Gators going to Athens
Published: Tuesday, April 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, March 31, 2003 at 9:52 p.m.
The Florida gymnastics team's national title run will begin in the most ideal setting.
The Gators were assigned Monday to the NCAA Southeast Region Championships, held April 12 in Athens, Ga.
"That's what we figured, so we're very happy about that," first-year UF coach Rhonda Faehn said of the assignment. "I think it's great because we've already been there twice this year and our athletes are very familiar with everything. The flight over there is an easy flight, and we're familiar with the arena and the equipment. We really couldn't have been happier with the selection."
Florida was third in the season-opening Super Six Challenge and lost in a dual meet against Georgia. Both meets were held at Stegeman Coliseum.
The top two teams from each regional meet will advance to the NCAA Championships, held April 24-26 in Lincoln, Neb. The Gators, seeded ninth overall, have qualified for the NCAA Championships 20 out of 21 times. The other schools in the Southeast Regional are No. 4-seed Georgia, No. 16-seed Ohio State, N.C. State, North Carolina and Maryland.
The rotation also was determined Monday, and Florida will begin on the floor exercise for the first time this season.
"We'll be finishing on typically where we're strongest - (balance) beam and (uneven) bars," Faehn said. "That'll be great to be finishing on those two solid events. All year long when you're at (away) dual meets, you finish on balance beam, so we're used to finishing on balance beam. We're going to have tons of energy and it's going to be great to start on the two legs events, while we're really fresh. I think it's a good draw."
The Gators are coming off a third-place finish at the SEC Championships, totaling a disappointing 195.950.
Doris Yon can be reached at (352) 374-5052 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The top two teams from each regional below will advance to the NCAA Championships in Lincoln, Neb., on April 24-26. Here is a look at the six teams assigned to each site with the school's ranking.
16. Ohio State
24. N.C. State
27. North Carolina
3. Arizona State
13. Iowa State
28. New Hampshire
30. Penn State
T21. Kent State
25. Central Michigan
35. Michigan State
12. Oregon State
36. Boise State
42. Cal State Fullerton
45. San Jose State
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