Alex McMurtry didn’t hesitate. Facing the long stretch of mat ahead of her, the All-American threw her hands above her head before bringing them in close to her chest and breaking into a full sprint. A sold-out O’Connell Center watched as she spun into the air and touched her feet down to the ground in her first of two perfect 10.0s of the night.
The No. 5 Gators (3-1, 1-1 SEC) overcame No. 1 Oklahoma (3-1, 1-0 Big 12) 198.150-198.125 Friday night in their first win against the Sooners since the 2015 NCAA Super Six.
For the second time this season, the UF gymnastics team will host a No. 1 team at home. The …
“I’m kind of speechless right now,” coach Jenny Rowland said.
The match was led by McMurtry, who posted perfect 10.0s on both beam and on vault. Her vault score is the first 10.0 in the nation for that event. McMurtry’s performance Friday gives her a perfect 10.0 in every event, a feat accomplished by only one other Gator in UF history, Bridget Sloan. McMurtry also surpassed Sloan’s school record for career 10.0s, earning her ninth against the Sooners.
“I didn’t even know those were the statistics,” McMurtry said. “It was incredible.”
The night did not start off in Florida’s favor as UF trailed the Sooners in each rotation. The Gators didn't see a shift in the competition until senior Kennedy Baker tied Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols with a score of 9.975 in the floor routine. Her score helped push the Gators to a tie with Oklahoma for the first time the whole night.
“Going into my floor routine, I wasn’t even thinking about scores,” Baker said. “I was thinking, ‘Go out, do your best, have fun.’ And that's what I did.”
Other highlights came from the younger members of the team. Freshman Alyssa Baumann ended the match with a score of 9.925 on floor, good enough to put the Gators over Oklahoma in a 0.025 margin.
This was the second time the Gators hosted a No. 1 team at home. Unlike their first go-around, Florida was able to leave the O’Connell center Friday night with a win, a victory that could motivate the team heading into their next match against No. 16 Auburn on Feb. 2 on the road.
Rowland has confidence that the team will continue making strides both on the road and at home. After finishing Friday with a win against Oklahoma, she has only high hopes for the Gators.
“Get ready,” Rowland said. “We’re just starting this journey.”