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Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Florida gymnastics finishes season with dominant victory

No. 3 Gators finish 2023 regular season strong

Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas performs her floor routine in the Gators' meet against the Kentucky Wildcats Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.
Florida gymnast Trinity Thomas performs her floor routine in the Gators' meet against the Kentucky Wildcats Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

Florida sophomore Sloane Blakely shined in the Gators’ quad meet. Blakely earned a career-best score of 9.975 in vault.

Multiple Florida gymnasts posted high all-around scores in their final regular-season meet.

Florida sophomore Leanne Wong finished the afternoon with a 39.650. Graduate student Trinity Thomas and freshman Kayla DiCello tied with 39.625-point totals. Their performances led the Gators to victory in their final regular-season meet of the season. 

The No. 3 Gators (12-2, 6-1 SEC) competed in a four-team meet against the No. 25 Washington Huskies (6-11, 0-6 Pac-12), North Carolina State Wolfpack (12-8, 8-4 ACC) and Texas Woman’s Owls (8-12, 0-0). 

Florida came into the meet favored despite its devastating loss to the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners. 

The Gators finished with a score of 198.175, almost two points higher than the next-best team. UF won each event and earned its second-highest team score of the season in Denton, Texas. 

The Gators dominated on uneven bars to start the meet. Wong earned a meet-high score of 9.950. Florida sophomore Riley McCusker and DiCello followed closely behind with 9.925s.

UF finished with a total of 49.475 in the event; NC State trailed behind with 49.225 points. 

The Gators gained momentum going into the second rotation — balance beam. McCusker earned first place and a career-high score of 9.950. Florida junior Ellie Lazzari tied her season-best score with a 9.925. 

UF’s score of 49.600 set it ahead of Washington, which ended with a score of 49.300. 

Florida continued to dominate as it moved to the third rotation — floor. The Gators earned the top four places. Thomas earned the highest score of 9.975. 

Florida secured a score of 49.600 to surpass NC State’s 49.300. 

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The Gators finished their afternoon on the vault, and Blakely earned first place. Thomas ended in second place with a score of 9.900, tying Texas Woman’s senior Daisy Woodring.  

UF’s score of 49.500 helped them secure first place; Washington fell close behind with 49.175.

The Gators are heavily favored to win coming off their Southeastern Conference regular-season title. 

Florida’s next meet is the SEC championship. The meet begins at 3:30 p.m. Saturday in Duluth, Georgia. The match will be broadcast on SEC Network.

Contact Jori Rzepecki at jrzepecki@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @jorirzepecki.

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Jori Rzepecki

Jori Rzepecki is a first-year journalism major and the Gymnastics reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys binge-watching television shows and reading books.


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