Gator gymnastics nipped by ’Bama


Published: Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 29, 2008 at 11:49 p.m.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The No. 3 Florida gymnastics team dropped a narrow 197.225-197.125 decision at No. 5 Alabama on Friday evening in front of a Coleman Coliseum crowd of 11,864.

Both teams performed well, as each team hit all 24 routines of their lineup. The one-tenth margin matches the narrowest margin for a Tide win over the Gators. The Tide (6-1, 5-1 SEC) also defeated UF by a tenth in a 1991 home dual meet and at the 1983 NCAA Southeast Regionals.

The Gators (7-2, 4-2 SEC) held a slender 0.225 lead heading into the meet’s final rotation, but Florida’s scoring on beam couldn’t match the Tide’s season-best floor total. Florida was six-for-six on beam, but steps on dismounts hurt the Gators score. Although the Gators were edged for the win, UF head coach Rhonda Faehn saw plenty that she liked from Florida tonight.

“I was very pleased with how we performed. The team went out there and performed wonderfully and confidently,” Faehn said. “This was a big crowd and I think it is important for our athletes to gain experience in this type of environment.”

Junior Corey Hartung made it an even dozen for career all-around titles, sharing Friday’s win with Alabama sophomore Kassi Price at 39.50. This is Hartung’s fifth all-around win of the season. Sophomore Amanda Castillo was third at 39.45.

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