Mackenzie Caquatto achieved perfection on Friday night in the O’Connell Center.
Anchoring the Gators at the back end of their uneven bars rotation, Caquatto’s technique was mechanical.
The All-American notched her first career score of 10 — the seventh in uneven bars in program’s history.
“When I set the dismount, I knew it was one of the best routines I’ve done,” Caquatto said.
Florida welcomed Missouri to the Southeastern Conference by posting its highest team score of the season in a 197.3-194.625 win in front of a crowd of 5,453.
“I loved that [the team] took last weekend’s competition very seriously and turned it around in our training and had a different attitude of fight [Friday night] for everything,” coach Rhonda Faehn said.
Caquatto became the fifth Gator to claim a perfect 10 on uneven bars — a feat that hasn’t been accomplished since former Florida gymnast Melanie Sinclair, who turned in three 10 marks on from 2007-2009.
Caquatto’s full-out dismount was considered an “E-level” skill — or exceptionally difficult.
Her score capped an impressive showing by the Gators on bars, as they set the fifth-highest total in program history with 49.60.
“[Caquatto] is such a huge talent,” Faehn said. “It was almost excruciatingly painful as a coach to watch her frustrations and her struggles with her injuries that were significant.”
Caquatto hasn’t been the healthiest gymnast positioned in Faehn’s ever-changing lineups.
The Naperville, Ill., native sprained both ankles at a final selection camp for the 2011 U.S. World Championships team. The injuries sidelined her for Florida’s first two meets during her sophomore year.
“It’s nice to be out there and be able to walk without pain,” Caquatto said.
Another Florida All-American, Ashanee Dickerson, fell short of a perfect vault routine by the slimmest of margins but set a college-best score of 9.975.
She went on to claim the evening’s floor title, her second of the season with a 9.9.
Following last Friday’s loss to LSU, Dickerson was confident a stern approach to the team’s weekly training would serve its purpose against Missouri.
“We fought through everything,” Dickerson said.
“[Faehn] was telling us in the gym from last week (that) we didn’t fight as much and this week ,I felt that we fought a lot more for landings and tried not to make many mistakes.”
Mackenzie Caquatto performs on the beam during UF’s 196.575-190.55 win against Ball State on Jan. 4 in the O’Connell Center.