In her final pass on floor, freshman Alyssa Baumann carried a heavy burden.
Her routine was coming after three stumbles from teammates before her, and as anchor, Baumann’s score was essential to the Florida gymnastics team’s total standing at the NCAA Championships on Friday night in St. Louis. After a deep inhale, she burst into action, flying through the air in a final pass that ended with two feet flat on the ground.
Her score of 9.950 marked a collegiate best and played a large role in the Gators’ second-place total of 197.5875 at the championships. Oklahoma finished first with a score of 198.0500, followed by UF, Utah, California, Washington and Kentucky.
The Sooners, Gators and Utes are now moving on to the Super Six team final on Saturday at 7 p.m. along with UCLA, LSU and Nebraska. Florida has reached the Super Six 16 times in program history, including each of the last seven years.
"It really is an honor to be here,” coach Jenny Rowland said in a release. “To make it to Super Six means you lived to compete another day and that's what we're all looking to achieve.”
UF opened the meet on bars, a rotation that put it at an early lead in front of Oklahoma.
with a score of 49.475. Senior Alex McMurtry led the Gators in the event with a score of 9.950, good for third overall. Behind her were sophomores Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley, who tied for seventh at 9.900 and wrapped up the Gators in the top-10 on bars.
Gowey was the only Gator to break the 9.900 range in her beam routine Friday night, but her third place-finish at 9.9125 wasn’t enough to keep UF afloat at first. The team fell behind Oklahoma to second with a total of 98.7875, a place it would settle in for the rest of the night.
“Beam was a little rough, but not everything is going to be perfect every night,” Rowland said.
Other UF gymnasts to notch high marks on beam were McMurtry in eighth at 9.875 and freshman Megan Skaggs and Baumann tied for 10th at 9.8625.
Florida’s floor rotation proved to be shaky, with Hundley, Gowey and McMurtry all falling victim to a stumble in their routines. Their scores of 9.1875, 9.7625 and 9.8500, respectively, were the lowest Gators scores in the event. Only Baumann and junior Alicia Boren made it into the event’s top-10 after both registering a 9.900 to finish eighth.
“Everybody had something that they can improve on,” Rowland said. “We're ready to go out and have a lot more fun tomorrow."
Follow Alana Gomez on Twitter @alanaa_gomez and contact her at email@example.com.
Florida's gymnastics team finished second at the NCAA Championships on Friday night in St. Louis, securing a spot in Saturday's Super Six team final.