Friday’s meet between the No. 2 Florida Gators and the No. 5 Auburn Tigers was expected to be an entertaining affair in Gainesville. It is safe to say that it lived up to the hype.
In a meeting of NCAA Gymnastics’ most talented squads, Florida came out on top by a tight margin, 197.825-197.200.
“We weren’t really sharp so I thought we fought really hard today. I wish we were a little bit cleaner but I’m really happy with where we are. A decent road score,” head coach Jeff Graba said after the meet.
The Tigers performed well in all events, as neither Tiger scored below a 9.7 in an individual event. Auburn’s strongest event of the evening was beam- where six Tigers scored 9.8 or better. Cassie Stevens carried Auburn in the event by scoring a 9.925, while aria brusch, Gabby McLaughlin, and suni lee each scored a 9.8 on the way to an overall score of 49.375.
On floor, Derrian Gobourne performed her famous “God Save the Queen” routine and scored a 9.925, which was the individual high score for Auburn.
Auburn opened the meet with a 49.250 on bars. Each Tiger scored 9.800 or higher, led by Lee’s 9.9. In Auburn’s second event, Lee and Gobourne scored a 9.9 as Auburn scored 49.225 on vault.
Despite a strong effort that resulted in an impressive score, the Tigers fell to the Gators due to the performances of Florida’s Leanne Wong and Trinity Thomas, who combined to score three 10.000’s. Behind Wong and Thomas, Stevens and Lee tied for third in the all-around with individual scores of 39.525.
“My warm-ups were a little shaky so if felt good to go out there and have the confidence to put together a great routine for the team,” Stevens said.
Auburn hosts Arkansas next Friday night at Neville Arena for the home opener. The meet will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT on Jan. 20.