Congratulations to the Florida Gators for achieving their program’s first NCAA Women’s Gymnastics National Championship and in dramatic style to boot! What looked initially like a sure-fire disaster in the making (two falls back to back on beam, their opening event) soon became a rallying cry for their team to not go gently into the night but to instead go out kicking and screaming! Led by freshman 2009 World All Around Champion, Bridget Sloan, the Gators hit five of six routines on the floor for a team score of 49.725 and they never looked back as they slowly clawed their way back into the championship hunt.
Now, Alabama certainly could have delivered a knock-out blow on the vault, their signature event, but just could not find enough stuck landings to garner the .250 needed to maintain the lead through their final event, balance beam, where the Tide has been able to win championships in the past. But it’s notable that the Tide was also without super senior Marissa Gutierrez on vault and floor, which may have given them that extra “oomph” to push the score on these two events so that the Gators would have had too much to overcome.
Alabama can hold their heads high - they’ve had another remarkably successful year with plenty of motivation during the off-season to come back strong for the 2014 season. It helps to know that the NCAA National Championships will be hosted by the University of Alabama along with the Alabama Sports Foundation and the City of Birmingham. See you in January 2014 Tide fans!
1st Florida 197.575
2nd Oklahoma 197.375
3rd Alabama 197.350
4th UCLA 197.100
5th LSU 197.050
6th Georgia 196.675