Disappointing Finish for Gator Gymnastics
The University of Florida gymnastics team couldn't overcome its early problems Friday in the NCAA Super Six team final, finishing fourth overall. In front of a sellout home crowd of 8,650, Georgia won its fourth consecutive NCAA team title at 197.45. Utah was runner-up for the third-straight year (197.125), while Stanford edged Florida for the third spot 196.75 -196.70. In its first NCAA Super Six appearance, LSU finished fifth (196.35) and Alabama was sixth (196.125).
It was evident right from the beginning that this wasn't going to be Florida's night. The Gators' lead-off uneven bars performer fell. No falls were recorded in the remainder of the Gators' bars set, but many looked tentative in their performance. Melanie Sinclair anchored the lineup with her team-high mark of 9.875. The team seemed to carry some of the tension from their opening event to their next, the balance beam. Although no falls occurred in the lineup, major balance checks by three Gator performers kept UF's team score down to 48.85 â€“ its second-lowest of the season. Florida's final three performers â€“ Ashley Reed, Corey Hartung and Amanda Castillo led UF with marks of 9.80. "It was a really difficult start for us on bars. To have our first athlete fall was tough. Our athletes got a little bit tight," UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said. "They carried the tension from bars on over to beam. Little wobbles here and there from those that we usually rely on for strong beam scores cost us." As rough as Florida's first two events went, the last two went quite well. Florida tallied team totals of 49.40 for both the floor exercise and the vault. Three of Florida's final four performers posted marks of 9.90 or above. Castillo anchored the set with her second consecutive 9.925 of the weekend, while Sinclair and Willis each earned 9.90s. In her final vault performance of her Gator career, Reed anchored the Florida lineup by matching her collegiate-best of 9.95, which also equaled Friday's high vault mark among all the competitors. Florida also received 9.90s from Sinclair and Castillo. UF and Utah each turned in Friday's high vault team total of 49.40.
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