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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Florida records sixth-highest team score in the nation, toppling Oklahoma

The Gators posted the sixth-highest score in the nation this season and Trinity Thomas secured her 13th perfect score of her collegiate career

<p>Megan Skaggs during a home meet with the Oklahoma Sooners, Feb. 25.</p>

Megan Skaggs during a home meet with the Oklahoma Sooners, Feb. 25.

In front of the largest crowd in Exactech Arena history, Florida showed out during Senior Night in the last home meet of the season doing what they do best, breaking records and racking up wins – all in front of 9,685 adoring fans. 

The No. 3 Gators (10-0) posted the season’s sixth-highest score in the nation to topple No. 2 Oklahoma (10-2) , 198.100-197.759.

Senior Trinity Thomas earned the 13th perfect score of her collegiate career along with her sixth and second-consecutive 10 on floor Friday night. The York, Pennsylvania, native secured the highest scoring all-around title in the nation this season with a whopping 39.850. 

“I was super excited to get back on the floor again,” Trinity said. “It was senior night and I had a pretty good all-around going… I’m happy with how it turned out.” 

Graduate student Megan Skaggs tied her personal best on bars with a 9.950. 

After missing the connection in her leaps on beam, Skaggs pulled off an elite veteran move and adjusted her routine on the fly to retain the performance's 10.0 value. The decision paid off and gave her a 9.875. 

“Knowing that my basics are strong really helps me when I’m trying to make an adjustment on the fly,” Skaggs said. “To make a minor change really isn’t that big of a deal, you just have to look at it that way and trust your training.” 

Freshman Sloane Blakely had a night to remember, posting a personal best 9.925 on vault and following it up with another personal best 9.900 on bars. 

“I can’t say enough how consistent she is in the gym,” head coach Jenny Rowland said of Blakely's commitment to her training. “I just love to see her smile light up that O’Dome.” 

Coming out of the first rotation, the Gators and Sooners were tied at 49.400 apiece. 

Oklahoma sophomore Audrey Davis is the best gymnast in the nation this season on bars and scored a team-high 9.925, putting the Sooners' team total to 49.400. However, it wasn’t enough as the Gators posted four bar routines of a 9.900 or better, totaling 49.600 on the apparatus. 

After the third rotation, Florida headed to floor leading by .200 with Oklahoma set to tackle the beam. Sooner Olivia Trautman earned a career-high 9.925, but it wasn’t enough to ward off the Gators. 

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Skaggs and fellow graduate student Alyssa Baumann hit consecutive 9.900’s to kick things off for Florida on floor. Followed up by a near-perfect 9.950 from senior Nya Reed. 

“Every week I can tell we’re getting a little bit better,” Thomas said.

Rowland was seen throughout the night becoming emotional and teary-eyed. 

“It was after Skaggs’ performance, Alyssa, Nya, Trinity… it was an emotional night,” Rowland said. 

When asked about Thomas’ extra year of eligibility, she admitted it’s still on the table for her. Competing for the Gators has been “a dream come true and more” for Thomas and a decision she’s never regretted. 

“Since coming here, my decision has been confirmed in so many ways,” Skaggs said. “Everyone here is family.” 

Friday closed out home action and set a program season average attendance record of 9,108 per meet, a significant increase from a fan average of 8,622 in 2020.

The Gators hit the road March 4th to face 2020 Olympic champion Suni Lee and the No. 5 Auburn Tigers.

Contact Madeline Lawson at Follow her on Twitter @MadsLaws

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