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Sunday, June 23, 2024
<p>Sophomore gymnast Mackenzie Caquatto won her second straight bars title last Friday with a 9.9.</p>

Sophomore gymnast Mackenzie Caquatto won her second straight bars title last Friday with a 9.9.

When Mackenzie Caquatto gracefully swung from the uneven bars and then nailed her dismount last Friday, her ankles looked great.

But the truth is her injuries are not 100 percent healed just yet.

Caquatto, a sophomore, is slowly returning back to top form after spraining and tearing ligaments in both of her ankles last September during the final selection camp for the 2011 U.S. world team. 

"It's day-to-day," coach Rhonda Faehn said. 

"One day [the injury] feels pretty good, the next day it's not good. We're hoping to just catch more of those good days than bad ones."

In her last two meets, Caquatto wrapped up two impressive performances on bars. 

In UF's quad win against top-ranked Arkansas, No. 24 Maryland and Bridgeport, she recorded a 9.95 to win the bars title against a loaded field. 

Caquatto didnít skip a beat in No. 3 Floridaís 197.725-196.90 loss to defending national champion No. 6 Alabama last Friday. 

She scored a 9.9 to win her second consecutive bars title.

Her 9.9 tied for the highest individual-event score the Gators tallied in Tuscaloosa, Ala., last Friday, as Caquatto was one of Floridaís bright spots that night.

"We started off strong on bars," Faehn said. "I was really proud of [Caquatto] coming in with another bar title."

In Caquattoís first season as a Gator, she averaged a 9.86 on bars, an event which is her specialty. 

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She also competed two times as an all-around competitor and frequently took part in balance beam and vault lineups. 

According to Faehn, a return to beam for Caquatto will not happen for at least another month, although she started the beginning steps of a beam dismount during practice last Monday.

Faehn also said two weeks ago that Caquatto might return to the floor lineup by the end of the regular season. 

"Initially, before season started, we had hoped that she would be ready for balance beam by [last Friday or this weekend]," Faehn said.  

"But realistically speaking, I would say about a month or so." 

While the road back from ankle injuries has been a tumultuous one for Caquatto, her two bars titles this season signify progress in the face of adversity. 

"When you have severe ligament tears in both ankles, itís worse than a break," Faehn said. 

Sophomore gymnast Mackenzie Caquatto won her second straight bars title last Friday with a 9.9.

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