Special report on the Florida Gators gymnastics team:
FORT WORTH, Texas – No. 2 Florida gymnastics won Thursday’s second NCAA Championships semifinal to advance to Saturday’s team final. That event airs at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.
Three NCAA individual event titles were won Thursday by Gator senior Trinity Thomas – all-around, uneven bars and floor exercise. Three titles equals Bridget Sloan (2016) for the program’s high for NCAA event titles in a single championship meet.
Two Southeastern Conference schools advance from the second semifinal to the NCAA Championships team final – Florida (197.975) and Auburn (197.8375). Joining Florida and Auburn in Saturday’s final are the top two teams from Semifinal I – Oklahoma (198.1125) and Utah (197.7125).
Rounding out the opening semifinal results were Minnesota (197.1125) and Alabama (197.10) in the opening semifinal and Missouri (197.20) and Michigan (196.2875) in semifinal II.
SATURDAY’S TEAM FINAL:
Three different conferences are represented in Saturday’s NCAA team final:
Big XII Oklahoma
Southeastern Florida & Auburn
NCAA Team Final Rotation
Florida showed a bit too much adrenaline in its opening event as there were extra steps on some Gator vault landings. A 9.9 by Megan Skaggs and Trinity Thomas led the Gators on vault .
After the opening four Gators on uneven bars, competition was stopped due to the weight anchors coming loose. The issue was corrected and the first routine following the delay was Thomas’ winning mark of 9.975. Freshman Leanne Wong and Skaggs also earned bars marks of 9.9125.
Florida was in third at the midway point of the meet, but finished with program best totals in NCAA competition on its final two events.
Four Gators earned balance beam marks of 9.9 or better – Thomas (9.937), Skaggs (9.9125), Sloane Blakely and Leah Clapper (9.90) – as Florida posted a 49.5125 on the event.
Every score put toward Florida’s NCAA Championships record floor total (49.75) was a 9.925 or better. Thomas turned in the first Gator 10.0 on the event in NCAA competition. Florida also got a 9.95 from Wong, 9.375 from Skaggs and Alyssa Baumann and a 9.925 from Nya Reed.
Three Gators finished among the top five all-arounders overall – a first in NCAA competition since 2001 (UCLA). Thomas’ 39.8125 equals the NCAA high in semifinal action set by UF’s Alex McMurtry in 2017 and equaled by Oklahoma’s Meggie Nichols in 2018. Skaggs was third (39.6625) and Wong placed fifth (39.625).
Scores are combined from both NCAA Semifinal sessions to determine event winners:
Vault: Jaedyn Rucker, Utah 9.9625
Bars: Trinity Thomas, Florida 9.975
Beam: Sunisa Lee, Auburn 9.9625
Floor: Trinity Thomas, UF 10.0
AA: Trinity Thomas, UF 39.8125
GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:
* Florida advances to its 18th NCAA team final (1994, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2021, 2022). Florida won NCAA team titles in 2013, 2014 and 2015.
COACH ROWLAND SAID:
“I’m really proud of this team. Really great fight, great heart all the way through. Started a little a little slow as far as just tight, tense. They kept battling, kept fighting. We talked about taking small bites today and not looking at the huge picture of having to advance. Take those small steps, take those small bites and do what we know how to do.
“The Gators did a fantastic job of that. Taking our steps forward, staying in our Blue Zone, competing against the Florida Gators. That’s all we can control. And this team did a great job of controlling the controllables and we get to keep dancing.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland
NCAA Championships team final air Saturday at 1 p.m. ET on ABC.
NCAA Team Final