Gator fans, tonight is the night! It’s senior night. It’s the fight for the regular season SEC title. It’s the legendary Trinity Thomas’s last night in the O-Dome. What do you say we keep the intro short and sweet and just get ready for a great meet?!
Kentucky routines to look for include Raena Worley on, well, everything, Ariana Patterson on vault, Kaitlin DeGuzman on bars, and Isabella Magnelli on beam and floor. You all know who to look out for at Florida, but as a heads up, looks like Riley McCusker will be in at least one event tonight! We may also see some exhibitions from seniors who aren’t in the lineups if we’re lucky, but that may be reserved just for arena-goers, as the broadcast may not have time to show us more than just the counting routines.
It starts at 6pm ET on SEC Network or in the O-Dome, but if you can’t make it or don’t have access, we’ll have the play-by-play right here!
Starting the feels early tonight, y’all.
Lineups tonight show McCusker will be on bars! Vault, beam, and floor look relatively the same from last week to this week, with Blakely back in on floor while Wong rests. Blakely, DiCello, and Thomas will be the all-arounders tonight.
Same though. Doesn’t matter if you’ve seen her in person at every meet, every week, or had to watch her from halfway around the world, she’s a legend in this sport and will be remembered forever.
6:01pm: Here we go, y’all!
Richards, VT: Yurchenko 1.5, went too hard for the stick and underdid it a little, ends up a little off to the side and has to scoot back under herself.
Davis, UB: Short on opening handstand. Jaeger is nice and high, some feet. Next handstand a little labored, bail is fine. Great last handstand! Double layout (DLO) dismount, step to the side. Good start, but some things to refine still.
Wong, VT: Yhalf-on, pike half off – WOW! That’s the best she’s done it all season, much cleaner in the air and sticks the landing!
Bunn, UB: Jaeger to open is strong. Next handstand a little short, bail fine. Good final handstand. DLO dismount is stuck!
Blakley, VT: Y1.5, one of her good ones! Owen was standing in the way of the landing, let’s see the slow-mo – just a small hop bringing her feet together.
Reigert, UB: Gorgeous opening release! Bail is maybe a little short? Final handstand too. DLO dismount really floats, and she gets the stick!
6:07pm: DiCello, VT: Y1.5, goes for the stick but has to take a step to the side to steady herself, brings her feet back together to salute, not moving her left foot. Really getting these landing tonight, this is much better than last week.
DeGuzman, UB: Opening handstand is great! Goes for the Jaeger, HUGE air, but she went too big and missed her hands, absolutely eats the mat. Ouch. Goes to rechalk, will want to repeat that skill for her start value. Huh, remounts and just dismounts – does not end up completing any of her releases. Kentucky will NEED to drop that score.
Thomas, VT: Y1.5, great distance, not as much height as maybe she’s capable of? Single step forward. She’s clearly disappointed as she walks away.
6:12pm: Luksik, UB: Long wait, but she’s going now. Big Ray, lots of amplitude. Bail is nice and vertical. Great final handstand. DLO is a little whippy, slides it back on the landing.
Clark, VT: Yurchenko full, very clean in the air, just a little slide back on the landing.
Worley, UB: Gorgeous opening handstand, goes big on her release too! Pak salto has some leg separation. Swims for it but gets the stick on her dismount!
AFTER ONE: UF 49.3, UK 49.2
Strong showings from Wong and Blakely give me much better feelings about vault overall this week. Thomas was mostly adrenaline, I think, and she knows how to control that in higher-pressure situations. Richards and DiCello are the ones that need to stop focusing on the stick and just stay in the moment. I’m hoping that next week against Oklahoma, we’ll see either Nguyen or Baumann in the six slot instead of Clark, but she’s doing a good job right now making that hop smaller every week if she does need to stay in.
6:23pm: Rotation two time!
LaClair, VT: Yurchenko full, just a little hop back on the landing. Not as great in the amplitude department as most Florida vaults.
Blakely, UB: Maloney to pak salto, some leg separation in both. Great last handstand and NAILS her double front! It’s a little cowboyed, but stuck cold.
Wilson, VT: Handspring pike half, did not get the block she needed and lands quite hunched over.
Nguyen, UB: Long wait before she starts for some reason. Great opening handstand. Maloney is clean, pak salto with a big leg separation, mmm. DLO dismount, some knees and a little hop forward. Not her best.
Patterson, VT: Handspring pike half, HUGE height, quick rotation and good pike position. Looked like just a small adjustment on the landing, slow-mo confirms, but she barely moved those feet. Wow.
DiCello, UB: Short on opening handstand. HUGE Ray to open, nice pointed feet. Pak salto, a little leg sep, right to her handstand, straight into her van Leeuwen, she doesn’t typically get all those connections but WOW! Full out, some legs at the end, sticks her landing though!
6:29pm: Magnelli, VT: Handspring pike half, a little off to the side and chest a little low, but sticks it cold!
Thomas, UB: Gorgeous opening handstand. Maloney to pak, super clean legs. Great handstand work here. van Leeuwen, SO clean. Great final handstand! DLO dismount, stuck cold! Looked like one of the best routines she’s ever done.
6:31pm: Worley, VT: Y1.5, WOW! Looked like a stick there, but a small adjustment to the side to bring her feet together. Gorgeous in the air.
Wong, UB: Super clean throughout her releases so far. van Leeuwen is crisp. DLO stuck! Will she get the 10? Thomas didn’t get it somehow.
Bourque, VT: Y1.5, big crossover step. Love seeing her in this lineup though after not competing the first several weeks.
McCusker, UB: Look at these transitions, just incredible. So clean, legs pasted together on the van Leeuwen. Slow-mo shows maybe a little short on final handstand? Stalder to double tuck dismount, and it’s a good one! She sticks it, body upright.
AFTER TWO: UF 99.1, UK 98.675
The Gators just went 49.8 on bars, an all-time program record!
6:43pm: Rotation 3!
Blakely, BB: Front aerial to back handspring (bhs) to open, nice and steady. Switch leap to switch half, back leg looked good, hits 180. Full turn is even. Gainer full dismount off the side is stuck! A great start for the Gators.
Wilson, FX: Wolf jump 1.5 looked clean to start. Front through to double back is clean and controlled. Second wolf element in her dance series looked a little off axis. 1.5 to front lay, nice and clean twisting form. I feel like she just… didn’t do much? Not a lot of choreography in that routine at all.
Richards, BB: Little bobble as she gets going maybe? I think the emotions are running high. Opening series is steady. Switch leap to straddle jump, good 180 there. Bhs 1.5 twist dismount, hopped forward.
Albores, FX: Rudi (front 1.5 twist) to back layout-stepout (loso) – WILD in the air and travels a lot as she connects the two. Double pike, much better control on that landing. Straddle jump just in there randomly, I guess for start value.
6:49pm: Lazzari, BB: Bhs loso loso, HOW did she save that?? Stuttered on her second element but somehow adjusted midair and fixed it in the third element. Incredible. Dance series is lovely, clean 180 positions. Front aerial, clean. Bhs 1.5 twist, little hop forward.
Patterson, FX: Back 1.5 to front lay, very clean to start out. A lot more going on in this routine, like that a lot. Switch ring half, couldn’t see her back leg at all to judge position. Gorgeous switch ring in her series though, big amplitude too. Double tuck to close it out is also well-controlled – that’ll be a good score.
6:53pm: DiCello, BB: Candle mount, Kathy calling it “daring” in her commentary. Thomas said a few weeks ago she doesn’t know how DiCello does it, even after the freshman offered to teach her! Double wolf turn, nice and steady. Leaps are lovely, hits 180 effortlessly. Bhs loso, super solid. Front aerial, little balance check there but covers well. Bhs gainer full dismount, stuck! She is having herself a SEASON.
Magnelli, FX: Rudi to loso, much better controlled than her teammate previously, very clean and floaty. Switch side to Popa, good amplitude and positions in the air. Double pike, two foot stick! That was clean.
Thomas, BB: Split leap mount, gorgeous. One arm bhs to loso, snaps those arms down to cover any extra momentum she may have had. Front aerial to two feet – she added back in and did it flawlessly! Beat jump to korbut, gorgeous and floaty. Side aerial bhs 1.5, just a little hop on the dismount. Dang! That would have been perfection otherwise.
Davis, FX: Some rock’n’roll in here. Double pike to open, good control as she steps back to her lunge. Switch side to Popa, big air on both. 1.5 to front lay, really clean twisting form and well controlled coming out. Wish some of this choreography was a little more meaningful with the great story of this routine – she chose this medley to honor her father who passed away last year. Double tuck to finish, and another great landing. What a great routine to honor her late father!
7:00pm: Wong, BB: Switch leap to split leap, just gorgeous. Bhs loso, has to take an extra step back and an arm swing to keep her balance. Front aerial to beat, clean. Roundoff double full is stuck! Just that one little check, but just like Thomas, otherwise perfection. Coaches and teammates trying to gas her up, but she’s clearly frustrated with herself.
Worley, FX: Full in to open, great height, good control. Switch ring to switch side, lovely. Really nailing her musicality in here. Front full front lay, textbook, just like Kathy said. Double tuck to finish, almost a two foot stick, just a little hop in place almost out of excitement maybe? A great finish for the Wildcats on this rotation.
AFTER THREE: UF 148.55, UK 148.175
A great beam rotation for the Gators, showing lots of fight. Shades of perfection, but not pushing it so far that they overthink it either. I think this team is in a really good place, but they will want to step it up just a little if they want to show out against Oklahoma next week.
Thomas saying, “I hope I’m remembered more for who I am than for what I did,” in an interview with floor correspondent Taylor Davis is making me feel things. And her mom is on screen now! Trying not to cry – talking the same talk that her daughter talks about executing on the things she does in practice. Also says she’s proud of her daughter for setting her goals high and attaining almost every single one.
7:15pm: Last one best one! Time to close it out.
Luksik, BB: Onodi, gorgeous! Bhs loso, some knees but very steady. Cat leap to switch half, did not reach 180 there. Full turn is clean. Beat jump by itself? Okay. Gainer pike off the end is stuck! Good start for the Cats.
Nguyen, FX: Love this routine, it’s so elegant. Front double full into immediate sissone, that’s one of the cleanest ones she’s done this year. Switch ring switch half, great extension and amplitude. Y turn is lovely as always. Love seeing Hurd screaming at her in the corner there. 1.5 to front lay, nice control as she finishes out. Great start for the Gators as well!
Riegert, BB: Side aerial to bhs, looked like some bend in the arms there but she gets it around fine. Full turn is clean. Beat jump… again by itself? Maybe I looked down at the wrong time. Switch leap to back tuck, little bobble but stands it up okay. Roundoff 1.5 twist, step forward on the landing.
Baumann, FX: Double wolf turn, nice and even-keeled. 1.5 to front full, good control as she dances out of it. Switch side to straddle jump, so far into oversplit, just gorgeous. Double pike to finish, bit of bounce as she takes her lunge. Still should be a good score, but a bigger deduction there than she usually incurs.
Bunn, BB: Bhs loso loso, only uses like 3/4 of the beam too, wow. Super solid on that. Switch leap to split jump, lovely toe point and split position in those. Roundoff double full is stuck! Great routine from Bunn.
Richards, FX: DLO, it’s a good one! Just pops it out into a lunge. Dance series looks clean to me. 1.5 to front full, there it is, much better than last week. Her last one in the O-Dome!
7:26pm: Patterson, BB: Full turn is clean to start things off. Love seeing her confidence on this event. Bhs loso, travels the full length of the beam. Front aerial to split jump, great connection there. Switch leap to switch leap, great split positions on both, that’s hard to do that quickly. Gainer pike off the end is stuck! She’s really shining this year on beam, good for her.
Blakely, FX: Double arabian, just a little too much juice and ends up OOB. Leaps are nice and high, switch ring half could maybe use a hair more polish? Combination pass to close things out is clean – bummer on the OOB but a great routine for her. Glad she’s figured out that opening pass.
Worley, BB: Cat leap to switch side, nice and quick, though I could use a little more air on the cat. Chest stand swing through, that’s fun. Front aerial to bhs loso, gorgeous. 1.5 dismount is stuck! She had herself a NIGHT tonight, good for her.
7:31pm: Thomas, FX: They have a split-screen up with her mom! Aww! DLO to open, just lays it back into the lunge because she can. Leap series is clean, doesn’t go super high with it but I’m not worried about an amplitude deduction or anything. Front full front lay, just a little hop in place, super clean in the air. Signature ending choreography and the crowd goes WILD!!!! Standing ovation, and now everyone is crying.
Magnelli, BB: Triple series to open, just absolutely solid. Dance series is clean, great amplitude. Gainer pike off the end is stuck – she absolutely stayed in her bubble the whole time, good for her!
DiCello, FX: Front double full to open, little too much juice, she skids a little on the landing but stays in bounds. Switch ring to switch half, great amplitude there. Double wolf turn, solid. Combination pass to close is great.
What a night for the Gators! That’ll be the SEC regular season title for them as well as a successful senior night.
FINAL: UF 198.15, UK 197.575
I’m going to try and find the senior festivities on SEC+, so check out my Twitter @mycluttereddesk for some tweets on that. Goodnight from here! We’ll see you next week vs. Oklahoma.