Roundup: UF gymnastics wins second straight
Published: Friday, January 22, 2010 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 12:37 a.m.
The No. 4 Florida gymnastics team collected its second consecutive win of the season in Friday’s dual meet at No. 12 Kentucky.
The Gators (2-1, 2-0 SEC) posted a 196.05-195.35 win over the Wildcats (3-2, 1-2 SEC) in front of a Memorial Coliseum crowd of 2,132.
The Gators showed improvement from their first road performance of the season and did not count a fall toward their team total. A stronger beginning helped the Gators on Friday, UF head coach Rhonda Faehn said.
“We’re much happier with our road performance,” Faehn said. “I thought we did much better on our starting event — the uneven bars. We did a better job of hitting our handstands and really going for the stuck landings. On vault, we still need to narrow in on those landings, but we’ll get there. Tonight, we switched the lineup around a bit and Courtney Gladys started us off with a great stuck landing.
“On floor, we had some great routines from Liz (Green) and Amy (Ferguson). Ashanee (Dickerson) had her best floor routine of the year. But we had some stumbles on some landings because they were going so hard for the stick. On beam, we were just a little wobbly. We went six for six, but again, some of the gymnasts went for a stuck landing and came up a little short.”
A Gator took at least a share of four of the evening’s five event titles, including Dickerson, a freshman, picking up her third consecutive all-around title with a total of 39.25. She is the first Gator to open the season with three consecutive all-around wins since former All-American Melissa Miller in 1988. Fellow freshman Marissa King was runner-up in the all-around at 39.075.
Senior Courtney Gladys picked up a share of two event titles Friday, tying for top honors on both vault and balance beam. Teammate Nicole Ellis tied Gladys on vault as each turned in season-best vault marks of 9.875. The mark was also a collegiate-best for Ellis after matching her previous best of 9.85 twice in 2010 and twice in 2009.
Both Gladys and freshman Liz Green shared their first collegiate balance beam wins with Kentucky’s Storey Morris at 9.825. It was the second consecutive meet Green led UF on beam, as she took second last week versus Arkansas with her collegiate-best of 9.85.
Three Gators shared the evening’s uneven bars title at 9.825 — Alicia Goodwin, Elizabeth Mahlich and Maranda Smith. It was the second consecutive bar win for Smith and the first of the season for Goodwin and Mahlich. Kentucky’s Emily Green took the floor exercise title at 9.85. Florida’s Dickerson matched her collegiate-best of 9.90 for the second straight week to finish runner-up.
Next week, Florida plays host to No. 16 LSU for the fourth annual Gators Link to Pink meet on Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center.
SWIMMING: On Senior Day at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the No. 6/7 Gator men’s and women’s swimming and diving squads sent 15 seniors out in victory.
The No. 6 UF men upset No. 5 Auburn, 162-138, and the No. 7 UF women swam and dove past eighth-ranked AU, 185-115, in the last home dual of the season.
The UF men’s squad improved to an undefeated 8-0 (3-0 SEC) with the victory, while the women added their ninth win of the season, third in the SEC (9-2, 3-1 SEC).
In the extremely fast meet, a total of 69 NCAA B standards were achieved between the Florida and Auburn student-athletes in swimming competition, including both individual and relay races. Ten of the 16 women’s victories belonged to the Gators, while Florida’s men walked away with nine event victories out of the 16 events.
UF swept first through third in four races on the men’s side, including the 1,000 free, 200 fly, 200 back and 500 free. In women’s action, the Gators won first, second and third in both the 200 free and 500 free races.
“We saw some great things from our team on Senior Day today,” head coach Gregg Troy said. “Our seniors were excited, they had their parents, friends and other family here to show support, and that pumped up both teams.
“We are a very, very close team.”
Florida’s 11th-ranked men’s tennis team cruised to a 7-0 victory against the University of Central Florida to open its dual match season on Friday at Linder Stadium at Ring Tennis Complex, winning all six singles matches in straight sets.
The Gator attack was led by junior Alexandre Lacroix, the No. 7 player in the nation, who scored a 6-0, 6-3 victory over Marc Rocafort at the No. 1 position in just 61 minutes, winning the first nine games in a row. Moments later, senior Antoine Benneteau nailed down a 6-1, 6-1 victory at fifth singles, and freshman Sekou Bangoura Jr. tallied the clincher over Claudio Romano on the second court, 6-0, 6-2.
“I was encouraged by what I saw today,” head coach Andy Jackson said.
Freshman Billy Federhofer posted a 6-3, 6-3 victory in the sixth position, while Burkhardt and freshman Bob Van Overbeek capped the sweep for the Gators. Van Overbeek overcame a slow start in the opening set to rally for a 7-5, 6-2 victory.