In their Southeastern Conference opener, the Florida gymnastics team ousted Auburn on the road, defeating its No. 8-ranked opponent by a score of 197.075-195.900.
The No. 1 Gators continued their winning ways, sweeping all five events and bringing their seasonal hardware total to 14 event awards out of a possible 15.
Senior Bridget Sloan clinched her third consecutive all-around title, also adding an uneven bars title to her more-than-impressive resume.
Supporting her was the dynamic sophomore duo of Alex McMurtry and Kennedy Baker, as the All-American pairing took home the meet’s remaining laurels. McMurtry placed first in vault and balance beam, with Baker winning the floor.
In addition, Baker’s 9.950 floor routine proved to be the competition’s highest individual score, tying her season-high score and securing her third such honor in as many tries.
From the jump, Florida established a lead that would prove unassailable. Winning the meet’s first three events, UF extended its advantage on the bars, vault and floor before conceding a .025 point defeat in rotation four.
Their greatest rotational victory came in the third round. Spearheaded by the trio of Sloan, Baker and freshman Alicia Boren, the Gators notched a meet-high 49.375 aggregate score on the floor, trumping Auburn’s balance beam sequence by 0.675 points.
For the Gators, the win was more of the same. For Jenny Rowland, coaching against her former squad for the first time, it was a defining moment in a still-young head coaching career.
“Sure it was a little hard for Jenny, as she recently came to Florida from Auburn, but she did a great job,” Sloan said in a release. “She is truly a Gator now. We trust her and we want to go out there and make her look good.”
Next up on Florida’s plate, the Gators will host the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide on Jan. 29 at 6:45 pm.
“It was a great learning tool for the gymnasts. We'll go back into the gym, reflect on what went well and what didn't,” coach Rowland said in a release.
“Much went the way we wanted tonight, but there were a few bumps. We'll go back into the gym and work on smoothing those things out.”