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The Gators advanced to Saturday's Super Six with an impressive performance on Friday.

Friday April 19, 2013Sloan Sets Tone as Gators Gymnasts Advance to NCAA Super Six

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -

The Gators advanced to Saturday's Super Six with an impressive performance on Friday.

Scott Carter
By SCOTT CARTER
GatorZone.com Senior Writer

When the Gators signed Bridget Sloan the news received the kind of hoopla you might expect when a former World Champion gymnast decides to compete in college as her Olympic career nears an end.

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Bridget Sloan’s 39.60 topped the all-around competition in NCAA Championships’ competition. She is the second consecutive Gator to win the NCAA all-around. Kytra Hunter was the first to win the title in 2012.

We're not talking NFL Draft hoopla or Florida-Florida State week, but in gymnastics circles, Sloan's arrival at UF made headlines. People understood the possible ramifications on Florida's program.

No one had to tell Gators coach Rhonda Faehn what Sloan could mean to the Gators, national runner-up by a fraction to Alabama a year ago and still seeking to join Alabama, Georgia, Utah and UCLA as the only programs to win national titles.

"I was beyond thrilled that she came to Florida,'' Faehn said Friday.

You can see why after what Sloan did Friday.

Sloan helped the Gators advance to the Super Six for the seventh time in eight years, winning the NCAA Gymnastics Championships first semifinal with a score of 197.775. Second-place LSU scored 197.325 and third-place Georgia finished with a 197.150.

The SEC trio advances to Saturday's Super Six here at Pauley Pavilion to compete for the national title.

Florida's return back to the Super Six didn't start off as planned. The Gators opened Friday's competition on the floor routine. Soon that was literally the case.

Sophomore Kiersten Wang led off and on her second tumbling pass, Wang slipped and fell. The mistake was eerily reminiscent of two years ago in Cleveland when the Gators, considered a favorite to win the title, could not overcome two falls on the beam on their first rotation of the meet. The deficit was too much for Florida to overcome and it could not capture a Super Six berth.

The No. 1 overall seed in the 2013 field, the Gators had no such issues Friday, not with Sloan following Wang on floor.

Sloan scored a 9.900 after Wang's 8.825, quickly re-energizing the Gators.

"I loved how the team responded to that challenge,'' Faehn said.

"It really kind of brought us back to where we were when we were in warm-up -- just having fun and doing what we do,'' added Gators junior Mackenzie Caquatto. "We got a little bit nervous after Kiersten's routine. Obviously that's not how we wanted to start off. [Bridget] brought it right back and everyone after her followed and did exactly what they were supposed to do."

After Sloan's performance appeared to settle the nerves, the Gators stepped on the floor and one by one knocked out their routines in strong fashion. Ashanée Dickerson scored 9.825, Marissa King matched Sloan's 9.900, Kytra Hunter posted a 9.875, and Bridgette Caquatto finished with a 9.825, negating any chance of Wang's fall hurting the team's score.

"It was very uncharacteristic of Kiersten,'' Faehn said. "She has been a rock for us all year long. What I love is that Bridget didn't even hold back. She just nailed this gorgeous routine, one of the best she's done all year."

Watch NCAA Super Six

NCAA Super Six (team final)

Live Stats

ESPN3 Live Stream

 

Television: Meet airs tape-delayed on ESPNU April 30 at 8 p.m. ET

 

Sloan finished the first day of the meet with an all-around score of 39.600, tops in the Semifinal I field. She answered another potential trouble spot when sophomore Rachel Spicer wobbled to lead off the beam.

Spicer's difficulties cost on the scoreboard. She finished with a 9.400.

Instead of feeling more pressure, Sloan followed with another 9.900 score to stabilize the Gators.

Sloan enjoyed her moments to shine Friday, her first trip to California since an elbow injury cost her any chance of making the U.S. Olympic Team last summer in San Jose at the Olympic Trials.

She shed tears that day, knowing her final shot at the Olympics was over. She was all smiles and giggles after Friday's meet.

"Going up there and hitting that routine [on beam], it definitely feels good,'' Sloan said. "I was happy the spotlight was put on me. It was kind of a test but it was a good test. It was a test to see how much I wanted it and how much my team wanted it.

"We definitely are hungry for that national championship, but we realize that it's all going to come to us. If we can do our routines, then the outcome is going to be great for us no matter what."

The SEC Freshman of the Year performed like the veteran she is Friday, helping the Gators move on and proving why her arrival received so much ballyhoo.

Sloan is as comfortable on the big stage as Jack Nicholson courtside at a Lakers game.

"Her personality is so charismatic and everyone feeds off of it,'' Faehn said. "Most importantly I think what she brings is that really fun, light attitude, which is great to have around."

As the second semifinal began, the Gators departed Pauley Pavilion for some food and laughs at a nearby restaurant.

No doubt Sloan's performance was a topic of conversation.

"When I went out there for floor, I really wasn't too concerned,'' she said. "I knew that if I went out there and did what I had been training, it wasn't going to be a problem. I had the same faith in my team.

"It's not necessarily a situation I want to be in, but if I am put in that situation, you kind of have to go with it."

Go with it she did, taking the Gators back to the Super Six with her.

 

 

Florida in NCAA Championships ● Semifinal I

Final Team Totals

April 19, 2013 ● New Pauley Pavilion

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.450

49.525

49.475

49.325

197.775

LSU

49.500

49.475

49.000

49.350

197.325

Georgia

49.450

49.500

48.975

49.225

197.150

Minnesota

49.175

48.825

49.175

49.200

196.375

Illinois

48.850

48.675

48.975

49.200

195.700

Stanford

48.950

48.200

48.525

49.025

194.700

NCAA Championships ● Semifinal II

Final Team Totals

Alabama

49.350

49.275

49.275

49.450

197.350

Oklahoma

49.275

49.500

49.150

49.275

197.200

UCLA

49.500

49.175

49.075

49.450

197.200

Michigan

49.275

49.400

48.775

49.400

196.850

Utah

49.200

49.475

48.225

49.300

196.200

Arkansas

48.975

48.900

49.000

49.275

196.150

Shading denotes teams advancing to April 20 NCAA Super Six

 

2013 NCAA Championships

Competition Rotations

Super Six – Saturday, April 20 @ 7 (ET)

Rot.

Vault

Bye

Bars

Beam

Bye

Floor

I

Oklahoma

LSU

UCLA

Florida

Alabama

Georgia

II

Georgia

Oklahoma

LSU

UCLA

Florida

Alabama

III

Alabama

Georgia

Oklahoma

LSU

UCLA

Florida

IV

Florida

Alabama

Georgia

Oklahoma

LSU

UCLA

V

UCLA

Florida

Alabama

Georgia

Oklahoma

LSU

VI

LSU

UCLA

Florida

Alabama

Georgia

Oklahoma

 

Gator Notes:

● Florida advances to its 11th NCAA Super Six team final (1994, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). The Gators’ top Super Six finish is second in 1998 and 2012.

● Florida has advanced to the NCAA Super Six eight of the 11 seasons under Rhonda Faehn.

● Florida’s total of 197.775 matches the team’s highest ever in NCAA competition. UF also turned in a 197.775 in 2012 NCAA Super Six competition. It is the second highest ever among all programs in NCAA semifinal competition (second to Georgia’s 197.825 in 1998).

● Florida’s total of 49.525 is UF’s highest bars total ever in NCAA Championships’ competition. Also shares No. 4 among all teams in NCAA Semifinal bars competition

● Florida’s total of 49.475 equals UF’s highest beam total ever in NCAA Championships’ competition. Also is No. 4 among all teams all-time in NCAA Semifinal bars competition

● Bridget Sloan is the second consecutive Gator to win the NCAA all-around title. Teammate Kytra Hunter was the first in 2012.  

● Bridget Sloan’s 39.60 is the second-highest all-around total ever for the Gators in NCAA semifinal competition (behinds Kytra Hunter’s 39.725 in 2012).

● Mackenzie Caquatto’s 9.95 led all in NCAA Semifinal I bars and beam competition. It is the highest beam mark ever by a Gator in NCAA competition. The 9.95 matches the highest UF bar mark in NCAA competition set by Alaina Johnson (2012 semi & Super Six) and Melanie Sinclair (2008 semi)

● Six Gators picked up 16 All-America honors, equaling the school record of 16 honors set in 2012.

 

2013 Gator All-Americans

Name

Event

Session I Score

All-America team

Mackenzie Caquatto

Uneven Bars

9.950

First

 

Balance Beam

9.950

First

Ashanée Dickerson

Vault

9.900

First

Kytra Hunter

Vault 

9.900

First

 

Balance Beam

9.875

Second

 

Floor Exercise

9.875

Second

 

All-Around

39.475

Second

Alaina Johnson

Vault

9.900

First

 

Uneven Bars

9.925

First

Marissa King

Balance Beam

9.900

First

 

Floor Exercise

9.900

First

 

All-Around

39.525

First

Bridget Sloan

Uneven Bars

9.925

First

 

Balance Beam

9.900

First

 

Floor Exercise

9.900

First

 

All-Around

39.600

First

Blue denotes gymnasts advancing to April 21 NCAA Individual Event Finals

 

NCAA Individual Event Finals Draw – April 21, 2013 @ 4 p.m. (ET)

Vault

 

 

Balance Beam

 

Order

Name

School

Order

Name

School

1

Olivia Courtney

UCLA

1

Kayla Williams

Alabama

2

Rheagan Courville

LSU

2

Hanna Nordquist

Minnesota

3

Alaina Johnson

Florida

3

Mackenzie Caquatto

Florida

4

Kytra Hunter

Florida

4

Michelle Shealy

Iowa State

5

Kaitlyn Clark

Alabama

5

Katie Zurales

Michigan

6

Lindsay Mable

Minnesota

6

Erica Brewer

Oklahoma

7

Brandie Jay

Georgia

7

Bridget Sloan

Florida

8

Chelsea Davis

Georgia

8

Marissa King

Florida

9

Kaelie Baer

UCLA

9

Danusia Francis

UCLA

10

Moriah Martin

Denver

 

 

 

11

Ashanee Dickerson

Florida

Floor Exercise

 

 

12

Joanna Sampson

Michigan

Order

Name

School

13

Maliah Mathis

LSU

1

Marissa King

Florida

14

Sarie Morrison

LSU

2

Bridget Sloan

Florida

15

Diandra Milliner

Alabama

3

Kim Jacob

Alabama

16

Caitlin Atkinson

Auburn

4

Diandra Milliner

Alabama

17

Nicole Dayton

Stanford

5

Emily Wong

Nebraska

18

Lauren Beers

Alabama

6

Katherine Grable

Arkansas

19

Vanessa Zamarripa

UCLA

7

Lindsay Mable

Minnesota

20

Lindsey Cheek

Georgia

8

Joanna Sampson

Michigan

21

Madison Mooring

Oklahoma

9

Nansy Damianova

Utah

22

Lichelle Wong

UCLA

10

Rheagan Courville

LSU

23

Tory Wilson

Utah

11

Alina Weinstein

Illinois

24

Emily Wong

Nebraska

12

Olivia Courtney

UCLA

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uneven Bars

 

 

 

Order

Name

School

 

 

 

1

Georgia Dabritz

Utah

 

 

 

2

Nansy Damianova

Utah

 

 

 

3

Sarie Morrison

LSU

 

 

 

4

Bridget Sloan

Florida

 

 

 

5

Erica Brewer

Oklahoma

 

 

 

6

Mackenzie Caquatto

Florida

 

 

 

7

Alaina Johnson

Florida

 

 

 

8

Chelsea Davis

Georgia

 

 

 

9

Randii Wyrick

LSU

 

 

 

10

Rebecca Clark

Oklahoma

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shading denotes flights

 

 

 

 

 

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