No. 2 Gator gymnasts find perfection 3 times for win at No. 25 Penn State

University of Florida gymnast Rachel Gowey performs her routine on the floor during the first meet of the season against Arkansas at the Exactech Arena in Gainesville, Fla. Jan. 10, 2020. The Florida Gators beat the Razorbacks. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Three Gators found perfection in No. 2 Florida gymnastics 198.10 – 196.225 win over No. 25 Penn State on Saturday.

First it was senior Sierra Alexander, earning the maximum value for her Yurchenko full vault (9.95).

Then Trinity Thomas found perfection again – this time on floor exercise. This season, Thomas’ posted a 10.0 on three events – uneven bars, balance beam and now floor exercise.

On the final rotation, Rachel Gowey put together a flawless balance beam routine to earn her first 10.0.

“What an amazing night. This night gives me so much hope for this team,” UF coach Jenny Rowland said “A 198.10 on the road is fantastic and is a score this team is capable of reaching again. This team can continue to grow and get better. We left a lot in the tank, which is not a bad thing. There were some new faces out there tonight, which was a lot of fun to see. Saw a lot of heart, fight and determination tonight. It was great to see people step in in the face of adversity and come through.”

These along with a solid team performance helped the Gators to its second-highest total of the season, 198.10. It is Florida’s third total above 198.00 in 2020 – 198.375 (Jan. 24), 198.10 (March 7) and 198.05 (Feb. 21). Today’s result gives Florida seven appearances among the nation’s top 20 team totals of 2020.

Florida swept the afternoon’s event titles. Alexander’s vault win was her first of her collegiate career. The uneven bars win was shared at 9.95 by Florida’s Savannah Schoenherr and Thomas.

A 10.0 won the floor exercise and balance beam titles. Thomas, competing in front of more than 300 family and friends, put together a floor routine that gave her that elusive 10.0. She’s posted a nearly perfect floor mark of 9.975 eight times.

Gowey also found that extra bit to move her collegiate beam best from a 9.975 to a 10.0. The senior has earned a 9.9 or better eight times in 2020.

Thomas also collected her seventh consecutive and eighth all-around win of the season at 39.525.

With her 10.0 on floor this afternoon, Trinity Thomas now has four perfect marks in 2020.

10.0        Bars        Jan. 24, 2020
10.0        Beam     Feb. 7, 2020
10.0        Beam     Feb. 14, 2020
10.0        Floor       March 7, 2020

She is the nation’s first in 2020 with a 10.0 on three different events. Two others have 10.0s on a pair of events – Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols (vault, bars) and LSU’s Kiya Johnson (vault, beam).

She is one of two gymnasts in 2020 with a floor 10.0. UCLA’s Gracie Kramer posted her perfect floor mark in home action versus Washington on Jan. 31.

This is the first time on the road and fourth time in Florida history 10.0s were earned on multiple events. Trinity Thomas posted Florida’s first 10.0 Saturday on floor exercise and then Rachel Gowey added another on balance beam.

Up next: t’s Gator Senior Night for Florida home finale next Friday vs. Texas Woman’s University. The careers of Sierra Alexander, Maegan Chant, Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley will be celebrated in a post-meet ceremony.