Gymnastics loses season-opener to No. 9 Oklahoma

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 9, 2010 at 12:02 a.m.

Problems on its opening event put the No. 4 University of Florida gymnastics team (0-1) in an early deficit it couldn't overcome in Friday's season opener for both team. No. 9 Oklahoma took the win, 196.25-195.275, in front of a Lloyd Noble Center crowd of 1,325.

Half of Florida's routines were turned in by freshmen so the little mistakes were not unexpected, UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said.

The Gators started the meet with a tentative set on the uneven bars. Misses from Florida's final two competitors resulted in a low 48.175 team total on the event. Senior All-American Amanda Castillo led UF on bars with her mark of 9.80.

Things went much better for the Gators on vault, as each of the five scores used toward its team score of 49.30 - the meet's high team total on any event Friday - all finished among the top three in the vault standings. Senior All-American Maranda Smith and freshman Ashanėe Dickerson showed tremendous distance with their Yurchenko full vaults and they shared first on the event at 9.875. Freshmen Dali Lemezan and Marissa King and sophomore Nicole Ellis tied for third with marks of 9.85.

The lead-off and anchor for Florida's floor exercise lineup each turned in marks of 9.80 or above. Liz Green, who just enrolled at Florida for the spring, 2010 semester, posted a 9.80. Dickerson led UF on the event with her mark of 9.85, which tied for second overall with OU's Kayla Nowak. Jackie Flanery anchored the OU floor lineup with the evening's winning mark of 9.875.

Both teams turned in six-for-six beam sets Friday. Dickerson shared second at 9.875 with OU's Megan Ferguson. Hollie Vise claimed the beam win for OU at 9.90 - the highest mark of the evening on any event.

Dickerson was the only all-arounder in Friday's competition. Her total of 39.35 stands third all-time among Gators in their all-around debut.

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