Gator gymnastics team advances to NCAA Regional final

Florida coach Jenny Rowland congratulates gymnast Megan Skaggs at a meet last season. [Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun/File]

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CORVALLIS, Ore. – Friday was a positive first step for Florida gymnastics in the new national qualification process.

Top-seeded Florida’s 197.50 was the NCAA Corvallis Regional’s top team score of Friday’s two semifinal sessions. Denver, the No. 2 seed for the Corvallis Regional, won Friday’s first semifinal at 196.975.

Now Florida is among the four-team field for Saturday’s NCAA Regional final. The top two teams Saturday advance to the NCAA Championships, set for April 19-20 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

The top two teams from each of Friday’s semifinals, Florida, Denver, Oregon State and Boise State, move ahead to Saturday’s NCAA Corvallis Regional Final at 10 p.m. ET.

Florida drew the Olympic rotation for Friday’s semifinal round. The Gators were led on vault by two equaling their collegiate bests – freshman Savannah Schoenherr won the day’s vault title at 9.90 and junior Sierra Alexander shared second (9.875).

Three Gators posted marks of 9.9 or better on the next rotation. Freshman Trinity Thomas shared the day’s uneven bars title at 9.925, while Amelia Hundley and Megan Skaggs each earned 9.90s to share fourth.

Florida equaled the meet’s team high balance beam total with its 49.50 Friday. Senior Alicia Boren equaled her collegiate best of 9.95 to share the day’s beam win. Florida’s Alyssa Baumann and Skaggs also posted beam marks of 9.90 to tie for fourth overall.

Five was enough for Florida in Friday’s floor competition. The Gators used only five gymnasts in its floor rotation to post the day’s top floor team total of 49.50 and each of those five marks ranking among Friday’s top eight floor scores with both sessions combined. Thomas shared the floor win at 9.95, while Boren and Nya Reed were among a tie for fourth at 9.90.

In the day’s all-around, Boren was third (39.475), with Skaggs (39.45) and Thomas (39.40) taking fourth and fifth, respectively.

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