In 2020, the Florida Gymnastics team was on pace for arguably its best season in program history.
It was 10-0 and steamrolling opponents. It seemed on its way to potentially winning the squad’s first national championship since 2016.
Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and its title dreams went up in smoke.
In 2021, it will get the opportunity to redeem itself.
The Gators’ 2021 schedule was announced on Monday. The eight-match, conference-only campaign will begin for UF on Jan. 8 at Auburn. The first home meet will come a week later against Georgia.
After the duel against the Bulldogs, Florida will compete in Arkansas, at home against Missouri and at LSU before its annual Link to Pink meet versus Kentucky. The Gators will then battle Auburn for the second time before concluding in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, against the Crimson Tide. The SEC Championship will commence two weeks later, on March 20, from New Orleans.
UF played all eight teams on its 2021 schedule in 2020, beating most of them handily. The only conference foes it beat by less than a point last season were Alabama and LSU.
Florida will return most of its 2020 team, including junior Trinity Thomas — who was a finalist for the Honda Award, given to the best collegiate gymnast in the country — and senior Alyssa Baumann. The Gators lost four seniors but replaced them with four freshmen.
The O’Connell Center will operate in a limited capacity for the meets (approximately 2,100 fans, according to a release) and masks and social distancing are required.
Tickets will be sold in sets of two or four and will go on sale on Dec. 1. Adult tickets will cost $8 and continue to be free for UF students with their Gator1 Card, the release said. However, students will now have to log on to their Florida Gators ticket account to register before meets, opening on Monday, the week of a home meet.
Contact Noah Ram at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @Noah_ram1.
Junior Trinity Thomas will be back with the Gators this season.
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.