A season of twists and turns will reach its conclusion this weekend for Florida gymnastics as the Gators are in Forth Worth, TX for the NCAA National Championships. Florida has been one of the top contenders all season, but an injury to Trinity Thomas put the Gators in danger of having its season end early two weeks ago.
With the safety net officially gone for Florida entering today’s semifinal round, we look at what it will take for the Gators to make it to Saturday’s finals.
How to watch:
What – NCAA Gymnastics National Semifinals
Where – Fort Worth, TX
When – 3PM
TV – ESPN2
Florida Gymnastics: Trinity Force
Florida was able to make it out of their regional round last week despite having Thomas pull out of the meet following a stoppage of her floor routine. The Gators seemed like they were going to be able to power through with ease, but some trouble on the floor exercise from the rest of the squad during the Regional Final dropped Florida to 2nd place, where they hung on to advance.
This afternoon the Gators will be in a grouping with California, Denver, and LSU. Cal beat out the Gators two weeks ago with a score of 198.075 to 197.800, while Denver and LSU beat out then-third-ranked Michigan to secure their spot in Fort Worth.
LSU also beat Florida during the regular season.
The big if for Florida gymnastics is if Trinity Thomas will compete. She was seen during the practice run on the uneven bars, the one event that minimizes the strain put on her legs. Whether she competes in any or all of the events remains to be seen.
The Gators can survive without her, but it will require perfection from the rest of the squad. Kayla Dicello and Leanne Wong will have to lead the way and possibly pull out a perfect 10 or two for the Gators to get through.
Sloane Blakely will be the biggest X-factor for Florida if Thomas can’t go. During the Regional Final she did not have a great meet, faltering on both the vault and floor exercise.
For Florida to advance this afternoon, they will have to finish in the top two of their four team group.
Cal will be powered by its foursome of Nevaeh DeSouza, eMjae Frazier, Andi Li, and Madelyn Williams. All four scored 39.500 or above for the all-around during the Regional Final.
LSU has Olivia Dunne, you might have heard of her, but she isn’t really much of a contributor to their squad. The Tigers are primarily led by Haleigh Bryant, who scored 39.750 during the all-around two weeks ago, matching the score she posted when LSU beat Florida.
The surprise of this group is Denver. They were ranked 13th nationally heading into Regionals, but emerged as Region champs. They are led by Lynnzee Brown, who posted a 9.950 on all four events two weeks ago.