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Sunday, May 19, 2024

UF gymnast Corey Hartung continued her dominance on the vault against Arkansas on Friday night.

Hartung led the No. 3 Gators in their 196.7-195.75 win over the No. 9 Razorbacks in front of the 5,157 fans in the O'Connell Center.

With her meet-high event score on the vault of 9.925, Hartung won her second all-around title of the season and ninth of her collegiate career.

The vault win was the third for Hartung, currently ranked No. 1 in the event, in as many competitions for her - she did not compete in the vault against Auburn.

Despite her fast start, Hartung is focused on improving every meet so she is at her best during the NCAA Championships.

"I am just determined every meet," she said. "I make it very important for me to perform my best and do one event at a time. I can't get ahead of myself."

Friday's win over the Razorbacks improved UF's overall record against Arkansas to 16-0.

Although the Gators did not have any counted falls, they did suffer one when Nicola Willis slipped on the uneven bars.

It was Willis' second fall in as many weeks. However, she was suffering from a cold and had to be pulled from the floor and vault before the start of the meet.

Besides the fall, the Gators struggled to get the high scores they expect to get on the bars and Coach Rhonda Faehn is considering making changes to fix the problem.

"We feel very confident that this will get worked out," Faehn said. "We're possibly going to change the lineup order and have Miranda (Smith) start first and have Nic go second."

Miranda Smith performed second and was able to turn in a solid performance to get UF going after Willis' slipup.

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The Gators were able to claim every event title other than bars, but still feel as though they didn't perform their bests.

"I have to say there were definitely some great, positive points in the competition, but I still feel we are making little mistakes," Faehn said. "They're little mental mistakes, little errors here and there that are really adding to overall not get us where we want to in the score."

Top gymnasts Melanie Sinclair and Amanda Sinclair were two of the Gators who suffered from small blunders, but the gaffes were not reflecting in their scores.

Sinclair finished second in the all-around and Castillo had a first-place finish in the floor event.

If UF is to compete for a national championship, the mistakes will need to be fixed in the next few weeks.

"I let the athletes know, 'Hey, we're four weeks in, now is the time we are going to have to really get rid of those little errors,'" Faehn said.

The Gators will be looking to find the best lineup for a championship over the next week or so, when they head to Kentucky to take on the Wildcats.

"When we get further on down the line for LSU and Utah and those competitions going into SECs, we will have that set lineup of all of our top competitors," Faehn said. "That is where the inconsistencies and all the little mental errors will diminish."

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