What a way to start the season! If you haven’t already make sure you check out our 2019 Season Preview and our breaking news about Alyssa Baumann yesterday to be sure you’re up to date on all the Gator Gymnastics news. For tonight’s meet, check out our Instagram story to see warmups live, and then we may have a post-meet surprise for viewers on our Facebook! Make sure you like and follow us to get all the updates.
Tonight, your favorite Florida Gators will face off against SEC opponents, the Missouri Tigers. The Gators were off last week, still preparing, but the Tigers took on a quad meet at Arizona State, earning a 195.450 to earn the No. 11 spot in the first week of national rankings. Of course, that’s a relatively low bar to clear for Florida, who hasn’t scored below 197 at home since February 2013.
The stars of the show tonight will likely be the freshmen, as they’ve been named the top recruiting class in the nation and should feature prominently on every event. Expect to see big routines from Trinity Thomas, Nya Reed and Savannah Schoenherr, in addition to upperclassmen like Alicia Boren, Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley.
Missouri, on the other hand, is very upperclassman-heavy, with its top scorers in the senior and junior classes. Keep an eye on Aspen Tucker, Madeline Huber and Britney Ward – they had the top scores on each event for the Tigers last week.
Warmups should start around 5:00 or so, so I’ll see you guys on Instagram then!
6:29pm: Hey everyone! Warmups are over and the girls have gone into the tunnel to get ready. Based on the floor order in warmup, I’m guessing the plan was to have Baumann anchor again after Boren to take advantage of the score boost, the way Jenny had it in postseason last year after Baker’s injury. However, since Baumann is out for tonight (all signs point to her being okay! She is here and doesn’t seem to be braced or anything!), it seems to be between Gowey and Skaggs as to who will replace her in the lineup. Whether or not they’ll keep the order the same is yet to be revealed. I’ll tweet lineups and include them here as soon as they’re in my hands!
Looks like Gowey won out, so she’ll be in the AA tonight with Boren and Thomas. Some of these lineup choices confuse me, like having Boren in the 4 spot on vault and Clapper anchor on beam. Granted, I’m sure there was much finagling when Baumann went down yesterday, so that may be a product of filling those holes.
On the Missouri side, it’s good to see Britney Ward back on vault, as she only competed beam last week while she’s normally a mainstay on both. Hannah McCrary’s vault will be a fun one to watch, and Aspen Tucker closing out floor for them should be a real treat.
6:47pm: Here come the Gators! More cool floor projections this year, that’s always fun. Everyone really should go to a gymnastics meet in person if they can, there’s really nothing like being here live. We should be underway shortly, so stay tuned!
6:54pm: Touch warmup happening now! Are you excited? I’m excited.
Tucker just ate mat warming up her Jaeger release on bars. Yikes. Get all the jitters out now and let’s have a clean meet.
7:01pm: Here we go! Here’s your lineups for the first rotation:
7:02pm: Gowey, VT: FTY, a little flat but good, small adjustment on landing.
Tucker, UB: Nice first handstand, Jaeger is good this time. Bail nice, in good vertical position. Last handstand a little short, pirouette is dead on though, double tuck stuck! A good answer back.
7:03pm: Alexander, VT: SO good to see her back after her injury last year. Got some distance on that FTY, stuck the landing! Wow!
Kelly, UB: Short first handstand. Piked Jaeger is nice, bail definitely short. Last handstand short as well, DLO dismount, little step it looked like.
7:04pm: Thomas, VT: Crowd already cheering for her like crazy, they love her. Y1.5, gorgeous in the air but big bound forward. Uncharacteristic for her, maybe that’s why she’s in the three spot.
Christensen, UB: Good first handstand, pirouette is nice. Tkachev has good amplitude, bail a little floppy. Short last handstand, double tuck stuck! Good to see her in competition after sitting out last year.
7:07pm: Boren, VT: Y1.5, little knees in the air, anticipating the landing. Little slide back.
Schugel, UB: I love that she’s taking her fifth year! They need her on this event, beautiful lines on her handstands. Piked Jaeger to overshoot is dynamic, almost comes off on her squat-on but turns it into a round-the-bar squat-on like a pro. Little adjustment on the dismount I think.
7:08pm: Reed, VT: Y1.5, overcooks it and takes a bound and a lunge forward.
Porter, UB: Short first handstand, just a little. Jaeger is good, following handstand short. Bail is dead on though, nice. Last handstand is better. Double front dismount drops in, she had a smile on her face like she knew she would stick before she even hit the ground. Good for her!
7:10pm: Schoenherr, VT: Y1.5, overcooks it and may have put a knee down? Need the replay. I think that will come down to the judges, it was close. Big lunge forward regardless though.
Huber, UB: Lovely first handstands, super high Jaeger, connects directly to overshoot. Last handstand is gorgeous. DLO pings off a little early I thought, but she gets it around with just a little hop forward on the dismount.
Schoenherr’s score is a bit confusing… looks like maybe one judge took the fall and the other didn’t? Ended up with a 9.45. Your score after one actually has the Tigers ahead, 49.125 to Florida’s 48.925. Not exactly the start UF was hoping for.
Agreeing with Lauren of The Gymternet on this one, Florida needs to cool it on the adrenaline and settle down, this was too frantic.
Detailed scores after first rotation:
7:16pm: Here’s your Gators bars lineup!
7:20pm: Huber, VT: FTY, great height, small bounce back on the landing.
Boren, UB: Great first handstand! Tkachev lovely, goo amplitude. Bail is dead on, hangs onto it longer than I normally see from her. She’s been working on her bars, y’all. DLO, small slide back.
7:21pm: Gottula, VT: FTY, pikes down some at the end but sticks it! Good for her.
Gowey, UB: Why this girl is going second beats the heck outta me, guys. Great first handstand, gorgeous Ray. Pak is lovely, though dare I say it – toes not as pointed as I’m used to?? Last handstand fine. DLO, pikes down at the end but sticks it.
7:22pm: Porter, VT: FTY, some leg sep, but looked like a stick and less piking than the last.
Hundley, UB: Again, this order makes no sense to me, but oh well, I guess. Great first handstand, Maloney to pak is gorgeous. Toe on is a little funky but she’s patient with it. Van Leeuwen looks good. Full in, one foot slid in but looked like a stick to everyone else, clearly.
7:24pm: Tucker, VT: FTY, good dynamics, little slide on the landing. Still waiting for that upgrade from her, she’s been training it for a year.
Schoenherr, UB: Great first handstands. Jaeger is good, caught a little close maybe. Bail is good, last handstand a little shy though. Little dismount today, full pirouette to double tuck and drops it in to a stick! She’s working a harder dismount though, wonder if/when that will show up.
7:25pm: Ward, VT: Yhalf-on, tuck half off! I don’t think the O-Dome has seen that vault in a while. A little chest down on the landing but glues her feet for sure.
Thomas, UB: Maloney soars. Uprise to a great handstand, pak is lovely. Toe on great, Van Leeuwen textbook – why is this girl not anchoring? DLO is nicely extended and she sticks!! Absolute beauty.
7:27pm: McCrary, VT: Y1.5, little knees and maybe a small leg sep at the end, but better landing than most of the Gators, just a little slide back. Wow, that’s huge for Mizzou.
Skaggs, UB: First handstand snaps into place, she’s being so aggressive. Tkachev to pak is great, flies high. Last handstand solid, DLO stuck!
After two, Florida has taken the lead back and righted the ship, with the scores 98.425 to 98.125. This meet is probably closer than anyone expected though, so I’ll be interested to see how the back half of this meet goes.
Also, if anyone was keeping track, Trinity Thomas won the bars title with a 9.95 and Hannah McCrary and Alicia Boren tied for the vault title with 9.875.
7:36pm: Skaggs, BB: Double wolf turn, lovely. I love her lines here, she’s so elegant and extended. Leaps are good. Bhs loso, super steady. Cat leap to side aerial to back full, stuck! Nice!
Bower, FX: Double pike to open, solid. Getting a little sass with the choreography but not the kind of performance level this crowd is used to. 1.5 to front lay, good. Double tuck to close, point at the judges to finish. A good lead, but won’t get the kind of scores Florida will on floor.
7:40pm: Hundley, BB: Front aerial to split jump, good. She may get a pause deduction here for as long as she’s waiting. Bhs loso, solid. Different beam music choice from her this year. Switch side is good. Full turn is fine. Roundoff 1.5 twist dismount, takes it up to her toes but doesn’t move her feet.
7:42pm: Nicholson, FX: Front double full to open, where did that come from?? We’re getting a little more stage presence here for sure. 1.5 to front lay, good. Leap positions are good. You can tell it’s January though, stamina is still an issue here in the dance. Rudi to close, nice! Don’t know how I missed her but she’s a great secret weapon for them.
7:43pm: Boren, BB: Front toss, gorgeous. Bhs loso, small bobble but keeps it tight. Switch to straddle jump is good. Cat leap to gainer loso, amazing. Cartwheel to gainer full, small slide back. A good one, but she can be better.
7:45pm: Huber, FX: Front lay to front full to open, okay. 2.5 twist for second pass, a little legs but good. Now she’s starting to loosen up in her choreography. Double pike, a little low in the chest position but otherwise fine, finishes with a huge smile. Another solid showing.
7:47pm: Gowey, BB: Leaps are nice. Triple series gorgeous, yes! Front aerial to sissone, nice. Punch front, love seeing that in her routine now! Gainer full, little adjustment with one foot it looks like in the replay.
7:49pm: Porter, FX: Double pike to open, better dynamics than any of her teammates so far. This music sounds like it’s from the fireworks show at Epcot, is that bad? I like it but it might be too cheesy for some, I guess. 1.5 to front lay, good. I love the tonal change, giving it that extra drama. Double tuck to close, very nice.
7:51pm: Thomas, BB: Side aerial to beat, lovely. One-arm bhs to loso, some of the crowd noticed that. Front aerial to wolf jump, little bobble in the connection so she may not get it. Full turn is fine. Roundoff double full, little bounce. Not her best either, but a great debut for her.
7:52pm: McCrary, FX: Front lay to Rudi, nicely done. Double pike is good too. Dance elements a little slow to be connected, but gets it there. She seems like a performer and the dance is choreographed that way, but she’s mostly just smiling. Maybe intimidated by the size of the crowd? 2.5 twist to close, WOW talk about form. Legs pasted together, super controlled in the landing.
7:54pm: Clapper, BB: Using I Won’t Give Up as her beam music, girl after my own heart. Triple series to open, hits! Good for her. Switch to split, good. Side aerial to back full, swims for the stick! A get on-get it done-get off kind of routine, but it worked for her.
7:56pm: Tucker, FX: Full in to open, sticks it cold! Getting a little shimmy going on here. Rudi loso for her second pass, nice and floaty. Oooh, a little Latin flavor here at the end, I love. Double pike to close, great control if a little low in the chest position. That’ll easily be their best score.
After rotation three, the team totals stand at 147.825 for Florida, 147.325 for Missouri. Still only 5 tenths apart, good for Mizzou keeping it close. Gowey and Boren lead beam with 9.9s and Tucker floor with a 9.875.
Here’s a few thoughts from the gymternet that I’m feeling while they’re doing some weird stunt here during the rotation break.
8:05pm: Bower, BB: Opens with series, bhs loso, interesting technique in those. Almost like she went in slow mo. Cat leap to front toss to beat, nice! Switch to straddle, nice and extended. Gainer full, stick!
8:06pm: Hundley, FX: Getting into character before her music even hits. Crowd goes crazy just hearing the opening notes of Greatest Showman, haha. Opens with whip to double tuck, sad, no DLO tonight. Girl has her game face on. I love the musicality in the corner section, and then double pike for her second pass is kinda low. Hmm the floor choreography lacks a little bit of energy for me, there’s just no much for her to do. 1.5 to front lay, good. A good lead off.
8:09pm: Tucker, BB: Missed the beginning, whoops. Bhs layout 2 feet, love! Cat leap to switch leap to standing loso, amazing. What a fun mixed series. Roundoff double full, little bounce.
8:10pm: Johnson-Scharpf, FX: Double pike to open, chest a little low. Love the drama in this. Front lay to front full si solid, not as much rise as maybe I’d like though. Double tuck, again a little low on the landing but not as bad. Big smile on her face as she finishes with the music, since she had a little trouble doing so in warmup.
8:13pm: Nicholson, BB: Opens with triple series, nice! Full turn is nice and controlled. Straddle to split half is waaay short of 180, yikes. Cartwheel gainer full, looked like a stick from her.
8:14pm: Reed, FX: Crowd already getting pumped for this. DLO to open, chest up and everything, nice. Playing to the camera, giving us legacy Baker moves in the corner with that cash cha-ching. Dnace series is good. Front handspring, front lay to Rudi, nice. Shimmy and a fun shoulder cartwheel on the floor, that’s something she’ll get recognized for. Double pike to close, nails it and the crowd goes NUTS! Jenny and the team are also thrilled, they rush her a split second after she finishes.
8:17pm: Gottula, BB: Bhs bhs loso from her as well! What’s with Mizzou and these triple series, where did they come from?? Switch to straddle 1/4 is good, straddle maybe a little shy of 180. Gainer full dismount, good. Another strong showing for them!
8:18pm: Boren, FX: Crowd is already going nuts knowing it’s her turn. Fun MGM-song opening, hits all her musical cues. DLO to open, absolutely textbook. She flies. 1.5 to front lay for her second pass. Crowd going crazy for her dance break, totally playing the arena like they’re here just for her. Double tuck to close, good control. Gator chomp to finish and the arena is DEAFENING. Ten hands everywhere, and honestly, I don’t think I would have a problem wit that. I don’t know how she improves from here, that was a floor routine to REMEMBER.
8:21pm: Kelly, BB: Front aerial to one-arm bhs, wow. Jump series is meh, her sheep is not good enough to keep. Missed the rest of this, my apologies.
8:22pm: Thomas, FX: The intrigue at the beginning of this is driving everyone crazy, and I’m just like I’ve seen this twice already. DLO to open and it’s SO high and extended. Amazing. Front lay to front full, lovely. Dance break is giving me Kytra Hunter vibes again, with the worm and the oversplit. Double pike to finish. Butterfly to closing pose – she’s just so technically perfect it’s hard to take anything.
8:24pm: Ward, BB: This is such a treat! Her beam is awesome. Fun split handstand mount. Bhs bhs loso, so controlled and steady. Switch to pike, don’t see that often. Full turn is good. Hitchkick to side aerial, little bobble but keeps it under control. Roundoff 1.5, nice!
8:25pm: Gowey, FX: Did I just see her do front lay to front double full?? I’ll have to look at the replay. It was!! Damn girl! Double tuck for her second pass, almost goes out but kept it in like a pro. 1.5 to front lay to finish, gets good rise in that second element too.
Final score is 197.3 to 196.45 Gators – floor was just LIGHTS OUT for Florida, that was crazy.
For your event winners, it’ll be Boren and McCrary with 9.875s for vault, Thomas on bars with a 9.95, Gowey and Boren for 9.9 on beam, and then Reed and Boren with 9.925s on floor. Boren will win the AA with a 39.575.
Crowd was 8,446 people tonight – that’s the second-highest attendance for a Florida season opener, but let’s be real, nothing’s gonna be last year’s opener against LSU unless they get OU or UCLA in here.
I’ll leave you guys with this before we head to interviews:
If you didn’t catch it, we went live on Facebook from the press room! Find it here, and then our meet recap will be up soon! See you guys next week for another liveblog!