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No. T4 Gators are at No. 18 Auburn Friday to open Southeastern Conference action.

Thursday January 16, 2014No. 4 Florida Gymnastics opens Southeastern Conference action at No. 18 Auburn Friday

Gainesville, Fla.

No. T4 Gators are at No. 18 Auburn Friday to open Southeastern Conference action.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Southeastern Conference gymnastics action begins this weekend as No. T4 Florida is at No. 18 Auburn Friday for a dual meet. Meet time is set for 8 p.m. ET in the Auburn Arena.

 

Friday’s Meet Info:

No. T4 Florida (1-0, 0-0 SEC) at No. 18 Auburn (1-0, 0-0 SEC)

 

Date & Time: Friday, Jan. 17 at 8 p.m. ET

Site: Auburn Arena (9,121)

 

Television: meet airs tape-delayed on ESPNU Jan. 23 at 6:30 p.m. (Gainesville/Ocala Cox Cable 251 or 1251) and on ESPN2 Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. (channel 27 or 1027)

 

Series Record (all-time): Florida leads 64-11. Last meeting, Florida won the 2013 NCAA Gainesville Regional at 198.40 and Auburn was third at 196.70.

 

Internet: streaming video (subscription) available on Auburn All-Access; live stats available on GatorZone.com

 

Tickets: range in price from $7-$5. Visit the Auburn Ticket site for further information.

 

 

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Last Saturday in Gators’ Season Opener:

Florida used the smallest margin possible – 0.025 – to take a 196.65-196.625 win Saturday at then No. 4 UCLA. Florida has a miss on vault, beam and floor, but those marks were not used toward the final team total. Senior Mackenzie Caquatto anchored the Gators’ beam set with a 9.875 to give Florida just enough to hand the Bruins’ their first loss ever in a home opener. Junior All-American Kytra Hunter won floor (9.925) and all-around (39.375) and sophomore Bridgette Caquatto claimed a share of the uneven bars title (9.90) for the first event win of her Gator career.

 

Hunter Co-SEC Gymnast of the Week:

Hunter shared the first SEC Gymnast of the Week honor with Alabama’s Kim Jacob, the league office announced on Jan. 14. This is the fourth such honor for Hunter as she received the SEC Gymnast of the Week twice in 2013 and was the only freshman named to the weekly honor in 2012. Hunter collected two event titles at then-No. 4 UCLA.

 

Hunter won the all-around (39.375) and floor exercise (9.925) titles Saturday. The all-around win is the 11th for Hunter and is the second season opening all-around win as Hunter also won the 2012 season opener at NC State. With the two event wins, Hunter becomes the 12th Gator to collect 40 or more event titles during their Gator career. In the first national rankings of the season, Hunter is tied for sixth in floor exercise (9.925) and T-No. 8 in all-around (39.375) and vault (9.90).

 

Last Year:

Florida and Auburn last met in regular-season action for the 2013 Gators Link to Pink meet, with the Gators’ posting the then-nation’s leading team total of 197.65 to take the win over then No. 18 Auburn (196.025) in front of the program’s sixth-largest crowd of 8,159. Hunter won her second all-around of the season at 39.70. She also claimed the vault (9.975), balance beam (9.90) and floor exercise (9.925) event titles. A pair of then-Gator freshmen shared the uneven bars title at 9.925. Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto, making her first appearance in a Gator lineup, posted a 9.925 on bars, which was matched by Bridget Sloan.

 

The two programs met a total of three times in 2013, with Florida winning its second consecutive SEC title (198.00) and Auburn finished fifth (196.55). Auburn returned to Gainesville in April for 2013 NCAA Regional action. Florida claimed its eighth regional team title of the last nine seasons at 198.40 and Auburn was third (196.70).

 

The Tigers in Season Opener:

Auburn posted its best opening score since 2010 to defeat Texas Woman's University 194.875-189.825 in the Tigers' season opener last Friday in front of 5,032 at the Auburn Arena. Sophomore Caitlin Atkinson won the all-around at 39.20 and junior Bri Guy turned in the top individual mark of the evening with her winning vault mark of 9.90. Atkinson also won bars (9.825), Megan Walker took the beam win (9.875) and four Tigers shared the floor win at 9.875.

 

National Rank:

Florida – Florida is No. T-4 in the Jan. 13 GymInfo rankings. The current rankings are based on total season average.

Auburn – The Tigers are No. 18 in the GymInfo rankings.

 

Season-Opening Road Action:

This is Florida’s second consecutive road competition, marking the first time since 2003 the Gators have opened a season with back-to-back road meets.

 

Gators Return Four All-Americans in 2014:

The Gators return four gymnasts in 2014 (Mackenzie Caquatto, Kytra Hunter, Alaina Johnson and Bridget Sloan) who own a total of 26 All-America honors. The Gators won the Southeastern Conference, NCAA Gainesville Regional and NCAA championship team titles last year. In 2014, Florida returns 17 of 24 routines it competed in the 2013 NCAA Championships.

 

Tape-delay broadcast:

Friday’s meet airs tape-delayed Jan. 23 on ESPNU at 6:30 p.m. (Gainesville/Ocala Cox cable channel 251 or 1251) and Jan. 26 at 6 p.m. ET on ESPN2 (channel 27 or 1027).

 

Olympians Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke will call all the action.

 

 

 

 

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