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No. 2 Florida finds perfection thrice in win

236 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Three Gators found perfection in No. 2 Florida gymnastics 198.10 - 196.225 win over No. 25 Penn State Saturday afternoon at Rec Hall.

First it was senior Sierra Alexander, earning the maximum value for her Yurchenko full vault (9.95).

Then Trinity Thomas found perfection again - this time on floor exercise. This season, Thomas' posted a 10.0 on three events - uneven bars, balance beam and now floor exercise.

On the final rotation, Rachel Gowey put together a flawless balance beam routine to earn her first 10.0.

These along with a solid team performance helped the Gators to its second-highest total of the season, 198.10. It is Florida's third total above 198.00 in 2020 - 198.375 (Jan. 24), 198.10 (March 7) and 198.05 (Feb. 21). Today's result gives Florida seven appearances among the nation's top 20 team totals of 2020.

THIS AFTERNOON'S MEET

Florida swept the afternoon's event titles. Alexander's vault win was her first of her collegiate career. The uneven bars win was shared at 9.95 by Florida's Savannah Schoenherr and Thomas.

A 10.0 won the floor exercise and balance beam titles. Thomas, competing in front of more than 300 family and friends, put together a floor routine that gave her that elusive 10.0. She's posted a nearly perfect floor mark of 9.975 eight times.

Gowey also found that extra bit to move her collegiate beam best from a 9.975 to a 10.0. The senior has earned a 9.9 or better eight times in 2020.

Thomas also collected her seventh consecutive and eighth all-around win of the season at 39.525.

ANOTHER 10.0 FOR TRINITY THOMAS:

With her 10.0 on floor this afternoon, Trinity Thomas now has four perfect marks in 2020.

10.0 Bars Jan. 24, 2020

10.0 Beam Feb. 7, 2020

10.0 Beam Feb. 14, 2020

10.0 Floor March 7, 2020

She is the nation's first in 2020 with a 10.0 on three different events. Two others have 10.0s on a pair of events - Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols (vault, bars) and LSU's Kiya Johnson (vault, beam).

She is one of two gymnasts in 2020 with a floor 10.0. UCLA's Gracie Kramer posted her perfect floor mark in home action versus Washington on Jan. 31.

MULTIPLE 10.0s FOR GATORS:

This is the first time on the road and fourth time in Florida history 10.0s were earned on multiple events. Trinity Thomas posted Florida's first 10.0 Saturday on floor exercise and then Rachel Gowey added another on balance beam.

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:

  • Florida's 198.10 today is the third team total to reach the 198 mark. The last time Florida posted three team scores that began with a 198 was 2015.
  • Florida's 49.70 on floor exercise equals the program's No. 5 total for the event. Today's lineup included two new faces - Savannah Schoenherr (9.925 - collegiate best) and Halley Taylor (9.75 - collegiate debut).
  • With 10.0s this season from Rachel Gowey and Trinity Thomas, Florida is the nation's only program with a pair of performers with beam 10.0s in 2020. Florida is the nation's top-ranked team on the event.
  • Her three wins tonight (bars, floor, all-around) ups Trinity Thomas' career total of event wins to 54. She is now 10th on Florida's Career Event Titles chart. She is one of three with 50 or more event wins as a sophomore (Elfi Schlegel/60; Bridget Sloan/56).
  • Sierra Alexander earned her second perfect 9.95 for her Yurchenko full vault. She set her collegiate best in the Gators Link to Pink and found perfection again two meets later.
  • It was a home meet for Florida's Trinity Thomas, as more than 300 family, friends and club teammates made the trip to Rec Hall to cheer her Saturday afternoon. Thomas is from York, Pa., located just over two hours southeast of University Park, Pa.
  • Five Gators equaled or set collegiate bests this afternoon:
  • Sierra Alexander - 9.95 (vault)
  • Rachel Gowey - 10.0 (beam), 9.925 (floor)
  • Savannah Schoenherr - 9.925 (floor)
  • Halley Taylor - 9.75 (floor)
  • Trinity Thomas - 10.0 (floor)

RECORDS: Florida (10-0, 7-0 SEC), Penn State (8-9, 4-5 Big Ten).

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 35-13.

HEAR FROM THE GATORS:

On tonight's win:

"What an amazing night. This night gives me so much hope for this team looking forward. A 198.10 on the road is fantastic and is a score this team is capable of reaching again. This team can continue to grow and get better. We left a lot in the tank, which is not a bad thing. There were some new faces out there tonight, which was a lot of fun to see. Saw a lot of heart, fight and determination tonight. It was great to see people step in in the face of adversity and come through." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

Big score on floor with two making their season debut:

"A 49.70 on floor with two new people. It shows the depth this team possess. They come into the gym and work really hard and that's what is making this team better. That is pushing this team to focus on the details and work harder which in turn, it is elevating everyone which is a great thing." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

Another perfect vault score:

"I've really been pushing it in the gym. I just relied on my training and my roundoff back handspring. The coaches told us it would just be muscle memory at this point." - senior Sierra Alexander

On three perfect scores by the Gators today:

"I got my perfect score and then Trin [Trinity Thomas] goes out on floor and gets a 10. Then Rachel [Gowey] gets a 10. I said 'It's a perfect day!'. It was just amazing." - senior Sierra Alexander

We had a little bit of hiccups here and there. Every event there was a little something to snag us a little bit. But we really picked up and recovered amazingly. It was crazy that we got the 198 because that was no where near our best. I'm excited to see when everything comes together." - senior Sierra Alexander