We’re back in the O-Dome tonight with your favorite Gator gymnasts as they take on the Kentucky Wildcats. Follow us on our Instagram Story during warmups and we’ll go live on Facebook after the meet with coach Jenny Rowland and some of the Gators. Stay tuned here for live updates during the meet!
Tonight, the Gators are back in full force after an invigorating win against LSU in Baton Rouge, where an LSU home defeat had not been seen in six years. The Gators’ beam team was key to that success, earning a stellar 49.475 rotation total as it came down to the very last routine to decide the meet. The Gators earned four of the top six beam scores of the night, all 9.9 or higher, and Rachel Gowey won the event with a 9.925. Trinity Thomas also tied for the floor title with a 9.95, so keep an eye on both of those individual routines as the Gators compete tonight. Also keep an eye out for Alicia Boren, who has put on a stellar all-around performance in both weeks of competition, earning 39.4 or better for her personal total.
Fresh off of their first appearance at the national championship, the Wildcats won against SEC opponent Arkansas last week, featuring strong performances from All-American junior Mollie Korth and senior Alex Hyland. Keep an eye out for Hyland on beam and Korth on vault and floor for some high-flying fun, and watch the vault lineup for the Cats as a whole – it’s their strongest event so far this year.
5:32pm: Warmups have concluded! Check out our Instagram story for all the updates. March-in starts in 15 minutes, but we should have lineups before then. When I have them, so will you!
5:40pm: Here’s your lineups! I’m still not sold on this “Boren in the middle of the floor lineup” things, and changing Thomas and Schoenherr in the bars lineup isn’t my favorite thing. But I guess we’ll find out how it works here shortly.
5:47pm: Here we go with walkout! Not a full house tonight by any stretch, but still some decent cheers from the crowd.
5:54pm: I know this is v offtopic but that was the best national anthem I’ve heard my whole three seasons coming here (except maybe Boyce’s brother two years ago on senior night). Anyway, back to your regularly scheduled gymnastics. First touch is underway and we will be giving you all the play by play action!
6:01pm: Here we go!
Alexander, VT: FTY, big slide back but not as overcooked as it has been the last two weeks. I love seeing her as a regular in this lineup! She surprised me this year.
6:02pm: Stuart, UB: a little over on first HS but muscles out of it. Tkachev is good, a little flexed feet. Bail is good. FTDLO dismount! Leans back but holds the stick long enough that I’d give it to her.
6:03pm: Cheney, VT: FTY, just a little hop. In slow mo, you can see the piking more but it wasn’t bad in real time.
6:04pm: Nixon, UB: first HS good, Maloney nice to bail, straight on. maybe a little short on last HS, pirouette is good, drops the double tuck in like she’s got glue on her feet. Nice!
6:05pm: Chant, VT: Tsuk 1/1, bounce in place. I’m so glad they went back to this option for her, it’s a way more viable 10.0 start for her.
6:06pm: Kwan, UB: short on first HS, Jaeger to overshoot is dynamic and floaty. last HS short, double pike dismount looked stuck? I have people standing in front of me again -.-
6:07pm: Schoenherr, VT: Y1.5, tried too hard for the stick and sat it, yikes. The Gators now have to count both 9.775s from Alexander and Chant.
6:08pm: Dukes, UB: Tkachev was super butt scrapey, pak caught super close, this is not her best tonight, her rhythm is so off. Has to muscle out of her toe shoot, DLO is whippy but she pulls it out with a stick. I do not know how she did that, that had to take some massive effort.
6:09pm: Thomas, VT: announcer was slow on announcing her… I really hope she had the green flag cuz that was a killer. just a tiny hop forward on her Y1.5.
6:10pm: Hyland, UB: nice first HS, Tkachev floats high but doesn’t come away from the bar enough for me. Bail is fine, toe shoot good. Full in dismount landed staggered-step but stuck! A good bounce back after Dukes’s rough 9.6
6:11pm: Boren, VT: glad to see her anchoring here! Y1.5, stutter step forward, tried to cover her second steps out by saluting really quickly but I’m not fooled
6:12pm: Korth, UB: short on first handstand. piked Jaeger caught a little close but okay. Bail straight on, good. last handstand was okay, not perfect but not deductable I don’t think. FTDLO, slide back. Not her greatest, but they’ll be able to drop Dukes’s score
AFTER ONE ROTATION: it’s 49.05 Gators to Cats 49.225 – Kentucky leads! Bet they didn’t expect that one. The Gators are decently close though after a fall from Schoenherr forced them to count two 9.775s from Alexander and Chant. Florida is definitely feeling the absence of Reed there, but if she needs resting, better that they rest her now than need her and not have her later in the season.
Bars will be interesting with some more lineup shifts, but I’m willing to give it a chance.
6:19pm: Kwan, VT: FTY, small hop. Looking much better than I’ve seen it previously.
6:20pm: Boren, UB: Tkachev lovely. Bail is good, if a little floppy. Short last handstand, oops. DLO is stuck though!
6:21pm: Dukes, VT: has upgraded to the FTY, a little short on the landing.
6:22pm: Gowey, UB: Ray is nice and high, handstands are lovely. Pak is good, she points her toes even into her squat on. Last handstand maybe a little short? DLO dismount stuck again! Good!
6:23pm: Davis, VT: FTY, a little forward in her landing like she was a tad short but just a bounce in place
6:24pm: Hundley, UB: Maloney to pak, gorgeous. Van Leeuwen, leg sep as usual. Full in, sticks it! This crowd is already roaring.
6:25pm: Hyland, VT: really nice FTY, she’s got significantly more distance than her teammates so far. A bounce back on the landing
6:26pm: Thomas, UB: I don’t know whyyyy you would move her forward at all in this lineup but oh well. Maloney to uprise to pak, handstands so far are goooorgeous. Van Leeuwen, hits last handstand. DLO stuck! Here come the ten chants.
Oh shoot, I just looked at scores, I guess we’re making up for relatively fair scoring on vault. 9.95 for Boren, 9.9 for Gowey, 9.95 for Hundley…
6:26pm: Stuart, VT: Y1.5! Is that new? Good for her, just a hop forward. That’s a great step in the right direction for Kentucky
6:27pm: Schoenherr, UB: Good first handstands, blind change is good. Jaeger nice, bail a little shy of totally vertical before she moves on. Just the small dismount still, full pirouette to double tuck, drops it in like a pro and sticks. Maybe a little cowboyed in the air.
6:28pm: Korth, VT: Y1.5, just a slide forward – that’ll be an excellent score for Kentucky if the judges do their jobs.
Update on Thomas: 9.975. Not quite the 10 they were hoping for.
6:29pm: Skaggs, UB: Great first handstand, Tkachev+pak combo is so aggressive. Maybe a little shy on final HS, DLO, maybe a little movement of feet? Hard to tell if it was a weight shift back or a scoot.
AFTER TWO: 98.775 Florida, 98.3 Kentucky. The Wildcats’ Katie Stuart will win vault with a 9.9 for her Yurchenko 1.5, which should be seen as a HUGE victory for them. Thomas will win bars with a 9.975, though it’s not the perfect 10 the fans were asking for.
The next half of the meet should be even more exciting, y’all – beam and floor is where both teams really shine here.
I mean, the judges here clearly did not want to be outdone by the judges in LA.
6:37pm: Skaggs, BB: Double wolf, bobbles a little but gets it around. Bhs loso, straight on. Cat leap, side aerial to back full dismount. Missed her dance connection when score sheets were being handed out, sorry.
6:38pm: Stuart, FX: Double pike to open, OOB… I saw both feet go out but idk if the line judge called both. 1.5 to front lay, sits it, yikes. Not the way they wanted to start this rotation. Crashed her last pass, something’s wrong I think. I couldn’t even tell what it was supposed to be. She keeps touching her side… cramp maybe? She’s waving off her coach though like she’s fine, hmm.
6:41pm: Piano Man for her beam music, I’m obsessed. Front aerial to sissone, good. Bhs loso, really slow but keeps it steady. Cat leap to switch side, good. Roundoff 1.5, stick!
6:42pm: Warren, FX: front double full to open, I think this is her same Pirates routine from last year. Niiiiice oversplits in her straddle positions! Rudi for her second pass, she looks like her stamina is failing her too? She landed that short. Bhs loso mid-routine to satisfy back tumbling. Connection pass to close. A hit, which they needed, but not quite the crowd-pleaser this arena is used to.
6:44pm: Boren, BB: front toss, solid. Bhs loso, steady. Split to straddle, good positions. Cat leap to gainer loso, solid. Cartwheel to gainer full, stutter step back.
6:46pm: Hyland, FX: Double pike to open, nice. Going with the Fresh Prince theme again to open, but I’m fairly certain this is a new routine. Aerial to leg grab needle, fun. Headstand, even the Gator fans were impressed. Showing off her flexibility in her dance elements and her choreo. 1.5 to front lay, controls the landing well. A quick get-it-done routine, but a show piece for sure. Her energy wasn’t as high as I’ve seen it though.
6:48pm: Gowey, BB: Switch to split, good. Bhs loso loso, leg comes up but she stays on and doesn’t wave around a whole lot. Front aerial to sissone, good. Gainer full, slide back. This is not last week’s beam squad, unfortunately. The nerves seem to be getting them a little.
6:50pm: Dukes, FX: Her punch into her double pike is perfectly timed with the music, I love. Dance elements are lovely and extended. I love her energy, she is so undaunted by their deficit or this crowd. Front handspring front lay front full, nice! Front aerial to illusion, that’s fun! Double tuck to close, a little cowboying but opens nice and high. That’s more the kind of routine they’ve been hoping for.
6:52pm: Thomas, BB: Switch half to beat jump, gorgeous extension. One-arm bhs to loso, straight on. Front aerial, small wobble, will not get the connection into the wolf jump. Roundoff double full, looked like elevator feet to me rather than a stick, but I’ll look at the replay. Feet didn’t move, just one heel adjustment. I’ll let you decide on that one.
6:54pm: Korth, FX: Full in! A little low chest but okay. Rudi loso for her second pass, I love the drama she brought in that dance break though. Double pike to close, nice! Team is really pleased with that one.
6:56pm: Baumann, BB: Onodi, she falls! I haven’t seen her fall on that skills in years. Bhs loso, good. Switch to switch half, steady. Side aerial, another wobble. Oh, Alyssa. Roundoff 1.5, almost a stick, momentum steps out of it as she salutes. Welp.
6:57pm: Rosa, FX: DLO! Whoa, where’d that come from? Kentucky throwing all the upgrades tonight. Good extension, connects three straddle dance elements together, that’s fun. Front lay to front full, some leg sep there, but WOW where has that been hiding?? Kentucky’s momentum improving moving forward while Florida’s just took a nosedive… the fourth will be interesting.
AFTER THREE: 148.125 Florida, 147.55 Kentucky. Florida still improves their lead despite Baumann’s fall, since Kentucky had to count Warren’s 9.7.
7:06pm: Stuart, BB: The arena singing along to her beam music, I Want It That Way, lol. Let’s see how she recovers. Cool chest stand mount. Switch leap to stag, nice. Bhs loso, good! Needle scale to oversplit gets a crowd reaction, that’s nice. Cat leap to side aerial to back full, good. She did really well to shake off floor and reset, good for her.
7:08pm: Johnson-Scharpf, FX: Stumbles OOB on double pike, again I saw both feet go out, but idk if line judge did cuz she only raised the flag. Front lay to front full, stag jump out. good. Yes, girl, bring the drama! Love the dance break. Double tuck to close, much better on that one.
7:10pm: Harman, BB: Good to see her getting to compete! Full turn is good. Bhs bhs loso, perfectly steady. Front walkover, okay. Switch to kind of stag? Why are they having her do a stag in that crazy knee brace cage? Gainer pike off the end, stick! A good first competitive performance for her!
7:12pm: Hundley, FX: Whip double tuck to play it safe, she warmed up the DLO well but they probably wanted to be safe since SJS went OOB. Double pike for second pass, good. The floor part of this choreo still isn’t my favorite but the rest of that dance break is great. 1.5 to front lay to close, nice!
7:14pm: Angeny, BB: Bhs loso, good. Switch to sheep, not terrible, but not good enough to keep for NCAA I think. Side aerial to back tuck full. A quick routine but got the job done.
7:15pm: Boren, FX: I preface with this, my thoughts exactly:
DLO is gorgeous, pops it out to an easy lunge. 1.5 to front lay, dances out. Crowd getting involved in the MC Hammer moment. She struts across this floor with such confidence, she’s grown so much during her time here. Double tuck to close, opens so high. Crowd jumps to their feet – she is incredible every time on this routine, it just suits her so well. I doubt they’ll go 10 in the 3 spot, but we’ll see I guess.
7:17pm: Korth, BB: One-arm bhs loso, was too far to the right but somehow stays on with part of her back foot off the beam, only shows it with a slight lean. Switch to back tuck, nice! Roundoff double full, little foot adjustment. Another good one for Kentucky!
7:18pm: Thomas, FX: DLO is just iconic, I love. Front lay to front double full for her second pass, she’s got so much difficulty here, it’s incredible. The worm is such a crowd-pleaser (and for educated Gator fans, a callback to Gator great Kytra Hunter). Double back to close, doesn’t quite have the same effect as Boren on the crowd but it’ll be another great score.
7:21pm: Dukes, BB: Bhs loso secure. Front aerial to split jump, good. Connected dance elements are nicely extended. Roundoff 1.5 twist, little step back.
7:22pm: Baumann, FX: The premiere of this routine in the O-Dome – so ready for this. Just the double tuck again to keep everybody in bounds, but the DLO looked good in warmups too. 1.5 to front full, covers well as she dances out of it. Double pike, nicely controlled into the very corner. I love that she brings the power in this routine, though I still want more for her choreography.
7:24pm: Hyland, BB: Switch to split, good. Cat leap to front aerial, nice. Bhs loso, dead on. Showcasing her flexibility, lovely. Cat leap to side aerial to back full, just soooo graceful. One of the best here.
7:26pm: Gowey, FX: Baumann giving her a pep talk beforehand, I love that! Front lay to front double full! That’s eventually going to make six E pass routines for Florida. Double tuck, lovely. 1.5 to front lay to close, gorgeous. Six hits for UF will wrap up the win quite nicely for them.
FINAL SCORES: Florida 197.675, Kentucky 196.650
Florida still nowhere near the top scores in the nation after so many 198s have already happened, but still a solid score when it comes to RQS.
So Florida wins by over a point after some excessive home scoring, especially on bars, but they did not actually sweep the events. Wildcat Katie Stuart wins vault with a 9.9 with her new Yurchenko 1.5, and Florida’s Trinity Thomas will take bars with a 9.975. Thomas also takes the beam title with a 9.925, and floor was a three-way tie between Kentucky’s Mollie Korth and Thomas and Alicia Boren from Florida. Trinity wins her first AA title, in just her third meet of her college career.
That’s it here, folks! We’ll have a recap up later tonight, but catch us on Facebook Live shortly for quick interviews with some of your Lady Gators and head coach Jenny Rowland. See you there!