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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

No. 4 Gators place fourth at SEC Championship

Victoria Nguyen earned an all-around score of 39.525

Senior Victoria Nguyen performs her vault routine in the Gators gymnastics'
Hype Night on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.
Senior Victoria Nguyen performs her vault routine in the Gators gymnastics' Hype Night on Monday, Dec. 4, 2023.

Florida senior Victoria Nguyen kept her teammates afloat as she dominated in almost every apparatus in comparison to her teammates. Her most significant came on the vault, scoring a 9.900 in what has proved to be the most troubling apparatus for the Gators at times this season. 

She landed perfectly on both of her feet and kept her composure leaving no signs of a stumble. 

She scored high in times when the Gators needed high scores if they wanted to have a shot at winning the conference championship. 

However, despite her efforts across the board in all of her routines. Florida was unable to come through in the final rotation, causing them to finish in last place amongst the other three teams. 

The No. 4 Florida Gators gymnastics team (17-1, 6-1) fell to the No. 3 Louisiana State Tigers (12-3, 5-2), No. 6 Kentucky Wildcats (11-4, 4-3) and the No. 7 Alabama Crimson Tide (12-4-1, 3-3-1) Saturday night at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, in the final session of the SEC Championship. 

UF fell to LSU (198.075), Alabama (197.750) and Kentucky (197.600) as they earned an overall score of 197.300.

Florida freshman Skylar Draser opened for the Gators on their first rotation on the balance beam. She earned a 9.850, brewing the team's momentum. 

UF junior Sloane Blakely followed with an exceptional well-structured performance, leaving her teammates beaming with smiles after sticking her landing earning a 9.925. 

Freshman Anya Pilgrim shined on the beam but fell short at moments which left her with a 9.875 score. 

UF finished the first rotation with a 49.400, the lowest score among the other three teams. 

Nguyen had a strong performance on the floor. She elegantly swept across the floor in her routine to earn a 9.850. Pilgrim flourished in her routine, effortlessly representing Barbados with Rihanna's music earning a 9.825.  

Blakely matched Nguyen, dazzling in her routine to earn a 9.850. However, junior Leanne Wong outshined her opponents as she topped first place in the apparatus with her 9.900 score. 

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UF finished the apparatus with a 49.125 score and moved to its third rotation on vault. 

Nguyen shined once again for Florida with her performance on the vault. She earned a 9.900, effectively sticking her landing. 

Blakely struggled in her routine,falling short when landing. She failed to keep both feet geared on the ground earning a 9.775.  

Pilgrim matched Nguyen’s performance, fueling Florida’s momentum as they went to the final rotation. 

UF topped the third rotation scores with a 49.275. 

Blakely kept the fiery momentum flowing, opening on the uneven parallel bars for the Gators' final rotation earning a 9.825. 

Nguyen sparkled on the bars, earning Florida’s top score in the apparatus with a 9.925. 

Senior Ellie Lazzari excelled in her performance as she jumped between bars scoring a 9.875. 

Although the Gators proved to keep their momentum high, it wasn't enough to make the much-needed comeback. 

Next, UF will compete in the first round of the NCAA Regionals April 4 at 2 p.m. in the Exactech Arena.

Contact Alyssa Britton-Harr at abritton-harr@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @abrittonharr.

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Alyssa Britton-Harr

Alyssa Britton-Harr is a second-year journalism major and a sports reporter for The Alligator. In her free time, she enjoys cheering on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and spending time with her friends. 


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