It’s been seven years since the Florida gymnastics team overcame No. 1 LSU in a regular-season meet. But after opening the 2018 season with a win over West Virginia on Jan. 5, a night that saw junior Alicia Boren register the highest all-around score ever to open a season in program history, No. 7 UF is hoping to end that streak.

The Gators will open SEC play against the Tigers tonight at 6:45 p.m. at the O’Connell Center.

Related

LSU enters Gainesville with six All-Americans and the No. 5 ranked freshman class in the nation. It began regular-season action on Jan. 5 at home against then-No.19 Arkansas, with a 197.150-195.350 win. Florida faced the Tigers twice last year, falling to its conference rival by 1.55 points in the regular season and by 0.15 points in the SEC Championships.

For the Gators’ four freshmen, tonight’s meet will be their first time competing at the O’Connell Center. Ranked as the No. 1 recruiting class in the country, the group started off strong against West Virginia, with at least one freshman posting a top-five score in each of the four events.

“I’m excited for the team as well as the freshmen,” Boren said. “It’s such a big competition being that its against LSU.”

Florida’s first-year gymnasts are led by Jazmyn Foberg, who earned third place in the floor routine against West Virginia with a score of 9.825. Foberg was named SEC Freshman Gymnast of the Week on Tuesday following the solid performance.

“I think my favorite part is just the team altogether,” Foberg said in a release after the WVU meet. “Having fun, dancing, singing (and) just cheering each other on.”

In addition to standout showings from the team’s freshmen, the meet against West Virginia was also led by Boren, who placed first in floor and beam, and senior Alex McMurtry, who placed first in bars and vault. McMurtry shined in the Gators’ first matchup against LSU in 2017, posting a perfect 10.0 on vault. The team will look to Boren and McMurtry to continue to shine when Florida makes its home debut tonight.

“I’m so excited definitely to get back in front of our home crowd,” Boren said. “They bring a lot of energy.”

A video posted to WCJB.com contributed to this report.

Follow Alana Gomez on Twitter @alanaa_gomez and contact her at agomez@alligator.org.

Outbrain