Florida’s gymnastics team places third at SEC

The University of Florida gymnast Alex McMurtry does the "Gator Chomp" during her performance on the floor exercise during a gymnastics meet. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

Special to The Sun

ST. LOUIS — Florida finished third Saturday at the SEC Gymnastics Championships, behind regular-season champion LSU (197.40) and second-place Alabama (196.975). The Gators scored a 196.825.

The Gators captured four individual championships, with senior Alex McMurtry winning two (vault and uneven bars) and Alyssa Baumann (beam) and Alicia Boren (floor) one apiece.

LSU’s Sarah Finnegan won the all-around with a 39.500. Boren clinched second place with a score of 39.475 and LSU’s Kennedi Edney placed third with a 39.450.

The Tigers earned a 49.400 on vault, with Sarah Edwards and Kennedi Edney leading the way with scores of 9.900. They continued to impress on the uneven bars, matching their vault score of 49.400. LSU posted a 49.300 on beam before finishing the meet with a 49.300 on floor.

The Tide’s Nickie Guerrero and Kiana Winston posted 9.950s to lift the team to a score of 49.450 on beam. Bama continued its performance with a 49.275 on floor and posted a 49.300 on vault. The Tide earned a 48.950 on bars to close out the meet with a second place finish.

McMurtry tallied a 9.950 to lead the Gators on the uneven bars, scoring a team total of 49.400. The Gators went on to earn their highest score of the night with a 49.550 on beam behind Baumann’s 9.975. Florida struggled on floor and came away with a 48.400, but rebounded on vault with a 49.475.

The Wildcats shined on floor to score a 49.275. They posted a team score of 49.300 on vault thanks to Mollie Korth and Alex Hyland’s 9.900s. Kentucky went on to score a 49.100 on bars and a 48.875 on beam.

UF will next compete in NCAA regionals in two weeks, the launching pad for the NCAA Championships

Earlier in the day, McMurtry repeated as the SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year after a vote from league coaches. McMurtry owns a 3.98 GPA in Applied Physiology & Kinesiology- Exercise Physiology.

Lacrosse: At Washington, for the third time this season, Florida (7-3, 2-0) mounted a comeback of four goals or more, this time to defeat the Georgetown Hoyas 16-11.

Georgetown (5-3, 1-1) opened the game with a 3-0 lead barely five minutes into the first half, before a Shayna Pirreca goal put the Gators on the board at 24:22. The Hoyas would ultimately build an 8-4 lead midway through the first half, entering halftime up by three scores at 8-5.

The Gators either trailed or faced a tied score for over 50 minutes of game time; with Caroline Benitez’s second goal of the afternoon giving UF a 12-11 lead with 9:53 left in the second half. Florida would go on to close out the final 15 minutes of the Big East clash on a 7-0 run to cement its win, the 300th of UF coach Amanda O’Leary’s career.

Freshman Grace Haus led Florida’s scoring attack, tying her career high with four goals including a 2-3 performance on free position attempts. Shannon Kavanagh (three goals, three assists) and Sydney Pirreca each recorded a hat trick, while Caroline Benitez and Allie Pavinelli both chipped in two goals.

Women’s tennis: At Auburn, the Gators (12-5, 7-1 SEC) defeated the Tigers (16-7, 4-3) 4-1 by taking the doubles point and getting singles wins from Anna Danilina, McCartney Kessler and Katie Kubicz.