Senior Bridgette Caquatto is rounding into form.
After a rocky start to her final year as a competitor for the Florida gymnastics team, Caquatto has locked down her game, serving as a vital cog in the squad’s vault, uneven bars and floor routine lineups.
And heading into a road meet against No. 19 Missouri this Friday, it couldn’t have come at a better time for the No. 2 Gators.
"I’ve been a little under the weather the first six weeks," Caquatto said, "and I’m starting to feel a lot better, which I’m really excited about because I know I can offer a lot more for the team and I want to be kind of the senior figure who’s there, who (my teammates) can always count on, kind of like I have been in the past."
With the first half of the season on the books, Florida ranks second in the nation in average score, a mere 0.170 points behind No. 1 Oklahoma.
In spite of bouts with the flu and inconsistencies on the floor, Caquatto has been a factor in UF’s success, averaging 9.745 points per vault and 9.694 points per floor routine.
But her greatest contributions have come on the uneven bars. Competing in the event in each meet to date, Caquatto has posted a mean score of 9.879, earning four podium finishes in six tries.
"Now that I’m feeling better, I’m having a little bit more power in my legs," Caquatto said.
"I’m excited to go out there and actually enjoy myself (rather) than trying to find the energy to make it through a routine."
If last week’s meet against Arkansas is any indication, her newfound health and rekindled excitement is beginning to pay dividends.
Debuting a new floor pass, the 2015 first-team All-America floor competitor posted a 9.825 against the Razorbacks, her second-highest mark on the year and a potential turning point for her fortunes.
"I’ve been having some issues with my legs, and so doing a double full-punch front is kind of hard when you don’t have full power in your legs," Caquatto said.
"So I came in with the mentality that I was going to go ahead and try a new tumbling pass on floor, and it went OK."
Back to firing on all cylinders, Caquatto has nowhere to go but up.
And with her prior experience, she’s ready for whatever the remaining campaign has to throw at her.
"I know I can improve it a lot, but I was happy to put it on my feet, put it out there and now I know for the future how to use my energy and technique while having a little bit of adrenaline to compete this weekend," she said.