Before Florida’s meet against Georgia on Friday night, UF freshman Alyssa Baumann danced on the side of the mats while the rest of her teammates warmed up. The energy she entered the Stegeman Coliseum with carried into the Gators’ sixth competition of the regular season, where she placed first on balance beam with a score of 9.900.
In its 196.950-196.125 win over the Bulldogs, No. 5 Florida led each rotation and took three of four event titles on the night, including Baumann’s second career victory. She won an event for the first time since UF’s season opener against West Virginia on Jan. 5, where her score of 9.900 tied her for first place with Gators sophomore Rachel Gowey and junior Alicia Boren.
Baumann has made strides this season in her first year competing at the college level, claiming SEC Freshman of the Week on Tuesday. In her most recent first place, Baumann had to compete to the sound of a roaring Georgia crowd celebrating Sydney Snead’s 10.0 on floor.
“Alyssa is so composed and so focused,” coach Jenny Rowland said in a release. “I know she used that energy to her advantage.”
Florida (6-1, 4-1 SEC) began the night on bars, where senior Alex McMurtry finished first with a score of 9.975. The Gators’ overall bars score of 49.500 matched their season best from their last meet against Alabama on Feb. 9.
“The team had three solid events tonight,” Rowland said. “The little details that we’ve been working on are being fixed, landings are being fixed as well as executive and presentation.”
McMurtry then finished in a close second to junior Alicia Boren’s first-place score of 9.950 on vault. The matchup with No. 14 Georgia (3-4, 3-3 SEC) was also McMurtry's first time back on the floor and in the all-around. She posted a 9.925 on floor, but dropped out of first place in the all-around when she fell off the balance beam during her routine. She finished the night with an all-around score of 39.150.
“It was great to see Alex back out in the floor lineup,” Rowland said. “I think I can count on one hand how many floor routines she’s actually trained. She did a fabulous job.”
UF’s victory over the Bulldogs was its fourth SEC win this season, with LSU being the team’s only loss. The Gators will return home on Feb. 23 for another conference meet against No. 8 Arkansas.
A story from floridagators.com contributed to this report.