UF Roundup: No. 5 gymnastics team rolls Georgia

FILE - Florida head coach Jenny Rowland hugs gymnast Alex McMurtry after her performance on the floor during the NCAA Gymnastics Regional. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]

ATHENS, Ga. — The No. 5 Florida gymnastics team took a 196.95–196.125 win Friday at No. 14 Georgia in front of a sold-out Stegeman Coliseum crowd of 10,017.

“The team had three solid events tonight,” UF coach Jenny Rowland said. “Even beam as the last event in a tough environment, what they were doing looked great. The little details that we’ve been working on are being fixed, landings are being fixed as well as executive and presentation. Really proud of them overall.

“I feel we are still moving in the right direction. We had to count a fall tonight, but on the other events, we showed big strides. Beam is an event we are very solid on and we will work out those little bumps. Really the performances overall, the confidence, the grace and the stepping up – it is really good to see this team continue to move forward.”

The Gators opened the meet by equaling their season-best uneven bars team total of 49.50. Two Gators equaled their 2018 uneven bars best Friday — Amelia Hundley (9.925) and Alex McMurtry’s winning score of 9.975.

The Gators’ final three vaulters all scored a 9.9 or better: Rachel Slocum (9.90), McMurtry (9.925) and Alicia Boren won the event by equaling her collegiate best of 9.95.

McMurtry made her season floor debut Friday, posting a 9.925. She was one of three Gators with floor marks of 9.9 or better. Alyssa Baumann scored a 9.90 and Slocum added the double layout back in for her opening pass, earning a collegiate-best 9.95 to take second overall.

The Gators (6-1, 4-1 SEC) counted a fall in their beam total. With the Stegeman Coliseum crowd cheering a floor 10.0, Baumann was calm and steady on beam, as she turned in the evening’s winning mark of 9.90. Sophomore Amelia Hundley also posted a season-high 9.875. Freshman Nicole Webb, making her first appearance in the Gator lineup, turned in 9.725.

Boren shared the all-around win with Georgia’s Sydney Snead at 39.475. Snead won the floor with a 10.0 — the nation’s fourth perfect floor mark of the season.

Georgia is now 3-4 overall, 3-3 in the SEC.

SEC Swimming and Diving: At College Station, Texas, winning SEC titles for the Gators on Friday were Grant Sanders in the Men’s 400 IM C final, Jan Switkowski in the 100 fly with a career-best time of 45.26 and Khader Baqlah with the nation’s fastest time of 1:31.96 in the 200 Free.

Maxime Rooney finished second in the 200 Free and Mark Szaranek took second in the 400 IM.

On Thursday night, Caeleb Dressel earned the lone SEC title of the day for the Gators, winning the 200 IM with a time of 1:38.13. That time was not only a Florida record, but also broke the American, NCAA and US Open record of 1:39.38 set by David Nolan of Stanford back in 2015. The time also set a Texas A&M pool record, topping Bradley Allen’s time of 1:40.09, which has stood since 2009.

Mark Szaranek also medaled in the 200 IM, posting an A-cut time of 1:41.00 to finish third overall.

Khader Baqlah finished third in the 500 free.

To close out Thursday night, Florida’s relay of Enzo Martinez-Scarpe, Dressel, Switkowski and Szaranek medaled in the 200 free relay, finishing second with an A-cut time of 1:16.59.

Lacrosse: No. 5 Florida (1-0) continues its challenging non-conference schedule at noon today against the defending national champions and top-ranked Maryland Terrapins (1-0) at Dizney Stadium on campus. The contest is the fourth meeting between the Gators and Terrapins, with Florida looking to claim its first win in the series.

Maryland is the second of seven IWLCA top-25 opponents for the Gators this season. UF topped No. 17 Colorado in its season opener, and is set to face No. 3 North Carolina, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 10 Navy, No. 19 Towson, and No. 25 Loyola before beginning Big East play.

Men’s golf: Florida will host the 41st SunTrust Gator Invitational this weekend at the Mark Bostick Golf Course. The Gators look to win their home tournament for the first time since 2011.

This year’s tournament is one of the deepest to date including five teams that are No. 27 or better in the latest Golfstat rankings. Last year, the Gators took fourth in the event while having four players finish in the top ten of the leaderboard.

The 54-hole stroke play tournament is being played at the Par 70, 6,701 yards campus course. It has served as the Gators home course since the 1960s and has been the home to the Gator Invitational since 1978.

First-round play begins with a shotgun start at 8 a.m. today with continuous play to round two. The final round will be played Sunday with the first tee time set for 8 a.m.

Men’s tennis: At Seattle, the 11th-ranked Gators dropped their opening-round match of the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Nation Indoor Championships 4-0 to No. 6 Texas A&M. Florida will move to the consolation bracket for the remainder of the tournament.