Special to Gatorsports.com
CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Florida gymnastics team finished third Saturday night at the NCAA Corvallis Regional, two-tenths away from one of the advancing spots to the April 19-20 NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.
Denver won the NCAA Corvallis Regional at 197.375, while Oregon State claimed the other advancing position (196.90), much to the delight of the 2,486 fans at Gill Coliseum.
The Gators found themselves in a deficit after opening the meet on balance beam, as Florida was forced to count a fall toward its team total for the first time this season.
“Congratulations to Denver and Oregon State. They both put together great meets tonight,” UF coach Jenny Rowland said.
“As for the Gators, this was not a night that I foresaw coming whatsoever. This team has been confident and consistent throughout this season. After the problems on the first event, this team came to life. I saw them building on each other through the rest of the competition. They fought, but it wasn’t enough. Too many major mistakes and too many little mistakes cost us tonight. The Gators beat themselves. We missed an opportunity.
“We will learn from this experience as it will sting for quite a while. This is a team with a lot of heart and pride. I know they will use this to get better.”
Florida turned in the meet’s high team total for vault (49.375) and floor exercise (49.425), but couldn’t quite close the gap to claim an advancing position.
For the second night in a row, Savannah Schoenherr equaled her collegiate vault best of 9.90 to win that event. Fellow freshman Trinity Thomas’ winning 9.975 on floor exercise was the high score for any event for the NCAA Corvallis Regional.
Thomas, Amelia Hundley and Schoenherr all posted a team-high 9.90 on bars to share third in Saturday’s competition. Junior Rachel Gowey’s 9.85 led Florida on beam.
This is the first year for the new NCAA regional/national championships format.
* Two teams advance from each of the four NCAA Regional sites to the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.
* In Fort Worth, the field competes in two four-team semifinals on April 19. Semifinal I airs on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. ET and Semifinal II airs on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET
* The top two teams from each semifinal advance to the April 20 NCAA team final. The final airs on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET
Alicia Boren will compete as an all-arounder at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships on April 19. Three other Gators – Alyssa Baumann (beam), Savannah Schoenherr (vault) and Trinity Thomas (bars & floor) also earned individual NCAA Championships’ berths.