Surrounded by the crowd and with the last remaining bastion of UF gymnasts cheering her on, senior Alicia Boren took to the floor mat one last time.
She stuck every landing. She hit on every cue.
And when the music had stopped, and her curtain call had come to a close, Boren rose with a triumphant yell, knowing that the last floor routine of her collegiate career commanded a high mark.
That high mark was a 9.9500, and it brought home the only medal the Gators would earn as individual competitors at the Fort Worth Convention Center in Fort Worth, Texas. Boren shared the victory with Denver’s Lynnzee Brown and Oklahoma’s Brenna Dowell.
“My lunge was small, and I managed to stay in,” Boren said in a release. “I got 9.95s across the board. It was one of the best moments of my career."
The other Gators didn’t have such luck. Freshman Trinity Thomas competed on the bars and the floor, and while she was known for her prowess in the former event during the regular season, she only mustered a 9.8500 on Friday, tying for 16th place. She fared a little better on floor, tying for seventh with a 9.92500.
"Bars wasn't my best,” Thomas said in a release. “I made a mistake, and I covered it up well, kept going and stuck my dismount so that was a good ending.”
Sophomore Alyssa Baumann competed on the beam, but her routine was marred by a few wobbles and a shaky landing on the dismount. She earned a 9.7625 on the event, the same score her sister Rachel scored for the Georgia Bulldogs.
Freshman Savannah Schoenherr was Florida’s representative on the vault. Her routine was impressive and was awarded a 9.8750 by the judges, but she was faced with tough competition: the score was only good enough to tie for eighth place in the event.
Along with her championship floor routine, Boren competed in every other event as an all-arounder. Her next best event was the bars, where she tied for 21st with a 9.8375. She scored a 9.8125 the vault — tying for 16th — and closed out her collegiate career on the beam, where she placed 18th with a score of 9.7750.
"To have the opportunity to be here is an awesome ending,” Boren said. “It is not how our team wanted to end the season but to be here to represent the Gators is an honor."
Follow River Wells on Twitter @riverhwells and contact him at [email protected].