Florida at Auburn
|Full Results||Florida: 197.500||Auburn: 195.725|
|VT: Thomas 9.975||UB: Gobourne 9.900||BB: Lazzari & Thomas 9.950||FX: Thomas 9.950||AA: Thomas 39.750|
The Big Storyline: After a slightly wonky bars rotation, Florida roared back to take the meet and earn its highest season opening score in program history. The Gators looked especially polished on vault, scoring the highest event total since 2017. Auburn had a solid performance that culminated in some unfortunate misses on floor. The Tigers welcomed Drew Watson on her key events (an uncertainty given her absence from pre-meet projected lineups).
Implications: Florida is on track to remain at the top of the rankings after Friday’s breakout performance.
Records: Trinity Thomas set a career high mark of 9.975 on her excellent Yurchenko one and a half. Ellie Lazzari’s 9.950 on beam was the highest ever score for a Florida freshman in her beam debut. As for the Tigers, their 195.725 was the third highest season-opening score in program history.
Current Rankings: No. 1 Florida at No. 14 Auburn
Why You Should Cancel Plans for It: This is our first look at the Florida Gators since they finished the 2020 season ranked No. 2 nationally and then grabbed the No. 1 spot in the WCGA preseason poll. The Gators have looked imperious in preseason training footage despite the deferral of three 5-star recruits. However, preseason No. 2 Oklahoma starts the season at home later this weekend and is unlikely to produce merely a modest first week score, so there is some pressure on the Gators to produce a big number and prove their competitiveness at the top level is not merely theoretical. We’ve seen very limited full routines in training for Auburn this preseason, so it’s hard to get a read on how ready the team is for 2021, but the Tigers have an opportunity to jump in the SEC rankings this year, as several teams previously ranked above them wrestle with major injuries and the graduation of critical 2020 seniors.
What We’re Watching: Former elite Olivia Hollingsworth is one to watch from the Auburn freshman class. Her open full out on floor (yes, full OUT) is nothing short of breathtaking, and we’re sure Kathy Johnson Clarke will be gasping about it. Auburn’s fate is closely tied to its slate of three or four mercurial Yurchenko one and a halfs. With almost limitless depth across all four events and lots of difficulty to play with, Florida lineups will be very interesting. Alyssa Baumann has looked strong on bars in preseason and might finally make her debut in the all around, while Payton Richards’ Yurchenko one and a half, ranked No. 25 nationally in 2020, has been missing in favor of a Yurchenko full for no clear reason.
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Florida freshman Ellie Lazzari has been spotted in a walking boot lately. She’s continued to train, so don’t start panicking about an Achilles tear or anything like that, but something’s probably not 100%. And once again, we really haven’t seen a lot of footage from Auburn, so we’ll be watching for absences among major contributors.
- Video Type: SECN+
- Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/37c98519-b617-4553-bd33-c50e24385844#bucketId=1
- Scores: https://t.co/LAdNBvpWgp?amp=1
- Live Blog: http://collegegymnews.com/2021/01/08/live-blog-no-1-florida-at-no-14-auburn/
- Live Blog Editor: Rebecca