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Friday, September 22, 2023

Sports | Gymnastics

Senior Rachel Slocum took home an individual title on vault in Florida's first-place finish at the NCAA Regional Championships on Saturday.  

Slocum and McMurtry shine as Gators win NCAA Regionals

Right before senior Rachel Slocum stepped up to the mat for her floor routine during the NCAA Regionals on Saturday, teammate Alex McMurtry ran up to her, grabbed her hands and touched her forehead to Slocum’s. Although it only lasted three seconds, the private moment had a clear effect on Slocum, who went on to claim her first floor title as a Gator.

Senior Alex McMurtry tied a school record with a 39.825 in all-around against Nebraska on Friday. 

Florida ends regular season on McMurtry’s record night

The Florida gymnasts were silent as they took their seats in front of the post-meet press conference Friday night. It wasn’t the attitude of a team that had just ended its last home competition with its second-highest meet total of the season. A somber mood settled over the room like a wet blanket.

Freshman Alyssa Baumann earned a 9.900 on beam while the Stegeman Coliseum erupted in cheers for a Georgia performer's 10.0 on floor.  “I just tried to tell myself (the cheering) was for me and to stay calm and confident," she said.  

Balance beam brings both highs and lows for Florida gymnastics

In what was supposed to be a series of perfect back handsprings, senior Alex McMurtry dropped to the floor off the balance beam. It was the first time since the 2017 season that she had competed in every event, a thought that didn’t escape her mind even as she wrapped up her last event of the night. The fall resulted in a 9.325, one point higher than her season-low score of 9.225 against Auburn on Feb. 2.

Amelia Hundley is prepared for tonight’s road meet against UGA. “We don’t have the 10,000 fans cheering for us,” she said, “so we have to make sure to bring that energy.”

UF hoping to win fourth straight SEC meet tonight against UGA

At the beginning of its practice on Tuesday, the Florida gymnastics team wasn’t rehearsing its sprints on vault or tweaking its routine on balance beam. It wasn’t even preparing to warm up. Instead, each member of the team had a smile on her face and a lacrosse stick in her hand as the team competed in a small lacrosse scrimmage.

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