Jenny Rowland

Gymnastics coach Jenny Rowland said her team's improvement throughout its first three meets is apparent, culminating in its win against Kentucky on Friday. “We worked better together as a team,” Rowland said. “The energy was fantastic.”

Alligator File Photo

After completing its third meet of the season, the Florida gymnastics team added another win to its record, putting up its first SEC victory of the year.

Florida (2-1, 1-1 SEC) overcame Kentucky (4-1, 1-1 SEC) 196.325-195.950 on Jan. 19 in Lexington to clinch its second victory on the road. UF’s win comes after a loss in its home opener against No. 1 LSU  by a margin of 0.125 on Jan. 12.

The meet between the Gators and Wildcats marked the first time both teams entered with top-10 rankings in 84 total meetings. The Gators only trailed Kentucky once at the end of the first rotation and did not fall behind again as they outscored the Wildcats for the 20th year in a row.

“The team was able to keep their confidence up and keep moving through most of the lineup,” coach Jenny Rowland said in a release.

The meet featured Florida leading in three of its four events. In vault, senior Rachel Slocum landed a season-high 9.925, good enough to tie 2017 SEC Freshman of the Year Mollie Korth for first as well as get her her first vault title of the year. UF’s other two victories came from sophomore Rachel Gowey, who claimed first in uneven bars with a score of 9.825. Gowey also tied two Wildcats on balance beam. Her score of 9.900 helped boost the Gators standing in the event after senior Kennedy Baker fell off the beam earlier in the lineup.

All-Americans Baker and Alicia Boren were able to work their way into the all-around rankings, placing second and third, respectively, behind Korth.

In addition to the team taking three events, Florida also saw a multitude of personal victories. A total of five gymnasts left the Memorial Coliseum on Friday night with season-best scores and another five matched their previous season-highs.

“We worked better together as a team,” Rowland said. “The energy was fantastic.”

A story from FloridaGators.com contributed to this report.

Follow Alana Gomez on Twitter @alanaa_gomez and contact her at [email protected].

Alana Gomez is a sports writer for the Alligator and covers the University of Florida gymnastics team. She has previously covered UF men’s and women's cross country. She has worked at the paper since Fall 2017.