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Wednesday, September 27, 2023
<p>Megan Skaggs</p>

Megan Skaggs


That would be the word to describe the Florida Gymnastics team this season.

Friday night’s win against No. 4 Denver and No. 18 Iowa State in the Gators’ first tri-meet since 2012 reinforced that notion.

Denver scored its second-highest point total Friday night and still lost to the No. 2 Gators by more than half a point.

The Cyclones put up a season-high 196.8 score against UF and yet lost by over a point.

That is the sign of a team that is mowing down opponents every week.

Every win this season has been by at least 0.6 points, which is substantial in gymnastics.

Florida has scored at least 197.35 points in each meet this season; it only did that six times in 2019.

The only meet where that didn’t happen this season was its lackluster performance against Missouri on Jan. 17. That being said, it still beat the then-No. 19 Tigers by over a point.

Three of the five highest scores in the nation this season have been courtesy of the orange and blue, including the top score, 198.375 against LSU on Jan. 24.

That score against the Tigers was third-highest in program history, and the highest since the team’s national championship-winning 2015 squad and the highest of coach Jenny Rowland’s career.

UF is off to a 6-0 start this season, with all six wins coming against teams ranked in the Road to Nationals top 20 at the time of the meet.

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That start is the Gators’ best since 2014 when they started 7-0 en route to their second national championship.

The focal point of the team’s success has been Trinity Thomas, who is competing for a spot on the U.S. National Team for this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.

“She’s just really been settling in and taking ownership of her gymnastics,” Rowland said before the tri-meet. “She’s a lot more confident in what she’s doing (compared to last season).”

That confidence is showing, especially when she performs at the O’Connell Center, where she has almost become a living, breathing perfect score.

The last two home meets the sophomore has scored a 10. Three weeks ago, it was on the bars, and last week, it was on the beam.

It’s hard to find one exercise where she is lacking, which explains why she has gotten the all-around spot in every meet this season.

In three of the five meets this season, her scores in all four rotations have been at least a 9.90 and her all-around score has been at least 39.7 in four meets.

But of course, it takes more than just one athlete to make a team and Florida’s depth is a massive reason why the team has reigned supreme over the gymnastics’ world.

From freshman Payton Richards to senior Rachel Gowey, every Gator who has stepped into the lineup has excelled and that has given Rowland the flexibility to mess with lineups a little bit.

This past meet, senior Sierra Alexander was benched in favor of junior Jazmyn Foberg. Foberg, who was returning from injury, scored a 9.825 in her return, the team’s third-highest score in that exercise.

“This team should feel great about themselves,” Rowland said following last week’s meet. “You are going to have mistakes, but it’s about that next person stopping that trend and stepping up and doing what they need to do.”

Follow Noah on Twitter @Noah_ram1 and contact him at

Megan Skaggs

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Noah Ram

Noah is a third year journalism-sports and media student from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. He has been with The Alligator since Spring 2019 and has covered men’s and women’s tennis, gymnastics and volleyball. When he isn’t on his beat, Noah is usually sadden over his beloved South Florida sports teams, such as the Heat and Dolphins.

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