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Gator seniors Marissa King (left), Ashanée Dickerson, Dali Lemezan and Randy Stageberg were honored Friday post-meet.

Friday March 1, 2013No. 2 Florida Gymnastics Use Nation's Top Total to Take Senior Night Win over No. 14 Minnesota

Gainesville, Fla.

Gator seniors Marissa King (left), Ashanée Dickerson, Dali Lemezan and Randy Stageberg were honored Friday post-meet.

The nation’s leading team total gave the No. 2 Florida gymnastics team (8-1, 6-1 SEC) the win over No. 14 Minnesota (12-3, 4-1 Big 10) Friday night in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 3,843. Florida’s total of 198.425 set the school record and tops the nation’s previous 2013 high of 198.375 set by No. 1 Oklahoma last Friday. The Golden Gophers posted a season-best 197.175.

 

Florida Event Winners Friday

Vault

Kytra Hunter

9.975

Uneven Bars:

Mackenzie Caquatto

9.975

Balance Beam

Bridget Sloan

9.975

Floor Exercise

Marissa King

9.975

All-Around

Kytra Hunter

39.80

Nationally all-time, Florida’s score equals the eighth-highest posted and is the highest team score which doesn’t include a 10.0. The Gators are the only team to break the 198 barrier twice in 2013, as they turned in a 198.10 versus Alabama on Feb. 8.

 

The Florida-Minnesota meet airs tape-delayed on SUN Sports on March 10 at 9 a.m.

 

Near perfection came for Florida on every event. A Gator earned the nearly-perfect mark of 9.975 on each of the four events.

 

The first Gator to earn a 9.975 was sophomore All-American Kytra Hunter on vault. The 2012 NCAA vault champion, Friday’s mark was Hunter’s fifth 9.975 on the event in the last 11 team competitions. The win was her fourth this season on the event.

 

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Friday was Senior Night and the careers and contributions of Dali Lemezan (left), Marissa King, Randy Stageberg, Ashanée Dickerson and manager Ashley Kerr were celebrated in a post-meet ceremony.

 

It was the 50th team meet the quartet of gymnasts took part in during their Gator career, contributing 480 routines.

It was junior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto’s turn to earn the mark on the Gators’ next rotation, the uneven bars. Mackenzie posted a 10.0 on the event in January to equal the school record. She is the eighth Gator to earn a 9.975 on the uneven bars.

 

The next Gator to earn the mark was freshman Bridget Sloan, upping her collegiate balance beam best from a 9.925 to 9.975. Her performance led a stellar beam set by the Gators, as Mackenzie Caquatto earned a 9.95 and Hunter equaled her collegiate-best of 9.925 as the team turned in a school-record and matched the nation’s top beam total of 49.60.

 

Florida wasn’t done with its assault on its record book, as the Gators tallied a school-record and the nation’s top floor exercise total of 49.70. Senior All-American Marissa King became the fourth different Gator to earn a 9.975 Friday to equal her collegiate-best mark on the event.

 

A pair of 9.95s from Hunter and senior All-American Ashanée Dickerson, as well as pair of collegiate-bests equaled by Sloan (9.925) and senior Randy Stageberg (9.90) boosted the score to the team’s all-time floor high.

 

It was Senior Night Friday and the three Gator seniors who made up half of Florida’s floor lineup performed well on this emotional evening. King’s ability to perform in front of her family who made the more the 4,300 mile journey from Cambridge, England, to celebrate Senior Night with her made the performance particularly memorable.

 

All-Time National Top 15 Team Scores*

 

 

Score

School

Opponent

Date

# of 10.0

1

198.875

UCLA

Oregon State

2/22/04

4

 

198.875

Stanford

California

2/20/04

4

3

198.600

Utah

BYU

3/19/04

3

4

198.575

UCLA

Washington

2/9/03

2

 

198.575

Georgia

NCAA Regional

4/4/98

2

6

198.475

Georgia

Michigan

3/8/97

4

7

198.450

Arizona State

Eastern Michigan

3/5/04

3

8

198.425

Florida

Minnesota

3/1/13

0

 

198.425

Utah

BYU

3/23/02

0

10

198.400

UCLA

Arizona State

2/16/03

4

11

198.375

Oklahoma

UCLA

2/22/13

0

 

198.375

Georgia

NCSt/GWU

3/20/99

3

 

198.375

Georgia

SEC Championships

3/22/97

2

14

198.350

UCLA

Michigan, Minnesota, CS Fullerton

3/3/02

5

15

198.325

UCLA

Michigan

3/7/04

3

Compiled from team’s media guides – contact UF Communications

with any additions

 “I was very happy. I love doing that routine. I had a lot of fun,” King said. “It was funny because my family was waiting down on the floor area and my brother was like ‘Go ‘Rissa go!’ It was so nice having them there so close, to be there on the floor and feel the atmosphere and everything and how it is for when we compete. That was really nice - it really touched at my emotions too.”

 

Florida’s three all-around competitors turned in totals which rank among the nation’s best of 2013, with the top two turning in the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 totals of the season. Hunter, the defending NCAA all-around champion, posted the nation’s leading total of 39.80 – a tally which equals the Gator record set by 11-time and Gator Athletic Hall of Fame member Kristen Guise in 1996. Sloan was runner-up with her 39.75 which stands second among the nation’s all-arounders. Dickerson took third at 39.55.

 

Florida was a bit stung in last Friday’s meet, earning the win versus Kentucky but was forced to count a fall on beam. This past week’s training focused on the coaching staff’s challenge to sharpen the execution level, a task the Gators clearly rose to.

 

“It was really incredible. As a coaching staff, we really challenged our team after our last home meet. That was not what they were capable of and this is now go time. The resting was over and now they needed to dig deep to do a gut check and find the passion and to be there for one another,” UF head coach Rhonda Faehn said. “That was what I saw tonight on every event, the energy and their excitement. The ones weren’t competing were so loud and that was really nice to see.”

 

Friday’s team score is in rare air, but there is still work to do, Faehn said.

 

“We’re still not there. It was great tonight. We got a lot of landings, we hit, we went 24 for 24, but we can still be sharper, we can get more landings and we can still be crisper,” Faehn said. “That’s where the next four weeks comes in, is the fine-tuning.”

 

Faehn rarely gets to watch much of the competition’s routines, but tonight she was able to catch several of the Minnesota routines and was impressed with what she saw.

 

“The quality of gymnastics and the level of execution of the Minnesota routines was impressive. They are definitely a team in strong contention for a spot in the NCAA Championships’ 12-team field,” Faehn said. “They showed great quality gymnastics.”

 

The Gators now have a week off before heading west to face perennial power No. 8 Utah (9-1-1, 4-1-1 Pac-12) on Saturday, March 16 at 8 p.m. ET. That meet airs live on the Pac-12 Network.

 

No. 2 Florida versus No. 14 Minnesota

Final Team Totals

March 1, 2013 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (3,843)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.450

49.675

49.600

49.700

198.425

Minnesota

49.425

48.975

49.325

49.450

197.175

 

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