Welcome to Bait & Bits, a series on Hail Florida Hail that will feature one “bait” about an opposing school and some bits about the Gators. Have any links that you want on Bait & Bits? Tweet it at us @HailFloridaHail or @BrettKaplan13 or email it to us at [email protected].
Nearly all the Southeastern Conference track & field teams. Both the men’s and women’s track & field teams competed at the 2014 SEC Indoor Championships at Texas A&M over the weekend. The women won their eighth SEC championship with 102 points, while the men placed second with 106 points to Arkansas’s 121. This marks Florida’s fourth conference title in the 2013-2014 academic year, since soccer, men’s swimming and men’s basketball have all won championships as well. Gator athletes won individual titles in the women’s 3000m, men’s 60mH, men’s 200m, women’s triple jump, women’s distance medley relay and women’s 4×4. They also set records in the women’s pentathlon, women’s high jump, women’s 200m, men’s 4×4 and women’s 4×4. Both programs have reached No. 1 rankings in the USTFCCCA Division I standings.
Gymnastics falls at Alabama. No. 3 Florida (7-1, 5-1 SEC) lost a meet for the first time in almost a year when they put up 197.400 points to No. 4 Alabama’s 197.675 in Tuscaloosa on Friday. Although both teams were tied after the first three rotations, the Gators performed poorly on their final event, the balance beam, and posted a score of 49.15, their lowest total since their season opener versus UCLA. The Crimson Tide (8-3, 6-1 SEC), on the other hand, finished the night off with their third-highest floor total (49.425) of the year. Despite the team’s beam troubles, Gator freshman Claire Boyce and senior Mackenzie Caquatto were each part of a three-way tie for first in the event with scores of 9.925. Florida’s next meet is 7 p.m. Friday against West Virginia. The Gators will honor seniors Lauren Rose, Alaina Johnson and Caquatto.
Swimming finishes regular season with Bulldog Last Chance Meet. Hosted in Athens, Ga., on Saturday and Sunday, this meet was, at its name suggests, the last chance for swimmers to reach times that would qualify them to compete in the NCAA Championships. Eight Gator men and two Gator women posted times that automatically qualified them for the NCAAs. Divers can qualify at the NCAA Zone Diving in Greensboro, N.C. March 10-12.
Lacrosse routs Stony Brook. Although it started off slow, No. 5 Florida (5-1) defeated No. 13 Stony Brook (3-2) 14-1 in New York. Junior Shannon Gilroy had a program-record six assists and career-high nine points.
Women’s basketball drops Senior Day game to Texas A&M. In its final regular season contest, Florida (18-11, 8-8 SEC) lost to No. 17 Texas A&M (23-6, 14-2 SEC) 83-72. Senior Jaterra Bonds, whose high school alma mater is P.K. Yonge in Gainesville, scored 18 points. Bonds and fellow senior Lily Svete played in their 133rd game, which ranks second all-time in UF history. Florida begins SEC Tournament play as a five-seed, which earns it a first-round bye. The Gators will face either No. 12-seed Missouri or No. 13-seed Mississippi State Thursday.
Women’s tennis shuts out Missouri. No. 5 Florida (10-2, 2-0 SEC) defeated Missouri (3-8, 0-2 SEC) 7-0 Sunday at home. This marks the Gators’ 127th-consecutive home wins and puts them at 187-1 all-time at home against SEC foes. They will next face South Carolina beginning at 1 p.m. Saturday in Columbia.
Tuesday’s schedule. Men’s golf concludes USF Invitational play in Dade City with a tee time at 8 a.m. The Gators currently sit in ninth place in the 17-team field… No. 5 lacrosse will finish off its two-game road trip when it plays No. 7 Loyola (2-2) at 1 p.m. in Baltimore, Md… No. 1 softball (21-0) faces Boston College (8-5, 2-1 ACC) in a mid-week matchup at 6 p.m. at home… No. 1 men’s basketball (27-2, 16-0 SEC) travels to Columbia to play South Carolina (11-18/4-12 SEC) at 7 p.m. This is Florida’s first time facing South Carolina this season… Baseball (6-6) is making a trip up to Pensacola to compete against Southern Miss at Community Maritime Park. The Gators and Golden Eagles most recently met in 2009, when Southern Miss defeated Florida twice at the NCAA Gainesville Super Regional to go to Omaha for the first time in program history. Sophomore left-hander Danny Young (1-0, 4.50) will get the start against junior righty Christian Talley (0-1, 2.61).