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UF Gymnastics: No. 1 Gators Post Nation’s Top Score of 2021 in Win Over No. 24 Missouri

Trinity Thomas celebrates her winning vault (9.925). It was the first of four event wins for Thomas in Florida’s win over Missouri, including equaling her national high all-around total (39.75).
Photo By: Tiffany Franco

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY MARY HOWARD

The little things added up to a big score Friday in the No. 1 Gator gymnastics team’s win over No. 24 Missouri. Florida’s 197.85 total leads the nation and gives UF four of the leading six totals of 2021.

The Tigers tallied a 194.80. The meet was held in front of a physically-distanced sellout Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center crowd of 2,141.

Two of the nation’s leading all-around totals were posted Friday by Florida’s Trinity Thomas and Megan Skaggs. Thomas’ score equaled her national high total of 39.75 to claim her second all-around win of 2021. Skaggs, the reigning Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Week, upped her collegiate-best total to 39.60 to take second. Sophomore Payton Richards also had a season-high 39.35 to complete the Gator all-around sweep.

Trinity Thomas led the Gators on their opening event with a 9.925. It was her third vault mark of season scoring a 9.9 or better. Her teammates, Nya Reed and Skaggs, shared second at 9.875.

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Florida looked sharp on its handstands and found their landings, posting a national-leading 49.60 on uneven bars. Skaggs matched her collegiate best of 9.95 for the win on bars. A trio of Gators shared second at 9.925 – Gabrielle Gallentine, Savannah Schoenherr, and Thomas. The 9.925 is Gallentine’s collegiate best.

Thomas matched her season-best of 9.95 to claim her second balance beam title of the season. Skaggs took second at 9.90.

Florida turned in a season-best 49.475 on floor exercise. Thomas took the win with a season-best 9.95, while Reed was second at 9.925. Season bests of 9.875 tied Skaggs and Payton Richards for third. The mark set Richards’ collegiate best.

GATOR PERFORMANCE NOTES:

  *   Four meets into 2021, and all Florida’s totals rank among the nation’s top six of the season – No. 1 (197.85), No. 2 (197.50), No. 4 (197.425) and No. 6 (197.25).
  *   Florida set the nation’s leading uneven bars total for 2021 at 49.60. The previous high – 49.425 – was shared by Denver, LSU, and Oklahoma.
  *   Thomas’ 39.75 equals the national high total for 2021 she set at Auburn to open the season
  *   Skaggs’ 39.60 is tied for No. 4 among the nation’s all-arounders of 2021
  *   Freshman Ellie Lazzari made her collegiate floor debut tonight, earning a 9.85.
  *   Five marks tonight equaled or set collegiate bests:
     *   Gabrielle Gallentine – 9.925 (bars)
     *   Payton Richards – 9.875 (bars), 9.875 (floor)
     *   Megan Skaggs – 9.95 (bars), 39.60 (all-around)

HEAR FROM THE GATORS:

Gators’ performance tonight:
“What a very enjoyable evening with the Gators. Lots of energy, lots of things to celebrate, amazing audience, the crowd was in full support tonight, so it was so great to be competing at home. Something that we’ve really worked on over these last couple weeks is working on those details, and it was great to see a lot of those details come to fruition today and being well executed. In lieu of that, there’s always little things here and there that we can always improve upon, but gosh for the fourth meet out to see the consistency of this team, to see this team’s confidence just continue to build off of each other, regardless of who’s in the lineup, it really just puts a big smile on my face.” – Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland

On tonight’s season high and nation high score:
“It means a lot [to be setting the nation high team score] because I see my team go into the gym every day and hit routines just as good or better than the ones that we did out there tonight, so I know this team still has more improvement that we can make. We’re going to be great and I’m so excited for these girls, and myself as well, and we’re going to do great things this season.” – junior Trinity Thomas

RECORDS: Florida (4-0, 3-0 SEC), Missouri (0-4, 0-3 SEC)

THE SERIES: Florida leads the series 27-1.

NATIONAL RANK:
Florida – Florida is No. 1 in the Road to Nationals standings
Missouri – The Tigers are No. 24

UP NEXT:
After a week off, it’s a No. 1 vs No. 2 match-up when Florida competes at Louisiana State.

When:                    Friday, Feb. 12 at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Venue:                   Pete Maravich Assembly Center
TV:                          SEC Network
Tickets:                 Sold out

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