Florida Gators women's gymnastics

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Florida Gators women's gymnastics
Founded: 1973
Florida Gators women's gymnastics athletic logo

University University of Florida
Conference SEC
Location Gainesville, FL
Head Coach Rhonda Faehn (11th year)
Home Arena O'Connell Center
(Capacity: 12,000)
Known As Florida Gators
Colors Orange and Blue

             

National Championships
1982 (AIAW), 2013, 2014
Super Six Appearances
1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Regional Champions
1981 (AIAW), 1982 (AIAW)
1982, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
Conference Champions
1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1989, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013

The Florida Gators women's gymnastics team represents the University of Florida in the sport of gymnastics. The team competes in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The Gators host their home matches in the O'Connell Center on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus, and are currently led by head coach Rhonda Faehn. In the forty-year history of the Gators women's gymnastics program, the team has won nine SEC championships, and three national championships, including the 1982 AIAW national tournament, and the 2013 and 2014 NCAA national tournaments.

History[edit]

The University of Florida first fielded a women's varsity gymnastics team in the fall of 1973. Gymnastics was one of the first women's sports added at the University of Florida and achieved early success by winning the 1982 Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (AIAW) championship (the AIAW was the governing body for women's college sports from 1971 to 1982). Since the NCAA assumed sponsorship for women's sports championships in 1982, Florida has advanced to the NCAA national championship tournament (top twelve teams nationally) thirty times, and has only failed to qualify for the national championship once since 1982. The Gators have advanced to the "Super Six" finals of the NCAA championship eighteen times. Florida has placed second in the NCAA national championship tournament twice, finishing as the runner-up in 1998 and 2012,[1][2] and won back-to-back NCAA championships in 2013 and 2014.[3]

Ernestine Weaver was the head coach of the Gators gymnastics program from 1980 to 1992, and she was responsible for much of the team's early success in AIAW, NCAA and SEC competition. Under Weaver, the Gators won five SEC tournament championships, won the AIAW national championship in 1982, and appeared in thirteen consecutive NCAA national championship tournaments; Gators gymnasts won five AIAW and NCAA individual national championships. Judi Markell succeeded Weaver as head coach in 1993, and her teams qualified for nine NCAA national championship tournaments in ten seasons, including three Super Six appearances, and a second-place finish in 1998; Markell's Gators won three NCAA individual national championships.

The Gators have been coached by Rhonda Faehn since 2003, and have won four SEC tournament championships, and appeared in the NCAA national championship tournament twelve consecutive times under Faehn, including nine Super Six appearances, an NCAA national runner-up performance in 2012, and back-to-back NCAA national championships in 2013 and 2014. The 2014 NCAA championship team also scored the highest total ever at an NCAA championship with a 198.175.[2] Faehn's Gators have won seven NCAA individual national championships. Marissa King won the vault title in 2011, Kytra Hunter won the all-around and vault title in 2012, Alaina Johnson won the uneven bars title in 2013, and Bridget Sloan won the all-around and balance beam titles in 2013 and the uneven bars title in 2014.

The Gators' major national rivals include the Georgia Gym Dogs of the University of Georgia and the Alabama Crimson Tide women's gymnastics team of the University of Alabama. Both Alabama and Georgia are fellow SEC members.

Individual national champions[edit]

Nine Florida Gators gymnasts have won a total of fifteen individual national college championships, including Ann Woods (1982 AIAW all-around, floor exercise, uneven bars), Lynn McDonnell (1982 AIAW balance beam), Maria Anz (1984 NCAA floor exercise), Susan Hines (1997 NCAA vault; 1998 NCAA vault), Betsy Hamm (1998 NCAA balance beam), Marissa King (2011 NCAA vault), and Kytra Hunter (2012 NCAA all-around, vault), Alaina Johnson (2013 NCAA Bars), Bridget Sloan (2013 NCAA all-around, beam and 2014 NCAA Bars)

Current Roster (2014-15)[edit]

Below is a roster of gymnasts on the team for the 2014-15 season.

Name Height Class Hometown Club Previous Coach(es) Best Achievement Major
Kennedy Baker Unknown Freshman Flower Mound, TX Texas Dreams Gymnastics Kim Zmeskal, Chris Burdette U.S. National Team 2010-14, 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier Unknown
Claire Boyce 5'6" Sophomore Grapevine, TX Texas Dreams Gymnastics Kim Zmeskal, Chris Burdette 27th at the 2010 U.S VISA Nationals Social and Behavioral Sciences
Bridgette Caquatto 5'2" Junior Naperville, IL Legacy Elite Gymnastics Li Yuejiu, Wu Jiani 2011 Pan American Games Team, All-Around and Bars Champion Social and Behaviorial Sciences
Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto 5'6" Junior Montreal, Canada Gym-Richeliu Michel Charron, Galina Larchina 2010 World Championships Team Member for Canada Social and Behavioral Sciences
Ericha Fassbender Unknown Freshman Houston, TX Stars Dan & Ashly Baker U.S. National Team 2010-11 Unknown
Morgan Frazier 5'2" Junior Winter Garden, FL Orlando Metro Gymnastics Jeff Woods 2012 Florida State Level 10 Champion Social and Behavioral Sciences
Kytra Hunter 5'0" Senior Frederick, MD Hill's Gymnastics Kelli Hill 2010 World Championships Alternate Food and Resource Economics
Grace McLaughlin Unknown Freshman Allen, TX WOGA Valeri Liukin 2011 Pan American Games Unknown
Jamie Shisler 5'7" Senior Naples, FL Coast Elite Academy Dave Zweifelhofer, Katie Jerabek 2011 J.O National Championships qualifier Economics
Bridget Sloan 5'1" Junior Pittsboro, IN Sharp's Academy Marvin Sharp 2009 World All Around Champion and 2008 Olympic Team Silver Medalist, 2012 Olympic Trials qualifier Social and Behavioral Sciences
Rachel Spicer 5'1" Senior Highland Village, TX Metroplex Marnie Futch, Gina Quinlan 2010 J.O National Champion in Junior C division Applied Physiology
Kiersten Wang 5'0" Senior Monument, CO Colorado Aerials Kathy Vigil 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup qualifier Civil Engineering

Future recruits[edit]

These are gymnasts that have committed to Florida and hence will be competing in future years.

2015-16 Commits

  • Alicia Boren - 2015 - North Stars - J.O National Champion
  • Lacy Dagen - 2015 - San Mateo - 2013 National Championships qualifier
  • Peyton Ernst - 2015 - Texas Dreams - 2013 US National Team Member, 2nd Place All Around Mexico Open and Tokyo World Cup
  • Alex McMurtry - 2015 - Richmond Olympiad - Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup winner (has decided to enroll early and will join the gators with the 2015 class)

2016-17 Commits

  • Alyssa Baumann - 2016 - WOGA - 2014 World Championship team member
  • Rachel Gowey - 2016 - Chows - 2013 and 2014 US Nationals qualifier (did not compete due to injury), 2012 JO National Team Member
  • Amelia Hundley - 2016 - Cincinnati - 3x US Junior National Team Member (2011–present), 2012 Pacific Rim Team Champion
  • Ashton Locklear - 2016 - Everest - 2014 US National uneven bars champion, 2014 World Championship team member

2017-18 Commits

2018-19 Commits

2013-14 Season Schedule/Results[edit]

Date Meet Location Team Total Highest Scorer Win or Loss
11th Jan Florida v UCLA Los Angeles, CA 196.650 Kytra Hunter (UF) Win
17th Jan Florida v Auburn Auburn, AL 197.075 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
24th Jan Florida v Georgia Gainesville, FL 198.050 Kytra Hunter/Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
31st Jan Florida v Oklahoma Gainesville, FL 197.875 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
7th Feb Florida v Kentucky Lexington, KY 197.175 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
14th Feb Florida v Arkansas Gainesville, FL 197.525 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
21st Feb Florida v LSU - Link to Pink Meet* Gainesville, FL 198.125 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
28th Feb Florida v Alabama Tuscaloosa, AL 197.400 Bridget Sloan (UF) Loss
7th Mar Florida v West Virginia Gainesville, FL 198.325 Alaina Johnson (UF) Win
14th Mar Florida v Missouri Columbia, MO 198.200 Bridget Sloan (UF) Win
22nd Mar SEC Championships Birmingham, AL 197.700 Bridget Sloan (UF) 2nd
5th Apr Regional Championships TBA
18-20th Apr NCAA Gymnastics Championships Birmingham, AL
  • all proceeds went to Breast Cancer Awareness

All-American selections[edit]

Through the 2011–12 season, forty-nine Florida Gators gymnasts have earned 108 first-team All-American honors and seventy-one second-team honors (# of honors not updated for 2013).[4]

Second-team All-American honors are designated with an asterisk (*).

Team Records[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pat Dooley, "Top 25 Gator teams: #24 1998 Gymnastics," Gainesville Sun (June 1, 2009). Retrieved August 8, 2009.
  2. ^ a b Laura Owens, "UF gymnastics finishes second at NCAAs," The Gainesville Sun (April 21, 2012). Retrieved May 14, 2012.
  3. ^ "National Champions: Gators Claim Program's First NCAA Gymnastics Title," GatorZone.com (April 20, 2013). Retrieved April 20, 2013.
  4. ^ Florida Gymnastics 2012 Media Supplement, University Athletic Association, Gainesville, Florida, pp. 55–56 (2012). Retrieved May 14, 2012.

External links[edit]

  • GatorSports.com – Florida Gators women's gymnastics news from The Gainesville Sun.
  • GatorZone.com – Official webpage of the Florida Gators women's gymnastics team.
  • SECSports.com – Official webpage of Southeastern Conference gymnastics.