnast

Team

Score

1

Kat Ding

University of Georgia

9.9875

2

Sami Shapiro

Stanford University

9.9000

3

Olivia Courtney

University of California Los Angeles

9.8875

4

Brie Olson

University of Oklahoma

9.8750

5

Vanessa Zamarripa

University of California Los Angeles

9.8500

6

Mackenzie Caquatto

University of Florida

9.8250

6

Aisha Gerber

University of California Los Angeles

9.8250

8

Alaina Johnson

University of Florida

9.4875

 

Balance Beam

Place

Gymnast

Team

Score

1

Geralen Stack-Eaton

University of Alabama

9.9375

2

Megan Ferguson

University of Oklahoma

9.9250

3

Katie Matusik

University of Arizona

9.8875

4

Ivana Hong

Stanford University

9.8750

4

Amanda Spinner

Stanford University

9.8750

6

Katherine Grable

University of Arkansas

9.8625

7

Ashley Priess

University of Alabama

9.8500

7

Samantha Peszek

University of California Los Angeles

9.8500

7

Sara Stone

University of Oklahoma

9.8500

10

Emily Wong

University of Nebraska

9.8250

11

Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs

University of California Los Angeles

9.7750

12

Jaime Pisani

University of Arkansas

9.6875

 

Floor Exercise

Place

Gymnast

Team

Score

1

Kat Ding

University of Georgia

9.9500

2

Geralen Stack-Eaton

University of Alabama

9.9375

2

Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs

University of California Los Angeles

9.9375

4

Kytra Hunter

University of Florida

9.9250

4

Melanie Jones

Oregon State University

9.9250

6

Ashanée Dickerson

University of Florida

9.9000

6

Vanessa Zamarripa

University of California Los Angeles

9.9000

6

Jessie DeZiel

University of Nebraska

9.9000

9

Jaime Pisani

University of Arkansas

9.8625

9

Megan Ferguson

University of Oklahoma

9.8625

11

Rachel Updike

University of Missouri

8.4375

 

 

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