Special to The Sun
ST. LOUIS, Mo. – The Florida Gator gymnastics team is advanced to Saturday’s NCAA Super Six team final after taking second in Friday’s second NCAA semifinal.
The Gators will look for their fourth NCAA Championship in Saturday’s Super Six in the Chaifetz Arena. The event airs live on ESPNU at 7 p.m. ET.
Florida was second in its NCAA session at 197.5875, the fifth-highest team total ever for the Gators in NCAA semifinal competition.
Joining Florida from semifinal II in Saturday’s Super Six is two-time defending NCAA champion Oklahoma (198.05) and Utah (197.1375). California (196.50), Washington (196.25) and Kentucky (196.0625) rounded out the second semifinal’s results.
Advancing to the Super Six from Friday’s opening semifinal are UCLA (197.5625), LSU (197.475) and Nebraska (197.0125). Other team results from Semifinal I were Georgia (196.6875), Alabama (196.625) and Arkansas (196.425).
As the runner-up team in Semifinal II, Florida has the Olympic rotation (starting on vault) for Saturday’s NCAA Super Six team final.
Florida opened the meet with a 49.475 on uneven bars, equaling UF’s third-highest total in NCAA Gymnastics semifinal action. Three Gators turned in marks of 9.90 or better – Amelia Hundley (9.90), Rachel Gowey (9.90) and Alex McMurtry (9.95). This is the eighth time a Gator posted the program’s NCAA Semifinal high bars mark of 9.95, with McMurtry also earning the mark in 2017.
A six-for-six balance beam set gave UF a 49.3125. Gowey led UF on the event with a 9.9125.
A few extra bounces held back the full scoring potential on Florida’s floor set, but the Gators still posted a 49.3125. Freshman Alyssa Baumann equaled Florida’s best floor mark in NCAA Semifinal competition of 9.95. That mark sets her collegiate high and equals the Gators all-time high on the event in NCAA Semifinal action (other 9.95s – McMurtry/2017; Kytra Hunter/2012, 2015).
Florida finished with the day’s high vault total of 49.4875. McMurtry’s 9.9375 shared the vault title with Utah’s MyKayla Skinner and Oklahoma’s Brenna Dowell. Alicia Boren shared fourth overall at 9.925 and Rachel Slocum tied for sixth at 9.90.
McMurtry led UF in the all-around, taking fifth at 39.5875. Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols claimed the all-around win at 39.8125.
Notes: Florida advances to its 16th NCAA Super Six team final (1994, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018). … Florida is the only team to appear in each of the last seven NCAA Super Six team finals. … The Southeastern Conference sends two to the NCAA Super Six. It is the seventh consecutive year two or more league teams advance to Super Six action, with four wins in that span – 2012 (Alabama), 2013, 2014, 2015 (Florida).
What: NCAA Gymnastics Championships, Super Six team final
When: 7 p.m.
Where: Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Mo.
Super Six: Oklahoma, Florida, Utah, UCLA, LSU and Nebraska.
So the Sun didn’t send a reporter to St. Louis to cover the gymnastics national championship? How disrespectful.
Sadly, local newspapers will continue to cover less events every year. One of the downfalls of the internet is the shrinking newspapers around the world.