Ball State, Lindenwood and West Virginia at Florida
|Full Results||Florida: 197.750||West Virginia: 194.925||Ball State: 194.100||Lindenwood: 193.125|
|UB: Thomas, Wong
|BB: Thomas 10.000||FX: Baumann
The Big Storyline: Florida dominated the competition in its first meet of the season.
Implications: The 2022 SEC champions put the rest of the SEC on notice, leaving no doubt that they’re aiming to extend their reign. Fifth-year Trinity Thomas did not compete in the all-around, but with three event titles, she left no doubt that she’s still in top form as well.
Records: Kayla DiCello set a program record for a Gator freshman debut performance, leading Florida to its best opening score. Thomas scored the first perfect 10 of the season. Ball State notched its second best opening total while West Virginia had its second best vault rotation.
Controversies: Thomas’ talent is certainly not up for debate, but the same can’t be said for her beam score at this meet. Fans were divided over whether or not she wobbled after her front aerial.
Current Rankings: Ball State, Lindenwood and No. 33 West Virginia at No. 2 Florida
Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: Florida’s roster boasts more world championship medals than many countries’ total haul, not to mention the reigning NCAA all-around champion, Trinity Thomas. The hosting Gators will understandably be the main event at this quad meet, but there are plenty of compelling reasons to keep an eye on the three away teams as well: The Mountaineers showed flashes of brilliance in 2022 and its stellar freshman class—featuring former four star recruit Miranda Smith—should only bolster the team’s prospects in the new year. Lindenwood has been a team in flux for the past year, with a new head coach, a new division and various roster shakeups. Freshman Jaly Jones is poised to join senior star Gayla Griswold and junior Hannah Moon as impact players. Injuries decimated Ball State’s depth last year, forcing the team into five-up-five-count territory by midseason. Fortunately, the Cardinals have a strong freshman class that’s seven gymnasts deep, including former three-star recruit Zoe Middleton.
You Can Fast Forward, but not Through This: The addition of Georgia transfers Rachel Baumann and Victoria Nguyen, plus having Ellie Lazzari and Morgan Hurd back in play means there are legitimately two lineups worth of top beam workers on this Florida roster. Additionally, if any team can upstage Florida’s floor lineup, it’s West Virginia. The Mountaineers deservedly ranked 19th on floor in 2022 thanks to big tumbling and assistant head coach Zaakira Muhammad’s superb choreography. Griswold’s Yurchenko one and a half—which scored as high as 9.975 last season—is always worth watching, and finally, there’s no better way to put it: Ball State vault is just cool. From Suki Pfister’s outstanding front handspring pike half to Victoria Henry’s Yurchenko one and a half to freshman Aislyn LaBadie’s Yurchenko full on tuck, this is one lineup you won’t want to miss.
- Video Type: SECN+
- Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/1ddc8d47-677e-4cc4-92e1-e3d526fff75d
- Scores: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=438596
- Live Blog: https://collegegymnews.com/2023/01/06/live-blog-no-33-west-virginia-ball-state-lindenwood-at-no-2-florida/
- Live Blog Editor: Rebecca W