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No. 1 Gators looks to become the first league school since 2006 to claim consecutive SEC Gymnastics titles this Saturday

Wednesday March 20, 2013No. 1 Gator Gymnasts Head to Southeastern Conference Championships

Gainesville, Fla.

No. 1 Gators looks to become the first league school since 2006 to claim consecutive SEC Gymnastics titles this Saturday

The No. 1 Florida gymnastics team (8-2, 6-1 SEC) looks to defends its league title this Saturday at the highly competitive Southeastern Conference Championships. Competition is set for Saturday, March 23 in the Verizon Arena in North Little Rock, Ark.

 

Saturdayís Meet Info:

No. 1 Florida (8-2, 6-1 SEC) at Southeastern Conference Championships

 

Date & Time: Saturday, March 23 at 3 p.m. ET (seeds 5-8) and 7 p.m. ET (seeds 1-4 including Florida)

Site: Verizon Arena (18,000)

 

Television: meet airs tape delayed on ESPNU (March 28 at 5:30 p.m.) and on ESPN (March 30 at 7 p.m.)

 

Florida in the SEC: Florida owns eight Southeastern Conference team titles Ė 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2007, 2010 and 2012.

 

Internet: live stats available on GatorZone.com

 

Tickets: range in price from $25 to $4. Visit the SEC Championships Ticket site for further information.

Every league championship since 2001 has been held on a neutral site. This is second time the SEC Championships have appeared in Little Rock, with Florida claiming the 2007 title in the eventís first appearance in the Arkansas capital.

 

With the addition of Missouri to the league, the format for the SEC Championships is now two four-team sessions. Teams seeded No. 5-8 (based on March 18 regional qualifying scores) compete in Saturdayís opening session at 3 p.m. ET followed by seeds 1-4 at 7 p.m. ET. Scores from the two sessions are combined to determine the team and event champions. As the top seed in the evening session, Florida earned the Olympic rotation (vault-bars-beam-floor) for Saturdayís competition.

 

Four of the nationís top-10 teams (No. 1 Florida, No. 3 Alabama, No. 5 Georgia and No. 6 LSU) are among the eight-team SEC field. This is the 16th time a league team has brought the No. 1 ranking into the SEC meet and the fourth time UF has brought the top ranking (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013). Of the nationís top 20 team scores posted this season, 12 came from SEC programs, including eight of the top 11. In addition, an all-around total of 39.60 or above has been posted 29 times this season among the nationís collegiate gymnasts. Of the 15 different gymnasts represented on the list, a SEC gymnast owns 11 of the marks.

 

Florida and Alabama have taken the last four SEC meet titles, with Florida claiming the even years (2010, 2012) and Alabama taking the last two odd numbered years (2009, 2011). The Gators picked up their eighth league crown in Duluth, Ga., on March 24, 2012, edging Alabama 197.15-196.775.

 

This is the eighth consecutive year that the SEC Championships will be contested on podium. This same podium was used for each of the last three NCAA Championships, including 2010 in Gainesville, Fla. It also makes the trip to the West Coast next month to serve as the 2013 NCAA Championshipsí podium.

 

The nationís top road score of 2013 wasnít enough for Florida, as the Gators finished 2013 regular-season action with a 198.125-197.875 loss at No. 7 Utah in front of a Huntsman Center crowd of 14,903 on March 16. The meet did produce two of the nationís top five totals of 2013, as Utahís score stands third and the Gatorsí total is No. 5 overall and the nationís season-high road score. The meet also produced high all-around totals, as freshman Bridget Sloan shared her fourth all-around win with Utahís Georgia Dabritz as both turned in the nationís third-highest total of 39.70. Sophomore Kytra Hunter shared third with her all-around total of 39.65. Hunter posted her sixth 9.975 in her last 12 team vault performances to claim that event title. Sloan equaled her collegiate bars best of 9.975 to take second and claimed her fourth balance beam title at 9.95.

 

After her fourth all-around win with the nationís leading all-around score of the weekend (39.70), Sloan picked up her second SEC Gymnast of the Week honor on March 19. It is her second such honor of the season and Sloan is also a four-time recipient of the SEC Freshman of the Week award. In eight of the 11 weeks of the regular season, at least one Gator gymnast has been honored as the SEC Gymnast, Specialist or Freshman of the Week.

 

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