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Gators score big to advance to NCAA Regional Finals

167 days ago
Florida Athletics
Photo: Florida Athletics

ATHENS, Ga. - Florida used its third highest total of the season - 197.95 - to win the evening session in NCAA Regional Second Round action, held Friday evening in the University of Georgia's Stegeman Coliseum.

Florida now joins Denver, Minnesota and North Carolina State for Saturday's NCAA Regional Final. The top two teams in Saturday's competition advance to the NCAA Championships, set for April 16-17 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

TONIGHT'S MEET: A blind draw determined the competition order for today's regional competition. Top-seeded Florida opened the meet strong, posting a 49.625 on balance beam - its best ever in NCAA Regional competition. Senior Alyssa Baumann led all competitors with her nearly perfect 9.975. Freshman Ellie Lazzari and junior Leah Clapper also posted 9.95s. Junior Nya Reed led the Gators on floor exercise at 9.95.

Skaggs also posted a 9.90 as the team tallied a 49.375.

Marks of 9.90 for both Savannah Schoenherr and Megan Skaggs topped UF's vaulters on Friday.

Florida bookend the meet with another near all-time team high - posting a 49.675 on uneven bars. That total shares third all-time for the UF program and is the team's high for 2021. Junior Trinity Thomas posted a 10.0 on her only event of the evening. It was her second perfect bars score of 2021 and her third of her career for the event.

EVENT WINNERS:

Scores are combined from both NCAA Second Round sessions to determine event winners:

Vault: Ona Loper, Minnesota 10.0

Bars: Trinity Thomas, Florida 10.0

Beam: Alyssa Baumann, Florida 9.975

Floor: Nya Reed, Florida 9.95

Lynnzee Brown, Denver 9.95

Ona Loper, Minnesota 9.95

AA:

Lexy Ramler, Minnesota 39.775

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES: 

  • The Gators' 197.95 ties for No. 8 among the nation's team totals of 2021. Of the nation's top 12 totals of 2021, four belong to the Gators (No. 1 198.275, No. 3 198.15, No. T8 197.95, No. 12 197.85)
  • Florida's 49.675 on uneven bars equals the third-highest in the program's history
  • The 49.625 ties for No. 8 among Florida Top 10 Balance Beam totals
  • Trinity Thomas registered her fourth 10.0 of 2021 - two each on bars and floor. She has turned eight 10.0s in the last two seasons (three bars/floor, two beam).
  • With a 9.9 or better on every apparatus Friday, Megan Skaggs raised her all-around best for the second time this season. She set her previous best of 39.60 to win at Arkansas on Jan. 22 and equaled that total Feb. 19 versus Kentucky. Tonight she raised that best to 39.65 to top the Session II all-around competitors and third overall.
  • Four Gators posted or equaled collegiate or season-best marks Friday:
Alyssa Baumann 9.975- 2 Beam Collegiate best
Alyssa Baumann 9.825 Vault Season best
Gabrielle Gallentine 9.95 Bars Collegiate best
Ellie Lazzari 9.90 Bars Collegiate best
Megan Skaggs 9.95 Bars Collegiate best
Megan Skaggs 39.65 All-Around Collegiate best

QUOTING THE GATORS:

Gators' performance tonight:

"Wow. Something that the Gators are really good at is just being normal, having fun, and really, they showed up. [They] showed that this team is on a mission to make the most of the moment." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

"Momentum is so important, especially during the postseason when the competition field is so strong. We knew that we really needed to get the energy going and come out strong right from the start and carry that all the way through to the finish." - senior Megan Skaggs

Coach Rowland's message to the team:

"First of all, just really focus on the Orange and Blue, focus on the Gators tonight. Don't worry about anything that's out of our control and keep building on the momentum that we know we're capable of beginning with. Really make the most of this moment, it's an opportunity that this team did not have last year, so make the most of that moment. And enjoy yourselves." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On Trinity Thomas's perfect 10 on her only event:

"[It was] even a little bit more special, because I've been extra focused on dismounts. So when I stuck that landing, there were a lot of emotions going through me.

"I almost cried, I don't know why, but I think because [uneven bars] is the only thing that I've been training, and I just want to do as good as I can for my team. I'm used to doing all the events, so when I'm only doing one, I [feel] like I [have] to do it right, so [I was] just super excited to do my thing." - junior Trinity Thomas

"[Trinity Thomas] is doing everything that she can to contribute to this team. She's in a little different position than competing all-around normally to [now] one event. It can be really easy sometimes to put too much pressure on yourself if you're just doing one event, and she really handled it well, took ownership, and did a fantastic job. So really, really extremely proud of her." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On Megan Skaggs' season high 9.9 on floor and collegiate best of 39.65:

"[It was] so exciting. We've been working that floor routine a lot over the season. I was really glad to come out and do it how I trained, really perform for my teammates and throw some facial expressions in there. It was super fun." - senior Megan Skaggs

"[Megan Skaggs] is really just a solid team member for the Gators. She's just somebody that everybody can rely on, can count on, they can trust, and they just know she's gonna show up and do what she does in the gym, day in and day out. So that's just a great teammate for you." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On Alyssa Baumann's leadership:

"[Alyssa Baumann] has really embraced that [leadership] role. [She] helps each team member focus, and she gives each team member what they need. Some need a pep talk, some need calming down, and she's done a really fantastic job of being able to do that." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

"[Alyssa Baumann] told me to be me, do my thing, and be normal, just like she always does. Because sometimes it's easy to get ahead of yourself, but you have to trust your training and trust yourself." - junior Trinity Thomas

On preparing for tomorrow's competition:

"Tonight really sets a great tone and will help this team continue to move forward tomorrow. The biggest challenge and the most important thing right now is getting down from that high of scoring a 197.95." - Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

"[Performing back-to-back] is a challenge, but tonight the priority is to get some dinner, drink lots of water, recover, and get a lot of rest so we can come out strong tomorrow. But we're ready for it, we train for it, so we're super excited." - senior Megan Skaggs

UP NEXT:

NCAA Regional Finals will be contested Saturday in four sites. The top two teams in each of the four regional finals advance to the NCAA Championships, set for April 16-17 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

All NCAA Regional Final action can be found on ESPN3.

Start Time (ET) NCAA Regional Site Live Stream 7 p.m. Athens, Ga. ESPN3 7 p.m. Morgantown, W.Va. ESPN3 8 p.m. Tuscaloosa, Ala. ESPN3 9 p.m. Salt Lake City, Utah ESPN3.

Start Time (ET) NCAA Regional Site Live Stream
7 p.m. Athens, Ga. ESPN3
7 p.m. Morgantown, W.Va. ESPN3
8 p.m. Tuscaloosa, Ala. ESPN3
9 p.m. Salt Lake City, Utah ESPN3

No. 1 seed Florida at NCAA Athens Regional Second Round - Session II

Team Totals

April 2, 2021 - Stegeman Coliseum (1,600)

Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Florida^  49.275 49.675 49.625 49.375 197.950
NC State^  49.075 49.325 49.075 49.300 196.775
Illinois 49.175 49.050 48.950 49.200 196.375
Central Michigan 48.825 49.750 49.000 49.000 195.575

NCAA Athens Regional Second Round - Session I

Minnesota^ 49.525 49.250 49.350 49.500 197.625
Denver^ 49.150 48.975 49.225 49.425 196.775
Georgia 49.075 49.225 49.175 49.275 196.750
Oregon State 49.175 48.725 49.075 49.400 196.375

^ advance to Saturday's Regional Final