Oh dear.

It seems as if it rapidly approaching that time of the season again. No one wants it to happen (outwardly, at least), yet it seems almost inevitable that it will. Florida may or may not be beginning to unravel.

Please, don’t get me wrong, put words into my mouth, or interpret this as a wholly negative post.

Florida has been ranked #1 the entire season for a reason. They are freaking amazing. They have strong gymnasts across all apparatus, inclusive of US World Team member Mackenzie Caquatto, British World and Olympic Team member Marissa King, and strong national level competitors like Randy Stageberg, Alaina Johnson, and Ashaneé Dickerson. The Gators also have a brilliant coach in Rhonda Faehn, a 1988 Olympic Team member.

In Friday’s SEC dual meet, both teams started strong, Arkansas posted a 49.250 on the Vault, led by Jaime Pisani’s 9.925 and Michelle Stout’s 9.900. Florida was almost equally as strong on the Uneven Bars, posting a 49.200, led by Mackenzie Caquatto’s 9.925.

The second rotation was not as close, but still provided some competition. Again, led by Pisani’s 9.900 and Stout’s 9.875, The GymBacks notched a 49.200 on the Uneven Bars while the Gators took to the Vault and tallied 49.375, led by Dickerson’s 9.925 and two 9.900s by Maranda Smith and Alaina Johnson.

The third rotation is where it began to get a bit rocky for the Gators. The girls from Gainesville posted a 48.975, with only two scores above the 9.700 zone on the Floor, Dickerson’s 9.900 and Johnson’s 9.825. While Florida was coming up short on the Floor Exercise, Arkansas was holding their ground on the Balance Beam where four of their five counting scores were above a 9.800, the score posted by Bailee Zumwalde and Kelci Lewis, as well as Katherine Grable’s 9.825, Stacy Bartlett’s 9.850 and Pisani’s 9.875, bringing their Balance Beam total to 49.100.

The final rotation was no nicer to the Gators than the third rotation was. Florida’s Balance Beam campaign was marred by two falls, a 9.050 for Johnson, and a 9.275 for Dickerson, which counted toward the team total. Elisabeth Mahilich and Stageberg led the Gators on the beam, both scoring 9.850 for a 48.550 total. The Floor Exercise was nice to Arkansas, where all six scores were above 9.750 and all counting scores between 9.775 (Jordan Salsberg) and 9.900 (Pisani). The 49.150 score on the Floor Exercise was good enough to seal the deal.

The University of Arkansas beat the University of Florida 196.700 to 196.100.

– – –

The Vault and Floor Exercise titles were shared by Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) and Ashaneé Dickerson (Florida), both scoring 9.925 on the Vault and 9.900 on the Floor Exercise.

Mackenzie Caquatto (Florida) took the Uneven Bars title with a 9.925.

Jaime Pisani also wrapped up the Balance Beam title with a 9.875 and clinched the All-Around with a solid 39.600

 

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