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Saturday, June 15, 2024

Gators finish in first and progress to next round of NCAA Pittsburgh Regionals

Gators finished with 197.875 points Friday

Florida freshman Kayla DiCello performs her floor routine during the Gators' win at the Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday, March 18, 2023.
Florida freshman Kayla DiCello performs her floor routine during the Gators' win at the Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday, March 18, 2023.

Trinity Thomas stood still, full of tears midway through her floor routine. She stopped abruptly before exiting the floor and heading towards the training room.

Despite Thomas’ injury, the Gators still prevailed and moved forward to the third round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association Pittsburgh Regionals. 

The No. 2 Florida Gators (12-1, 6-1 SEC) competed in the NCAA Pittsburgh Regional Second Round Friday against No. 15 Arizona State (7-6, 4-3 PAC-12), No. 24 Maryland (17-8, 2-7 Big-10) and Penn State (11-9, 3-6 Big-10).

The Gators finished with a score of 197.875, edging out second place Arizona State with a score of 197.525. UF won three of four events in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

The Gators began the meet on beam. Florida freshman Kayla DiCello shined for first place with a score of 9.950. She tied sophomore Riley McCusker’s collegiate-best 9.950 on beam.

UF finished with a total of 49.575; Arizona State followed closely with a total of 49.275.

The Gators carried their momentum into the floor. Florida sophomore Leanne Wong earned first place with a score of 9.975. Junior Victoria Nyugen followed closely behind with a 9.925. 

UF’s score of 49.400 kept them closely behind Arizona State’s score of 49.425.

Florida continued as it moved to the third rotation — vault. DiCello secured first place with a score of 9.950. Florida senior Payton Richards fell closely behind with a 9.900. 

DiCello achieved a collegiate-best 9.950 on vault. UF finished with a total of 49.375 in the event; Arizona State came close with a total of 49.225.

The Gators persevered and finished their night on uneven bars. DiCello earned a perfect 10 on uneven bars for first place. 

Florida secured a score of 49.525, which helped them clinch first place in the meet; Arizona State came in second with a score of 49.400.

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DiCello earned the highest all-around score of the night with a score of 39.800. Wong trailed behind with a score of 39.475. Thomas didn’t finish the evening but originally planned to participate in every event. 

Florida’s next meet will be in the next round of the NCAA Pittsburgh Regionals. The meet will happen at 5 p.m. Sunday at Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and be broadcast on ESPN+. 

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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