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Mackenzie Caquatto earned a 10.0 on the uneven bars Friday - the first 10.0 for Florida since 2009.

Friday January 18, 2013No. T3 Florida Gymnastics Ups Season Best to 197.30; Perfect 10.0 on Bars for Mackenzie Caquatto

Gainesville, Fla.

Mackenzie Caquatto earned a 10.0 on the uneven bars Friday - the first 10.0 for Florida since 2009.

A perfect 10.0 on uneven bars for junior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto highlighted No. T3 Florida gymnastics’ (2-1, 1-1 SEC) win Friday in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 5,753. The Gators turned in a season-best 197.30 while Missouri also posted a season-high total 194.625.

 

Florida’s Event Winners

Event      

Name

Score

Vault

Ashanée Dickerson

9.975

Uneven Bars

Mackenzie Caquatto

10.0

Balance Beam

Bridget Sloan

9.90

Floor Exercise

Ashanée Dickerson

9.90

All-Around

Ashanée Dickerson

39.575

Tonight’s meet will air tape-delayed on SUN Sports Jan. 27 at 9:30 a.m.

 

There were plenty of highlights Friday, as senior All-American Ashanée Dickerson, on her way to the 15th all-around win of her career at 39.575, came oh-so-close to the perfect mark with her collegiate vault best of 9.975. But on the next rotation, Dickerson said afterward, “I saw something I’ve never seen a teammate do before.”

 

That something was a perfect 10.0.

 

Mackenzie Caquatto’s 10.0 punctuated a stellar Gators’ bar set, as Florida’s total of 49.60 matches the fifth-highest total in the program’s history. Two other All-American teammates completed Florida’s sweep of the bars with Kytra Hunter’s collegiate-best 9.925 and Alaina Johnson’s 9.95.

 

Caquatto is the fifth Gator to earn the perfect mark on bars and the first since All-American Melanie Sinclair earned her third 10.0 in 2009.

 

The team’s positive mood, which started during warm-ups, helped Mackenzie control her nerves Friday.

 

“Tonight was really exciting. I think it all started from warm-ups because the whole team had a ton of energy. Everyone was goofing around and staying positive, which helped with the nerves,” she said. “Through the meet we kept up the energy. I think it helped everyone on everything and this was our best meet of the season.”

 

The routine is one she’ll have etched in her memory.

 

“That was a really great feeling. I was actually surprised. When I stuck the dismount, I knew it was one of the best routines I did and was happy I could contribute to the team,” she said. “It was a good moment and I will never forget it.”

 

For Florida Head Coach Rhonda Faehn, it was a delight to see Mackenzie have such success after her opening two seasons which often saw her fighting back from injuries.

 

“It’s really amazing because Macko is such a huge talent.  It was almost excruciatingly painful as a coach to watch her with her frustrations and her struggle with her injuries that were significant and knowing that she’s capable of so much more,” Faehn said. “I think it’s going to continue to help motivate her and give her confidence.”

 

Florida freshman Bridget Sloan picked up her first collegiate balance beam title Friday with her season-high mark of 9.90.

 

She had a miss on bars tonight, but kept Faehn’s words in mind to put the mistake behind before heading to the next event.

 

“Winning the beam felt really good especially when bars did not go as planned. Everyone makes mistakes and it was definitely not a mistake I wanted to make,” Sloan said. “I knew that when I came to beam my team was depending on me.”

 

“It was nice to have Rhonda’s assurance that things do happen, but making that comeback is really what it is all about and not letting your whole meet fall apart.”

 

Mackenzie Caquatto and Dickerson followed Sloan with marks of 9.85 to share second in the final beam standings.

 

Dickerson anchored Florida’s floor set with a 9.90 to take her first floor win of the season and the 15th of her career. With her three wins tonight, Dickerson now owns a total of 63 event titles which stands fifth on Florida’s all-time career list. She needs three more to move into a tie with Gator Athletics Hall of Fame member Ann Woods (1980-82) at 66.

 

Dickerson’s face showed the fun she was having on floor tonight. The exuberant Gator crowd and the off-the-mat boost from Sloan put her in that mindset.

 

“It was a lot of fun; I heard the crowd and they were really loud and that just made me want to dance even more,” Dickerson said. “And having Bridget (Sloan) in the corner with me dancing just helps me for my first pass and then seeing my teammates and the rest of the crowd going crazy is just exciting.”

 

Johnson was second on floor at 9.875 and senior All-America Marissa King took third at 9.85.

 

The Gators were coming off a loss last weekend at LSU. Dickerson said the team had some definite areas that needed improvement and tonight was a step in the right direction.

 

“We fought through everything. Coach Faehn told us that last week we didn’t fight as much and this week I felt that we fought a lot more for landings and trying not to make many mistakes and it just worked out,” Dickerson said. “We went out there and had fun. Because of the loss last week, we knew that if we just went out there and had fun then we could do our best.”

 

Faehn liked the way the Gators approached tonight’s competition.

 

“It was a really great night. I love that they took last week’s competition and turned it around in the training and had a different attitude of fight tonight,” Faehn said. “There were mistakes here and there, there were inconstancies, wobbles, but nobody really let it just completely affect their overall performance. Their energy stayed up.”

 

Florida finishes its three-meet stretch against Tiger teams, this time the No. 24 Auburn Tigers, on Friday, Jan. 25 for the popular Gators Link to Pink meet. The Gators Link to Pink meet is part of a Southeastern Conference initiative to help raise breast cancer awareness. Meet time is set for 7 p.m. and the first 2,000 fans receive a pink Gators Link to Pink t-shirt. Tickets for Friday’s meet are $4 for adults, while children 17 and under and UF students showing a Gator1 card are admitted free.

 

The Gators Link to Pink meet will air tape-delayed on ESPNU Jan. 31 at 6:30 p.m. and again on ESPN2 Feb. 3 at 6 p.m.

 

No. T3 Florida versus Missouri

Final Team Totals

Jan. 18, 2013 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (5,753)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.325

49.600

49.175

49.200

197.300

Missouri

48.925

48.800

48.375

48.525

194.625

 

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