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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Wong excels in devastating loss to No. 1 Oklahoma

Gators put up impressive score in defeat

Leanne Wong finishes her floor routine with a gator chomp in a victory against the Missouri Tigers, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.
Leanne Wong finishes her floor routine with a gator chomp in a victory against the Missouri Tigers, Friday, Feb. 10, 2023.

Florida sophomore Leanne Wong stunned the crowd with an impressive performance and set a season-best in vault against the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners.

Wong finished with an all-around score of 39.675, her second-best performance of the season. The Gators sophomore’s performance kept the Gators close in a tight match but wasn’t enough to overcome the top team in the nation.

The No. 2 Florida Gators (8-2, 5-1 SEC) lost on the road Friday against Oklahoma (12-0, 3-0 Big 12) inside the Lloyd Noble Center. Florida came into the meet favored after its impressive finish against then-No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats, but the team failed to match up. 

The Gators finished with a score of 197.700 but were edged out by the Sooners, who finished with a score of 197.950. UF tied with Oklahoma in two of the four events and narrowly lost in Norman, Oklahoma. 

Florida started on uneven bars. The Gators put up a solid performance behind graduate student Trinity Thomas’ team-high 9.975. Every other gymnast scored above a 9.850. 

UF and the Sooners tied with a score of 49.525. 

The Gators carried their momentum into the second rotation: vault. Wong put up an impressive second-place score of 9.950. Freshman Kayla DiCello set a new collegiate best on vault with a score of 9.950. 

UF’s score of 49.525 fell shy of Oklahoma’s score of 49.600. 

Florida attempted to overcome the Sooners in the third rotation, floor. Wong tied with Sooners freshman Faith Torrez with a score of 9.950. 

UF fell behind again with a score of 49.175; Oklahoma earned a 49.350. 

The Gators finished their night on the balance beam. Sophomore Sloane Blakely tied with Oklahoma sophomore Jordan Bowers with a score of 9.950. 

Florida tied the Sooners with a score of 49.475.

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Junior Victoria Nguyen slipped going into her vault. She chose to sit out the event and did not perform the rest of the evening. Her condition is unknown at this time. 

Florida’s next meet will be against the Texas Woman’s Owls, Washington Huskies and North Carolina State Wolfpack. The teams will face off at 2 p.m. March 12 in Denton, Texas. The match will be streamed online at VCloud.

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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