Gymnastics Scores Big at Home on Senior Day
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The No. 2 Florida gymnastics team finished 2014 home action with the nation’s season-high for team and all-around totals in its win over West Virginia in front of Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 4,240. Florida’s team total of 198.325 is the nation’s leader of 2014 and is the third-highest in school history. The Mountaineers turned in their season-high road total of 194.925.
On Senior Night, a pair of Gator seniors set their collegiate all-around best totals as they led a Florida sweep of the event. Alaina Johnson’s<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/gymnastics/pages/season_info/player_bios/johnson_alaina.php> winning total of 39.825 is the nation’s 2014 leader and also sets Florida’s record. Fellow senior Mackenzie Caquatto<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/gymnastics/pages/season_info/player_bios/caquatto_mackenzie.php> also turned in a collegiate-best of 39.625 to take second overall.
The third floor exercise 10.0 for junior All-American Kytra Hunter<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/gymnastics/pages/season_info/player_bios/hunter_kytra.php> ups her season-total of perfect marks to five - a school record. She has turned in a 10.0 in each of Florida’s five home meets - three on floor and twice on vault. She also took third in the all-around at 39.575.
Florida Event Winners Friday
Florida finishes home action with a 5-0 record and the three member senior class leaves the O’Connell Center with a 29-0 record in the arena over their careers.
GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:
* Johnson wins her sixth career all-around title Friday. The total of 39.825 sets the UF record, which previously was held by Hunter (2013) and Kristen Guise (1996). It is the nation’s highest total since Georgia’s Courtney Kupets posted a 39.85 in 2009.
* Hunter’s five 10.0 in 2014 ups her Florida season record for individual perfect marks. Entering 2014, the previous high of three by Susan Hines<http://www.gatorzone.com/gymnastics/bios.php?year=1999&bio=hines.html> came in the 1998 season.
* The all-around win has gone to a Gator in each of Florida’s nine meets this season. Gator sophomore Bridget Sloan<http://www.gatorzone.com/guides/gymnastics/pages/season_info/player_bios/sloan_bridget.php>, who only competed in uneven bars and balance beam Friday, won seven consecutive titles. Hunter won the season opener and shared the third title with Sloan. Johnson becomes the third Gator to win an all-around title this season.
* Johnson set or matched her collegiate-best marks for each of the four events Friday, winning vault (9.95) and bars (9.975) and taking second in the beam (9.95) and floor (9.95) standings.
* Sloan wins her fifth balance beam title of the last six meets. Her mark of 9.975 is just off her 10.0 mark set at Kentucky earlier this season. She is the defending NCAA all-around and balance beam champion.
ATTENDANCE RECORD: Tonight’s crowd of 4,240 gives Florida a record home season average attendance of 7,366. The previous record of 6,455 was set in 1989.
Three 2014 crowds rank among the top 20 in Florida’s 42-year history - 10,013 versus Georgia (No. 3), 9,197 versus LSU (No. 5) and 7,260 versus Oklahoma (No. 16).
Fifteen of the Gators’ top 20 crowds have come since Rhonda Faehn took over the Florida program in 2003.
RECORDS: Florida (8-1, 5-1 SEC); West Virginia (6-8, 0-2 Big 12).
THE SERIES: All-time, Florida leads 29-1.
WATCH: The Florida-West Virginia meet airs tape-delayed several times on SUN Sports, with the first airing set for March 16 at 11 a.m. and 11 p.m. Also airs March 17 at 11 p.m., March 18 at 5:30 p.m.; March 21 at 2:30 p.m. and March 23 at 9 a.m.
On her all-around performance in her final performance in the O’Connell Center:
“I told myself right before the competition started that I was just going to have the time of my life and go out there and have fun. I know that whenever I have the time of my life and have fun, then that’s when I do my best and the results showed. Being out there with such wonderful girls, my teammates- they mean so much to me. They’re like my sisters. I’ll definitely miss them.” - senior All-American Alaina Johnson
On her collegiate-best tying and record setting scores:
“I told myself I was going to leave everything out there. I had nothing to lose; this was my last competition in the O’ Dome and I didn’t want to regret anything and have a blast. That’s what I did.” - senior All-American Alaina Johnson
On receiving her fifth 10.0 this season:
“Honestly, no matter what the scores looked like tonight, that was one of the best meets that I’ve had in a while. I’m really proud of myself, and I’m also extremely proud that I got another 10, but it’s just a building block.” - junior All-American Kytra Hunter
On the team’s performance tonight:
“They just really, from top to bottom, put it together; so much consistency on all four events. It was very well balanced. I still think there are areas we can improve upon, which is the exciting thing- yes, Alaina (Johnson) was lights out, and Macko (Caquatto) did really well, and Kytra (Hunter) got a 10.0 on floor; but, Kytra will tell you that’s not the typical vault that she could do.
“But, much improved on beam and bars. The dismounts - we had more stuck landings and there was an opportunity for Bridget (Sloan) to rest on vault and on floor. We know that it’s great that the team can see, and that everyone can see, that there is this tremendous talent and performance level but still even greater potential, so that’s really exciting. It was perfect for all of our fans that came to support our senior class to see such greatness.” - Florida Head Coach Rhonda Faehn
On seeing Macko (Mackenzie Caquatto) and Lauren Rose have great performances tonight:
“I love Macko and Lauren; they’re actually my roommates so we get along extremely well and have so much fun together. It’s nice to see that they went out there and did very well in all the events they did too. We’ve all worked extremely hard in the gym so it’s nice to see they can go out there and their work has paid off. Lauren’s vault was amazing; she’s been working extremely hard in the gym. To see her do such a good vault after seeing her hard work means a lot to the team and to me as well.” - senior All-American Alaina Johnson
On her senior night:
“This was an incredible Senior Night. I just tried to soak it all in and enjoy every event every step of the way with my teammates and with my family being here. It’s kind of bittersweet because we do have a long journey to go in postseason, and we have a lot of things to accomplish so it’s not exactly over yet. But, being the last meet in the O’Dome with our fans and just competing out on the floor for the last time was really hard, but it was really great. All the fans that came out and having my family by my side and my sister on the floor competing with me made it a really, really special night for us.” - senior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto
On setting her personal collegiate-best all-around score:
“I just tried to go out there and soak it all in and do the best I could for the team. The team told us before the meet that they were competing for us tonight, and that was a really special thing. It was a great night, and we’ve been working really hard in practice. Obviously, it’s been paying off, and the team did awesome. It was really special.” - senior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto
Talking about fellow senior Alaina Johnson and herself performing well tonight:
“Alaina (Johnson) and I were just trying to soak it all up together. She’s been my roommate since freshman year so it’s been a really special experience for us, and I competed with her in Elite too. Tonight we just tried to go out there and just leave everything out on the floor, everything we had. I think we really did that. We’ve been working hard in practice, and we’ve been building every meet, and I think this meet it showed what we’ve been doing in practice, how hard we’ve been working and that we can only build from here.” - senior All-American Mackenzie Caquatto
On the team’s performance and season-high score:
“It’s always good to contribute to a team win and any team score. In the team meeting before we even warmed up, we said we’re not only doing this for the school, like we do every other competition, but we’re doing this for the seniors. The seniors have a huge impact on us. They’re really close to us. We’re all close, but it felt good to have that last meet in the O’Dome for them.” - junior All-American Kytra Hunter
The Gators’ balance beam total of 49.625 - the nation’s 2014 high on the event - set the school record, bettering the 49.60 set versus Minnesota on March 1, 2013…Florida’s uneven bars total of 49.625 equals the fourth-highest in school history and is a season-best…it also stands as the nation’s second-highest total on the event in 2014…the team total of 198.325 is the third-highest in the program’s history and the top two totals came in the last year - 198.425 (3-1-13) and 198.40 (4-6-13)…Johnson takes her first all-around win since March 16, 2012 when she turned in her previous collegiate-best of 39.675..Johnson only competed once as an all-arounder as a junior as a lower back stress reaction/fracture sidelined her for eight meets in 2013…of the nation’s top six all-around totals in 2014, 11 of the 16 marks have come from four Gators - 39.825 (Johnson 1x), 39.75 (Sloan 2x), 39.70 (Sloan 3x, Hunter 2x), 39.675 (Sloan 1x), 39.65 (Johnson 1x), 39.625 (MCaquatto 1x)….Florida’s floor total of 39.675 is the fourth highest in school history - three of the top five totals on the event have come in 2014.
Florida - Florida is No. 2 in the March. 3 GymInfo<http://troester.com/gym/WRankings/2014/0303/wteam.htm> rankings.
The current rankings are based on regional qualifying score (RQS consists of a team's three highest road scores and the next three highest scores. The high score is subtracted from the six event total and the remaining amount is divided by five).
West Virginia - The Mountaineers are No. 36 in the GymInfo rankings.
The Gators make their first trip to Columbia, Mo., since No. 24 Missouri became a Southeastern Conference member. Meet time is set for 7:30 p.m. ET in the Hearnes Center<http://www.mutigers.com/facilities/fac-hearnes-center-vb.html>.
Tickets for Friday’s meet are $5 for adults and $3 for youth. Visit the Missouri ticket site<http://www.mutigers.com/tickets/tickets-w-gym-body.html> for more information.
Missouri finished its 2014 regular-season road schedule at No. 11 Auburn Friday, losing 197.00-194.60 to the AU Tigers.
The Florida-Missouri duel will air tape-delayed on CSS on March 22 at noon (Gainesville/Ocala Cox cable channel 1259).
Streaming video of Friday’s meet can be found on Missouri Network<http://www.mutigers.com/allaccess/?media=417434> (subscription service) and live scoring can be found on GatorZone.com<http://www.gatorzone.com/>.
No. 2 Florida versus West Virginia
Final Team Totals
March 7, 2014 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (4,240 )
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