Top-ranked Florida gymnasts advance in NCAA Regional

Special to Gatorsports.com

ATHENS, Ga. — Top-ranked Florida, led by Trinity Thomas' 10 on the bars, advanced Friday to the NCAA Regional final Saturday with a winning score of 197.95, the Gators third-highest total of the season, to grab the top spot of the night session.

In the afternoon session, host Georgia fell to No. 8 seed Minnesota (197.625) and No. 9 seed Denver at Stegeman Coliseum. Georgia finished third overall with a 196.750 -196.375 win over Oregon State.

"Wow," Florida coach Jenny Rowland said. "Something that the Gators are really good at is just being normal, having fun, and really, they showed up. [They] showed that this team is on a mission to make the most of the moment."

North Carolina State also advanced out of the night session with a 196.775. Illinois (196.375) and Central Michigan (195.575) were eliminated.

The top two teams from Saturday's 7 p.m. regional final competition (ESPN3) advance to the NCAA Championships set for April 16-17 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Florida's Megan Skaggs and Savannah Schoenherr shared the vault win with a 9.900 score.

Behind Thomas on the bars was Skaggs in second with a 9.950. Thomas posted a 10.0 on her only event of the evening. It was her second perfect bars score of 2021 and her third of her career for the event.

"[It was] even a little bit more special, because I've been extra focused on dismounts. So when I stuck that landing, there were a lot of emotions going through me," Thomas said.

"I almost cried, I don't know why, but I think because [uneven bars] is the only thing that I've been training, and I just want to do as good as I can for my team. I'm used to doing all the events, so when I'm only doing one, I [feel] like I [have] to do it right, so [I was] just super excited to do my thing."

Florida's Alyssa Baumann won the balance beam at 9.975, with teammates Ellie Lazzari and Leah Clapper tied for second at 9.950.

Nya Reed of Florida won the floor exercise with a 9.950.

Skaggs won the all-around at 39.650, while Lazzari tied for second with CMU's Hannah Demers with a 39.500.

Event Winners

Scores are combined from both NCAA Second Round sessions to determine event winners:

Vault: Ona Loper, Minnesota 10.0

Bars: Trinity Thomas, Florida 10.0

Beam: Alyssa Baumann, Florida 9.975

Floor: Nya Reed, Florida 9.95

Lynnzee Brown, Denver 9.95

Ona Loper, Minnesota 9.95

AA: Lexy Ramler, Minnesota 39.775