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The Gators move on to the NCAA Championships after winning the NCAA University Park Regional Saturday.

Saturday April 5, 2014On to NCAA Championships! Gator Gymnastics win NCAA University Park Regional

UNIVERISTY PARK, Pa. -

The Gators move on to the NCAA Championships after winning the NCAA University Park Regional Saturday.

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Florida gymnastics team claimed the NCAA University Park Regional, held Saturday in front of 1,827 at Penn State’s Rec Hall. The win advances Florida to Birmingham, Ala., where the Gators will look to defend their 2013 NCAA team title.

 

Florida Event Winners Saturday

Vault:

Bridget Sloan

9.95

Uneven Bars:

Mackenzie Caquatto

9.95

 

Bridget Sloan

9.95

Balance Beam:

Alaina Johnson

9.85

Floor Exercise:

Kytra Hunter

9.95

All-Around:

Alaina Johnson

39.55

The Gators turned in a 197.05 Saturday to take their third consecutive NCAA Regional title. The top two teams in regional competition advance to the NCAA Championships and Penn State claimed the other berth at 196.725. Oregon State was third at 196.525, followed by Kentucky (195.925), New Hampshire (195.025) and Maryland (194.525).

 

It wasn’t a clean meet for the Gators, as the team was forced to count a fall for the first time this season after two gymnasts recorded misses on balance beam. Florida also had to count a stumbled landing on floor toward its event total. But the Gators opened and closed the competition with meet-high totals of 49.55 on both uneven bars and vault. The vault total stands as the Gators’ top tally on the event this season.

 

The Gators claimed at least a share of each event title Saturday. Senior Alaina Johnson won the all-around title at 39.55 and shared the balance beam win (9.85). Sophomore Bridget Sloan took the vault title (9.95) and used the same mark to share the uneven bars win with senior teammate Mackenzie Caquatto. Junior Kytra Hunter was the floor champion at 9.95.

 

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:

·   Johnson’s all-around victory is the second regional title of her career. She won the 2011 region all-around as a freshman. The win gives her seven all-around titles as a Gator.

·   The all-around win has gone to a Gator in each of Florida’s 12 meets this season. Sloan has eight wins. Hunter won the season opener and shared the third title with Sloan. Johnson won the West Virginia duel and tonight’s all-around title.

·   The win ups Florida’s regional team titles total to 14 NCAA region titles (1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014)

·   In the NCAA Championships’ 33-year history, Florida has now advanced to the national championships 32 times, missing only the 2000 event.

 

NOW WHAT?

The 12-team field for the NCAA Championships is determined tonight, as the top two teams in each of the nation’s six regional sites advance to Birmingham, Ala., for the April 18-20 national championships.

 

The 12-team NCAA Championships' field competes April 18 in two semifinal sessions of six teams each. The top three teams in each session advance to the April 19 NCAA Super Six, where the team champion is determined.

 

The Gators have advanced from the NCAA Championships semifinal competition to the NCAA Super Six team final eight of the last 10 years (2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013). Florida won its first NCAA team title last year.

 

GATORS EARNING ALL-REGION HONORS:

The National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women (NACGC) announced NCAA All-Southeast Region honors Saturday. Florida’s Bridget Sloan, the nation’s top-ranked all-arounder, is the NCAA Southeast Region Gymnast of the Year, making her the second Gator to claim the honor since 2010. Ashanée Dickerson was the first Gator to receive the honor in 2010 and also was named the 2011 winner.

 

Regional coach of the year honors went to Florida’s Rhonda Faehn for the second consecutive year and the seventh time in her 12 years with the Gators.

 

QUOTES
On Florida’s performance Saturday:

“I would say our competition was off. It was not what we are capable of. We started off well and finished well.
We rebounded really well on vault and that was the fight I was looking for. I thought we had a few uncharacteristic mistakes on different routines from different people – almost fluky.

The regional championship is always a challenging competition. We advance to the national championships. Now our focus shifts to getting in some great training to prepare for the NCAAs.” – Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn

 

Any changes for beam training?

“When Bridget (Sloan) and Mackenzie (Caquatto) fell – it is so uncharacteristic for both of them. I think that is the first time Macko has fallen in two years. And Bridget is a 9.95 almost every time she gets up there. So those mistakes are behind them. We will do some more pressure sets in intra squads to put them in that scenario again. But I have no doubt they will rebound just fine.” – Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn

 

What can you take from tonight’s meet?

“Our performance was uncharacteristic, but at the same time, it is these competitions that make us stronger. They make us think harder and work harder in the gym. We didn’t want tonight to happen quite like this, but in the end, you have to look back on it and learn from it. As a team, I think we are learning every time we compete. I know personally I always learn a little bit more about my teammates and a little bit more about myself. It was a little bit of an off day. We are human and we do make mistakes, but at the same time, we do have things we will go back and work on. As a team, I think we pulled together and rebounded well.” – sophomore Bridget Sloan.

 

On the team’s performance tonight:

“I’m proud of our team. We are known for fighting through problems and that’s what we did tonight. Of course we had some mistakes that we did not want, but we are going to go back and use this next two weeks to work extremely hard on the fine details. We are going to leave this behind us and get ready for nationals.” – senior Alaina Johnson

 

On her all-around win:

“It was exciting. I just wanted to do my best for my team.” – senior Alaina Johnson

 

On her winning floor performance:

“I love this routine. I feel it pumps up the crowd and pumps up my team. It is definitely a lot of fun.” – junior Kytra Hunter 

 

On the pressure of anchoring beam lineup:

“Honestly, I knew I couldn’t have any emotions at that point. When I got up there, I took a half-second longer before my series to tell myself to get it together. I knew I couldn’t have any doubts. I needed to go after it and I definitely did. It definitely was a pressure set. Rhonda always tells me to own that routine. I wanted to show Rhonda and the team that I’m comfortable in that anchor spot.” – junior Kytra Hunter 

 

What did the team do on bye?

 “During the bye, we were all in the locker room pumping each other up. Before floor, we were trying to get our minds in the right place after a rough beam rotation. We had the music going and we were telling each other to leave it on the floor. Beam is behind us. We knew that we were strong on floor and vault. I thought everyone did a great job of giving it their all on both of those events. We came out strong at the end.” – senior Mackenzie Caquatto

 

What is next for the team?

“We need to recover a little bit. This is a stressful competition mentally and physically. Then we’ll build back up. Of course, we will do more pressure situations in the gym. And in those pressure situations, we will focus on fine-tuning the details.” – Florida coach Rhonda Faehn

 

WORTH NOTING

·   Florida’s vault total of 49.55 is a season best and equals the sixth-highest in school history.

·   Three Gators matched their collegiate-best on vault Saturday – Bridgette Caquatto (9.875), Mackenzie Caquatto (9.925) and Sloan (9.95). Freshman Claire Boyce turned in her collegiate floor best of 9.875 for the third time this season.

·   The Gators took at least a share of the region’s five event titles for the third straight year.

·   Hunter has used a 9.95 to win floor in each of the three regional meets of her career. Tonight’s floor win is her 10th of the season and the 22nd of her career.

·   Sloan now has seven 9.95s on vault this season and the mark tonight earned her sixth vault title of 2014.

·   Both bars winners are well into double-digits for career wins on the event. The title is the 12th for Sloan and 17th for Mackenzie Caquatto.

·   Johnson picks up her first beam win of the season and her first since 2012.

·   Florida counted a fall toward its team total for the first time this season as the Gators had two misses on balance beam tonight. The last time UF counted a fall on any event was on beam in the 2013 NCAA Super Six team final.

·   Florida enters the NCAA Championships as the No. 1 seed. This is the first year the teams hold their seed throughout regional and national championships competition. This is the third consecutive year the Gators the NCAA Championships as the top seed.

·   The regional all-around title has gone to a Gator each of the past five seasons – Dickerson (2010, 2012), Alaina Johnson (2011 & 2014) and Hunter (2013).

·   Florida has won the NCAA Regional team title in nine of the 12 seasons under Rhonda Faehn.

 

FLORIDA IN THE RANKINGS:

Florida is No. 1 in the March 31 GymInfo National Rankings.

 

NCAA UNIVERSITY PARK REGION EVENT CHAMPIONS:

All-Around

Alaina Johnson

Florida

39.55

Vault

Bridget Sloan

Florida

9.95

Bars

Mackenzie Caquatto

Florida

9.95

 

Bridget Sloan

Florida

9.95

Beam

Alaina Johnson

Florida

9.85

 

Chelsea Tang

Oregon State

9.85

 

Audrey Harrison

Kentucky

9.85

 

Kaytianna McMillan

Oregon State

9.85

Floor

Kytra Hunter

Florida

9.95

 

UP NEXT:

2014 NCAA Gymnastics Championships – April 18-20

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) • Birmingham, Ala.

Date

Competition

Time (ET)

Friday, April 18

Semifinal I

2 p.m.

 

Semifinal II

8 p.m.

Saturday, April 19

Super Six Team Final

7 p.m.

Sunday, April 20

Individual Event Finals

3 p.m.

Selection information for the 12-team field and individual event competitors will be available on NCAA.com by noon ET on Monday, April 7. Those teams and individuals advance to Birmingham, Ala., to compete in April 18 NCAA semifinal competition. The top three teams in each of the semifinal sessions compete in the NCAA Super Six on April 19 where the team champion is determined.

 

Gymnast among the top four in their semifinal event standings advance to the NCAA Individual Event Finals on Sunday, April 20.

 

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No. 1 Florida at NCAA University Park Region Championships

Final Team Totals

April 5, 2014 ● Rec Hall (1,827)

Team

Vault

Bars

Beam

Floor

Total

Florida

49.550

49.550

48.575

49.375

197.050

Penn State

49.300

49.050

48.950

49.425

196.725

Oregon State

49.175

49.075

49.125

49.150

196.525

Kentucky

49.050

48.750

48.725

49.400

195.925

New Hampshire

49.100

48.550

48.525

48.850

195.025

Maryland

49.075

48.600

48.600

48.250

194.925

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014 NCAA Regional Results

Seed

School

Regional Total

Region

1

Florida

197.050

University Park

2

Oklahoma

197.725

Minneapolis

3

LSU

198.325

Baton Rouge

4

Alabama

197.55

Seattle

5

Utah

197.300

Fayetteville

6

Georgia

196.375

Athens

7

Michigan

196.750

Athens

8

UCLA

196.600

Fayetteville

9

Nebraska

196.975

Seattle

10

Stanford

197.275

Baton Rouge

11

Illinois

196.60

Minneapolis

15

Penn State

196.725

University Park

 

Shading denotes regional champions

 

 

2014 NCAA Championships

April 18-20 • Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) • Birmingham, Ala.

Semifinal II

Super 6 Team Final

Semifinal I

April 18

April 19

April 18

1

Florida

Oklahoma

2

 

 

4

Alabama

 

 

LSU

3

 

 

5

Utah

Georgia

6

 

 

NCAA Champion

 

 

8

UCLA

Michigan

7

 

 

9

Nebraska

 

 

Stanford

10

 

 

15

Penn State

Illinois

11

 

 

 

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