Oklahoma ignited a furious rally in the second and third rotation after emerging in last place after the first rotation to grab the NCAA title. Florida almost overcame a two-tenths deficit in the final rotation, using a senior Trinity Thomas 10 and four other scores 9.9s or better but still fell just 0.112 short. The Sooners defeated the Gators, Utah and Auburn for the 2022 NCAA gymnastics championships on Saturday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Florida dug itself a hole on Friday after struggling on the vault during the semifinals. The Gators’ adventure forced them to emerge from the first rotation dead last. On Saturday, they fared a little bit better.
Head coach Jenny Rowland and her team recorded a score of 49.35, putting itself in third place recorded a team score of 49.35, putting itself in third place ahead of Oklahoma but behind first-place Utah and second-place Auburn. The Gators also only found themselves 0.163 behind the Utes.
Thomas and freshman Leanne Wong both delivered scores greater than 9.9s.
The Gators had a fall on the uneven bars just like they did during the semifinals. Freshman Riley McCusker sailed through her routine but fell on the dismount, putting Florida in immediate danger of being eliminated if it suffered another fall on bars. But once again, the rest of the Gators lineup came to her rescue.
Thomas just missed perfection with a 9.975 while senior Savannah Schoenherr scored a 9.925 and super senior Megan Skaggs recorded a 9.9125. However, they still trailed Utah by a measly tenth, heading into the final two rotations.
Oklahoma made some serious ground up after struggling on the floor to start the meet. The Sooners used five scores of 9.9 or greater to take a two-tenths lead over the second-place Gators.
Florida wasn’t too shabby in the third rotation, either. Skaggs, Thomas, super senior Alyssa Baumann and senior Leah Clapper all recorded scores of 9.9 or better.
The Gators then headed to the floor exercise, arguably their best rotation. Florida posted all 9.9s or better, including a 10 from Thomas but Oklahoma’s massive comeback in the second and third rotations helped them edge the Gators 198.2 to 198.0875.
Rowland and Co. will have to say goodbye to Skaggs and Baumann, but Clapper, Reed, Schoenherr, Thomas, seniors Halley Taylor and Sydney Johnson-Scharpf could all elect to return for a fifth year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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