The Gators had already won when freshman Trinity Thomas took the mat for her floor routine.
There are only two SEC gymnastics teams unbeaten in conference play. Come tonight, there wil…
Auburn’s beam rotation wasn’t going well, having one gymnast place with a 9.100. Senior Alicia Boren had already scored a 9.950 on the routine prior, and Florida’s victory was all but assured.
Thomas didn’t hold back.
She danced, leaped and spun her way to a 9.975 on her floor routine, which contributed to the team’s 197.850-196.700 victory in front of 9,055 fans at the O’Connell Center Friday night. The meet handed the Auburn Tigers their first loss and left the Gators as the only remaining SEC team undefeated in conference meets.
UF’s first rotation on the vault initially looked as if its struggles would continue. Junior Sierra Alexander had an average 9.775 and junior Amelia Hundley was only barely able to land on her feet with a crouch, earning the drop score of 9.650. The last three gymnasts in the rotation all placed at or above the 9.9 mark, however, with senior Alicia Boren’s 9.925 the highest.
“Little bit better on vault this week,” coach Jenny Rowland said. “We been focusing on staying calm in practice, and it really showed out on the competition floor.”
Auburn counteracted with a good bars rotation, which was balanced across the board with three showings at 9.875. Despite the highest score for the Tigers being a 9.900, they held a very small lead of 49.375-49.350.
It was all Florida when the Gators took to the bars for their second rotation. Thomas showed her prowess in the event, scoring a 9.950 on her routine. A 9.900 from Hundley and every other score above 9.8 rounded out the impressive rotation.
Auburn, meanwhile, struggled on vault. Gymnast Gracie Day stumbled on her landing to get the drop score of 9.225, forcing the Tigers to keep a 9.525 from gymnast Jada Glenn.
At the end of the second rotation, UF wrenched the lead from the Tigers, sitting comfortably at 98.775-98.300 heading into the third.
The third rotation saw solid beam routines from Florida. The beam unit came out of the event with three 9.000s, including one from SEC Specialist of the Week Alyssa Baumann. The Tigers had a very good floor rotation, including two 9.925s to end it, but it wasn’t enough for them to retake the lead: heading into the final stretch, the Gators still held a lead of 148.200-147.775.
UF’s already sound lead was reinforced in the final rotation when it took the floor. Along with Thomas’ 9.975, a 9.950 from Boren and a 9.925 from Baumann finalized the Gators’ lead. A notable substitution for the floor rotation was Savannah Schoenherr, who replaced freshman Sydney Johnson-Scharpf.
“I’ve been working really hard in the gym to try and make the floor lineup,” Schoenherr said. “Competing tonight was just a lot of fun.”
Auburn’s beam routine, which included a 9.100 from Taylor Krippner, was nowhere near where it needed to be to make a last-rotation run, and the Gators walked away from the 13th annual “Link to Pink” event still unbeaten in its history.
“We compete for ourselves and our team,” Boren said,” but now we get to compete for something bigger than that.”