No. 1 Florida Gymnastics Team Opens SEC Action with Win Over No. 16 Kentucky

By: UF Sports Communications
By: UF Sports Communications

Gainesville, FL - The No. 1 University of Florida gymnastics team
(2-0, 1-0 SEC) opened league action Friday evening with a 196.775-192.90 win over No. 16 Kentucky (2-1, 0-1 SEC) in front of Stephen C.
O’Connell Center crowd of 4,552.

A Gator claimed each of the event titles Friday. Reigning Southeastern
Conference Freshman Gymnast of the Week Alaina Johnson opened the meet with a pair of wins, taking her first collegiate vault title with a 9.95 and matching her mark of 9.925 from a week ago to collect her second consecutive uneven bars win.

Her score distinguishes her as one of four Gator freshmen all-time to
earn a vault mark of 9.95, joining teammate Ashanée Dickerson (2010) and past All-Americans Savannah Evans (2004) and Chrissy Van Fleet (1997). Focusing on what her vault coach tells her helped Johnson to the high mark Friday.

“Adrian (Burde, UF Assistant Coach) tells me little corrections each
time, so after I do that vault whatever correction he tells me I just
work on that and fix one thing at a time,” Johnson said. “That’s
what I did last week and it worked.”

The beam title was shared by Gator sophomores Liz Green and Marissa
King, as each turned in marks of 9.825. It was the first win of the
season for both, while Green now owns five beam titles and King picks up her second.

A pair of Gators represented Florida in the 2010 NCAA floor exercise
final and that duo collected the win on that event Friday, as King and
Dickerson shared the title with identical marks of 9.875. For Dickerson,
it was her second consecutive and ninth overall floor win, while the
finish was King’s second floor title as a Gator.

King wasn’t happy with her performance in the season opener, so
Friday’s results will serve as a motivator, she said.

“I’m a lot more pleased than last week. I think I had a rough start
to the season; there are still improvements to be added on here or
there. It’s just nice to go out there and obviously do better than
last week. It’s definitely motivated me more now because I know I can
get those scores, I know I can do those routines. I can do them under
the pressure, it’s just hitting them when it’s needed,” King said.
“It’s definitely motivated me and cheered me up. I can’t wait to
see what happens the rest of the season - hopefully it’s going up and
onwards.”

Dickerson also claimed the all-around win for the second week in a row,
posting a 39.225. It is the ninth win for Dickerson, moving her into a
tie for ninth with All-American Orley Szmuch on the Gators’ career
all-around wins chart.

Johnson and fellow freshman Mackenzie Caquatto both competed at the
elite level during their club careers, with Johnson appearing on the
U.S. National Team twice and Caquatto is currently in her third year on
the team. Both are getting into the swing of collegiate competition, as
both remarked post-meet about losing their voices after cheering so
boisterously for their teammates.

“It was definitely a change. The first competition I didn’t really
know what to expect, but after the competition last week, I knew what to
expect tonight,” Johnson said. “I had more fun this competition. I
yelled louder because my voice is almost gone, so it was definitely a
lot of fun. It is still a lot different because your whole team is
pulling for you all the time and they want it just as bad as you want
it.”

Caquatto shared second on bars as she and Dickerson each turned in
collegiate-best marks of 9.90. Caquatto made her first appearance on
beam Friday, sharing third at 9.725 with Florida’s Randy Stageberg.

Tonight’s meet saw four Gators making their season or career debuts
in event lineups as the Florida coaching staff looks to see how the
gymnasts perform in a competitive situation. UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn liked what she saw Friday.

“We’re extremely pleased once again with how the team did,
especially with so many different lineups that we added and new
routines. Some different athletes got an opportunity to get out there
tonight,” Faehn said. “I think the vault and bar performances were
stellar. So many stuck landings and they really performed well.”

The everything’s-under-control attitude exuded by this edition of the
Gator gymnastics team plays a huge part in Florida’s strong start this
season, Faehn said.

“We saw that even last week that they’re really calm and it’s
nice. The warm-ups are smooth and that carries over into the
competition. It’s nice that they’re calm but also competing
aggressively instead of being lackadaisical by that attitude,” Faehn
said. “Some of our freshmen have experience as top elite athletes and
with that comes a lot of experience under high pressure situations. It
brings a calming effect to some of the other athletes as well.”

Next up, the Gators travel to Baton Rouge, La., to face No. 25 LSU on
Friday, Jan. 21. Meet time is set for 8 p.m. (ET) in the Pete Maravich
Assembly Center.

Florida versus Kentucky- Final Team Totals
Jan. 14, 2011 ● Stephen C. O’Connell Center (4,552)
Team Vault Bars Beam Floor Total
Florida 49.375 49.450 48.750 49.200 196.775
Kentucky 49.050 48.525 46.400 48.925 192.900

Team Results
1) UF 196.775
2) UK 192.900

VAULT Results
1) Johnson (UF) 9.950
2) Rose (UK) 9.900, Dickerson (UF) 9.900
4) Reshard (UK) 9.875, Ellis (UF) 9.875, Smith (UF) 9.875
7) Minion (UK) 9.825
8) Mitchell (UK) 9.800
9) Lemezan (UF) 9.775
10) King (UF) 9.725
11) Williams (UK) 9.650

BARS Results
1) Johnson (UF) 9.925
2) Dickerson (UF) 9.900, Caquatto (UF) 9.900
4) Mahlich (UF) 9.875
5) Goodwin (UF) 9.850
6) Mitchell (UK) 9.800
7) Rose (UK) 9.775
8) Ellis (UF) 9.750
9) Reshard (UK) 9.675, Ciokajlo (UK) 9.675
11) Morris (UK) 9.600
12) Williams (UK) 8.625

BEAM Results
1) Green (UF) 9.825, King (UF) 9.825
3) Stageberg (UF) 9.725, Caquatto (UF) 9.725
5) Krall (UK) 9.675
6) Minion (UK) 9.650, Mahlich (UF) 9.650
8) Dickerson (UF) 9.550
9) Mitchell (UK) 9.225
10) Morris (UK) 9.100
11) Ciokajlo (UK) 8.750
12) Rose (UK) 8.600

FLOOR Results
1) King (UF) 9.875, Dickerson (UF) 9.875
3) Mitchell (UK) 9.850, Ferguson (UF) 9.850, Johnson (UF) 9.850,
Reshard (UK) 9.850
7) Minion (UK) 9.775
8) Stageberg (UF) 9.750, Rose (UK) 9.750, Ellis (UF) 9.750
11) Harrison (UK) 9.700
12) Sienkowski (UK) 9.325

All-Around Results
1) Dickerson (UF) 39.225
2) Mitchell (UK) 38.675
3) Rose (UK) 38.025

UF: VAULT: 49.375, BARS: 49.450, BEAM: 48.750, FLOOR: 49.200
VAULT: Johnson 9.950*, Dickerson 9.900, Ellis 9.875, Smith 9.875,
Lemezan 9.775, King 9.725
BARS: Johnson 9.925*, Dickerson 9.900*, Caquatto 9.900*, Mahlich
9.875*, Goodwin 9.850, Ellis 9.750
BEAM: Green 9.825, King 9.825, Stageberg 9.725, Caquatto 9.725*,
Mahlich 9.650, Dickerson 9.550
FLOOR: King 9.875, Dickerson 9.875, Ferguson 9.850, Johnson 9.850,
Stageberg 9.750, Ellis 9.750*
All-Around: Dickerson 39.225

* Personal Record


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