Something was off from the first tumbling pass.
Junior Alex McMurtry was supposed to perform a triple twist, but only did a double.
Then on her last pass, she landed her double tuck on her ankles, which counted as a fall.
But although her long-anticipated 2017 floor and all-around debuts weren’t perfect, the No. 3 Gators (6-1, 3-1 SEC) still managed to escape Fayetteville with a 197.125-195.200 win over the No. 23 Razorbacks (2-5, 2-4 SEC) in their first SEC road victory.
“Tonight I thought we gave it our all,” sophomore Alicia Boren said in a release. “There were some mistakes here and there, but I think it is better to have them now than later in the season.”
The uncharacteristic mistakes for the Gators were apparent from the first routine to the last.
Starting the meet off on bars, the first three Gators — Boren, Maegan Chant and Rachel Gowey — all failed to stick their landings or score above a 9.800.
McMurtry was the bright spot of the apparatus, scoring a meet-high 9.975 just a week after recording a perfect 10 against Georgia.
Florida led Arkansas at the halfway point 98.75-97.90, but the last two rotations proved to be its weakest.
On floor, in addition to McMurtry's 9.275, freshman Amelia Hundley barely avoided stepping out of bounds to finish off her routine, earning a 9.825.
As these mistakes added up, the Gators’ energy waned heading into the last rotation on beam.
Junior Kennedy Baker fell off mid-routine, sophomore Amanda Cheney avoided a fall with a large balance check, and McMurtry wobbled on her acrobatic series.
“You never anticipate or want a fall to happen. However, when it does, it really shows the grit the team had,” Florida coach Jenny Rowland said in a release. “Hopefully this is something we’ll learn from and carry forward for the rest of the season.”
Despite her team’s obstacles, Boren took home her second straight all-around title — her third of the season — the floor title, and shared the vault title with Rachel Slocum.
McMurtry (bars) and Rachel Gowey (beam) rounded out the title sweep for Florida.
“So very proud of Alicia,” Rowland said. “She’s been working hard, paying attention to details and doing whatever she can to get better. That is really showing out on the competition floor.”
Contact Lauren Staff at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @lstaff27
Alex Mcmurtry perfroms her bars routine against Georgia on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017. The routine received a perfect 10.