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The Gators signal another vault 10.0 for Kytra Hunter as No. 2 Gators defeated No. 3 LSU in Friday's Link to Pink meet.

Friday February 21, 2014No. 2 Gator gymnastics team wins Link to Pink Meet vs. No. 3 LSU; Hunter scores another 10.0 vault

Gainesville, Fla.

The Gators signal another vault 10.0 for Kytra Hunter as No. 2 Gators defeated No. 3 LSU in Friday's Link to Pink meet.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 2 Florida gymnastics team won the eighth annual Gators Link to Pink meet over No. 3 LSU in front of a Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 9,197. Florida turned in a season-best 198.125 and the Tigers posted a 197.625. The 198.125 is the nation’s second-highest total of 2014, just a fraction behind the 198.175 No. 1 Oklahoma turned in last Saturday.

 

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Florida and LSU both wore pink Friday. Each Southeastern Conference team will have a “pink” meet this season as part of a league-initiative to raise awareness about the fight against breast cancer.

Junior All-American Kytra Hunter finished Florida’s vault rotation Friday with the same score she earned a week ago – a 10.0. It was the second back-to-back vault 10.0s for Florida and the first in 16 years.

 

Hunter was just a fraction away from turning in her second perfect mark of the evening, as she won floor at 9.975. Gator sophomore Bridget Sloan took the balance beam win at 9.95 and also claimed her sixth-consecutive all-around title at 39.70. She is the defending NCAA champion for both events.

 

 

The Gators trailed the Tigers by 0.05 at the midway point of the meet. Florida’s season-best of 49.55 on balance beam gave UF a slender 0.075 lead heading into floor exercise. On its finishing event, Florida tallied a meet-high event total of 49.65, a total which makes UF the nation’s only team to turn in two floor totals of 49.65 or better this season. The Gators set their school record with a 49.875 on Jan. 24 – a total which is the nation’s highest on any event since 2006.

 

LSU junior Rheagan Courville was the all-around runner-up at 39.675. She shared the evening’s uneven bars title with teammate Sarie Morrison at 9.95.

 

It was the eighth annual Gators Link to Pink meet. All of the Southeastern Conference’s gymnastics teams will have a pink meet this season, with the intention to help raise awareness about the fight against breast cancer.

 

Nation’s 10.0 Marks of 2014

Evnt

Score

Date

Gymnast

School

Site

Opponent

V

10.00

2/21/2014

Kytra Hunter

Florida

H

LSU

V

10.00

2/14/2014

Kytra Hunter

Florida

H

Arkansas

V

10.0

2/15/2014

Rheagan Courville

LSU

N

MetroPlex Challenge

UB

10.00

2/8/2014

Sam Peszek

UCLA

H

Arizona State

BB

10.00

2/7/2014

Bridget Sloan

Florida

A

@Kentucky

FX

10.00

1/31/2014

Kytra Hunter

Florida

H

Oklahoma

FX

10.00

1/24/2014

Kytra Hunter

Florida

H

Georgia

FX

10.00

1/24/2014

Bridget Sloan

Florida

H

Georgia

FX

10.00

1/31/2014

Lloiminicia Hall

LSU

H

Alabama

FX

10.00

2/15/2014

Lloiminicia Hall

LSU

N

MetroPlex Challenge

FX

10.00

2/15/2014

Haley Scaman

Oklahoma

N

MetroPlex Challenge

 

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:

·         Hunter is the first Gator to post back-to-back vault 10.0s since Susan Hines in 1998 NCAA semifinal and Super Six competition. It is her fourth 10.0 of the season – vault (Feb. 14 and 24) and floor (Jan. 24 and 31). Her four perfect marks sets the Gator season-high as Hines had three in 1998 (all on vault) and equals Hines for Florida’s career total of 10.0s.

·         Of the 12 Gators to post a perfect score in the program’s 42-year history, Hunter is the first to turn in perfect marks on multiple events multiple times. She earned her first 10.0s last month in Jan. 24 and Jan. 31 floor exercise performances and now has vault 10.0s on Feb. 14 and 21. Earlier this month, Sloan became the first Gator to earn 10.0s on multiple events. She recorded her first on floor on Jan. 24 and then added a beam 10.0 at Kentucky on Feb. 7.

·         Tonight’s all-around was the most nation’s most competitive of 2014, with three turning in national-leading totals with just 0.05 between them. Each total – Sloan (39.70), Courville (39.675) and Alaina Johnson (39.65) - are among the nation’s top four all-around marks earned in 2014.

·         Sloan’s six consecutive all-around wins is the most for the Gators since Melissa Miller set the Florida record with 11 straight wins in 1988. Sloan’s 13 career all-around victories ranks eighth all-time for the Gators.

 

RECORDS: Florida (7-0, 5-0 SEC); LSU (7-3, 3-2 SEC).

 

THE SERIES: All-time, Florida leads 65-30.

 

WATCH: The Florida-LSU duel meet airs tape-delayed on ESPNU Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. and ESPN2 March 2 at 6 p.m.

 

QUOTES
On Florida's annual Link to Pink meet:

"It was everything we were looking for. It was an incredible crowd. Our athletes just really feed off of that [crowd]. What an amazing crowd for such an amazing cause. Our Link to Pink meet is such an inspirational meet and so many of our athletes have had family members affected with this disease. It's really a special event all around." – Florida coach Rhonda Faehn

 

On tonight’s Link for Pink meet:

“It’s incredible -- competing for a cause. We also went to the Hope Lodge earlier this week to serve a meal and visit with those who are fighting cancer. Breast cancer runs in my family too. I lost my grandma in 2005 so I know she’s an angel watching me. I know she would do everything she could to be here to watch me as well.” – junior All-American Kytra Hunter

 

Florida Event Winners Friday

Vault:

Kytra Hunter

10.00

Balance Beam:

Bridget Sloan

9.950

Floor Exercise

Kytra Hunter

9.975

All-Around

Bridget Sloan

39.70

On her back-to-back 10.0’s on vault:

“My parents weren’t able to be here last week, and for me to do it again and for them to see it, it was incredible. Honestly, ever since last week I’ve been getting those stuck landings in practice. I won’t move on from vault until I get two perfect stuck landings. It’s incredible, and I definitely remember the corrections I get in the gym, and that definitely helped me a lot.” – junior All-American Kytra Hunter

 

On the crowd, Link to Pink and Kytra Hunter:

"It was another amazing night. What made tonight so special was Link to Pink. It's very emotional for some people, especially Gainesville residents, and it's nice to show that we do support them. I think it's awesome that we can all come together as one and have the breast cancer sign on our sleeve."

 

"Again, it was an incredible night. Kytra [Hunter] with a 10.0, I mean, that girl is on fire. It was awesome." – sophomore All-American Bridget Sloan

 

On tonight’s meet:

“That was a lot of fun. I’m so glad that we have a meet that we can support the (breast cancer) survivors and go out there and just do it for them. It means a lot. The crowd was amazing like always, and we’re just getting better each week. We’re working really hard in the gym, and it’s definitely showing on the competition floor.” – senior All-American Alaina Johnson

 

On the competitive atmosphere tonight:

“LSU definitely, as No. 3, and we were No. 2 – we knew it was going to be a tough competition. We stayed in our own bubble and only worried about ourselves. Whenever we do that, that’s when we can do our best. We didn’t worry about the scores. We only worried about ourselves and had fun out there.” – senior All-American Alaina Johnson

 

On competing against LSU:

“It definitely pushes us, and we honestly need that pressure especially experiencing it now before post-season. It was an incredible meet. They did a wonderful job, and we gave each other competition. That what makes it so fun and makes the score so tight and makes the audience even more excited to watch us.” – junior All-American Kytra Hunter

 

WORTH NOTING
With Hunter’s 10.0 on vault tonight, the Gators have recorded a 10.0 in each of the last five meets…so far in 2014, six of the nation’s 11 10.0 marks have been turned in by the Gators…the nation’s 11 10.0 marks have come from six gymnasts – and four of those were competing in the O’Connell Center Friday (UF/Hunter, Sloan; LSU/Courville, Lloiminicia Hall)…Florida’s opening three balance beam performers – Rachel Spicer (9.90), Johnson (9.875) and Claire Boyce (9.90) - all turned in season-best marks, with Spicer and Boyce equaling their collegiate-bests…Johnson also turned in a season-best on vault with her 9.925…Johnson was third in the all-around at 39.65 – just a tick away from her collegiate-best total of 39.675…Florida’s 49.55 on beam is the second-highest in the nation in 2014, trailing Stanford’s 49.60…the two teams turned in the nation’s No. 3 (LSU/49.55) and No. 4 (UF/49.525) vault totals of 2014…a Gator has turned in an all-around total of 39.70 or better now 21 times – and Hunter (6) and Sloan (9) own 15 of those totals…Hunter’s vault and floor wins tonight raises her career total to 51 event titles – eighth all-time for the Gators…Sloan’s two event wins tonight up her total to 41 – making her the 13th in the program’s history to post 40 career titles…Hunter has won floor in every meet she has competed the event for six-straight 2014 wins…Hunter’s 10.0 tonight is the 21st for the program and the seventh for vault…since Rhonda Faehn took over the Gator program in 2003, Florida is now 12-5-1 in duel meets featuring top-five teams…this was Florida’s third 2014 win versus a top-five team (Jan. 11 at No. 4 UCLA and Jan. 31 versus No. 1 Oklahoma)…the 198.125 is the fourth-highest in Florida’s 42-year history…tonight’s crowd of 9,197 is the fifth-highest in program’s history…the support the community shows for this event is outstanding, as half of the program’s top 10 attendance marks have been Gators Link to Pink meets.

 

NATIONAL RANK:

Florida – Florida is No. 2 in the Feb. 17 GymInfo National Rankings.

LSU – The Tigers are No. 3 in the GymInfo rankings.

 

UP NEXT:

The Gators travels to Tuscaloosa, Ala., to meet No. 5 Alabama. Meet time is set for 8:30 p.m. ET in the Coleman Coliseum.

 

Tickets for Friday’s meet are $10 for adults and $5 for youth. Visit the Crimson Tide ticket site for more information.

 

Alabama was second Friday at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City, Okla. No. 1 Oklahoma won at 197.20, followed by Alabama (197.10), No. 7 Michigan (196.20) and West Virginia (193.525).

 

The Florida-Alabama dual will air tape-delayed on ESPNU (Gainesville/Ocala channel 1251 on Cox Cable) on March 6 at 5:30 p.m.

 

Streaming video of Friday’s meet can be found on Tide TV and live scoring can be found on GatorZone.com.

 

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2014 Gators Link to Pink - No. 2 Florida versus No. 3 LSU

Final Team Totals

Feb. 21, 2014 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (9,197 )

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.525

49.400

49.550

49.650

198.125

LSU

49.550

49.425

49.225

49.425

197.625

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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