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Friday, February 03, 2023
<p>Florida gymnast Alex McMurtry sets up on the bars during Florida's win over Missouri on Feb. 24. </p>

Florida gymnast Alex McMurtry sets up on the bars during Florida's win over Missouri on Feb. 24. 

As freshman Maegan Chant went to dismount the bars in the first rotation, her hands slipped.

She went flying off the mat and out of bounds as Florida assistant coach Owen Field tried to catch her.

But as only the second gymnast in the lineup, the Gators just needed to hit their next four routines to erase Chant’s 8.900.

And then midway through the last routine of the rotation, junior Alex McMurtry went for a handstand and just barely managed to stay on the bars herself.

Simultaneously the LSU crowd celebrated a perfect 10 on vault from Ashleigh Gnat.

The Tigers entered the second rotation on bars with a .70 lead.

Florida didn’t recover.

The No. 3 Gators (7-2, 5-2 SEC) fell on the road in Baton Rouge to No. 2 LSU (12-1, 7-0 SEC) 198.150-196.600, their lowest team score of the season, handing the Tigers the 2017 regular-season SEC Title.

“Today definitely wasn’t our best performance by any means,” Florida coach Jenny Rowland said in a release. “We still have new faces competing who are getting more confident day in and day out. We haven’t shown our premier lineup yet.”

Though the overall team performance was disappointing, some Gators were still able to turn in some solid performances.

McMurtry was able to recover after her mistake on bars by nailing a perfect 10 on her double yurchenko on vault, sharing the event title with Gnat.

She now owns three perfect scores (bars, floor, vault) this season, and is the first Gator to score a 10.0 on three different events in a single season.

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“She’s an amazing athlete and an amazing teammate,” Rowland said. “Everyone makes mistakes. No one can be perfect every time. What she did is gold.”

Sophomore Alicia Boren also nabbed her fourth all-around title of the season, the fifth of her career, with an overall score of 39.55, and a 9.925 on floor.

Each of her last seven floor routines have scored at least a 9.925.

“I was very happy with how I did. I got my landing on vault, which I haven’t been doing lately,” Boren said in a release. “My floor was fairly normal and on beam, I’m working more and more toward putting it all together. So I was happy with how I performed today.”

With only one meet remaining before the SEC Championship, Florida will look to rebound as they close out the regular season at home on Friday against West Virginia.

“I think after the mistakes, the team was more conservative than they’ve been in the past,” Rowland said. “We really haven’t had a lot of adversity this season. It is something to learn from and move forward.”

Follow Lauren Staff on Twitter @lstaff27, or contact her at

Florida gymnast Alex McMurtry sets up on the bars during Florida's win over Missouri on Feb. 24. 

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