The Florida gymnastics team continued to improve Friday night in the O’Connell Center, as it topped No. 13 LSU (3-3, 1-2 Southeastern Conference), 196.725 – 195.050 for the Gators’ third-consecutive dual meet victory.
UF (3-1, 3-0 SEC) fed off the energy from the crowd of 9,198 – the fifth largest for a meet in school history – for the fourth-annual Link to Pink meet to support breast cancer awareness, and was able to put up a season-high team total.
Florida opened strong on the vault with a team total of 49.225, which was capped by a 9.9 by Nicole Ellis and a 9.925 by Ashanée Dickerson, and the Gators led by .550 after the first rotation.
Feeding off of the crowd, as well as their teammates, the Gators, who were clearly having a fun time the whole night, never looked back as they led throughout the meet.
On bars, Amanda Castillo was able to bounce back after falling in her last two meets and scored a season-best 9.875. Alicia Goodwin, whose aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer last August, tallied a 9.925 for her second victory on bars this season.
Freshman Liz Green then came away with her second-consecutive event victory after scoring a 9.825 on the balance beam.
When it came to the final rotation, both Dickerson and Maranda Smith dazzled the crowd during their floor routines, and each put up a collegiate-best 9.925 for a share of the event title.