Florida at Auburn
|Full Results||Auburn: 198.575||Florida: 198.575|
|UB: Lee, Wong
|FX: Gobourne, Blakely
The Big Storyline: Heading into Friday, Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said, “There hasn’t been a bigger home meet ever,” and it certainly delivered: The Tigers bested their previous program high (set the week before) by half a point to tie Florida. The Gators, meanwhile, secured the SEC regular season conference championship outright by remaining undefeated.
Implications: Florida goes up to second in the nation while Auburn moves into fifth, tied with conference rival Alabama. That’s three SEC teams in the top five, with LSU, Kentucky and Missouri all in the top 11; this is shaping up to be the most competitive SEC championship in recent memory.
Records: Settle in, this is going to take a while… In addition to program record totals for both teams, the Gators set a program record on vault while the Tigers set a new beam record. In addition to the four perfect 10s scored, Megan Skaggs earned a perfect 9.950 on vault for her Yurchenko full and a career high 39.725 in the all-around. Payton Richards also notched a career high on floor with a 9.925 while freshman Sloane Blakely scored her first 10 on the event. Trinity Thomas tied Bridget Sloan’s record for most career wins at 95. After 11 career scores of 9.950 or higher, Derrian Gobourne finally snagged her first perfect 10 on floor. Aria Brusch and Olivia Hollingsworth secured career highs on vault while Cassie Stevens earned career highs on vault, floor and bars.
Controversies: The scoring was, in a word, “generous” as evidenced by the conspicuous lack of sub-9.925s on floor. It’s a shame, too, because this was arguably the best, most competitive meet of the season, yet the high scores are what the fans will remember.
Current Rankings: No. 3 Florida at No. 6 Auburn
Why You Should Cancel Plans for It: Despite having already clinched the regular season SEC title, Florida has yet to face the conference’s Cinderella story Auburn head-on. The Tigers will have the home arena (and crowd) advantage while the Gators are coming off an impressive win over future conference rival Oklahoma. The all-around competition is likely to be an all-out battle featuring Suni Lee, Trinity Thomas, Sophia Groth, Sloane Blakely, Cassie Stevens, Leanne Wong and Megan Skaggs. All we know for certain is that this is going to be a gritty, hard-fought meet; the team and individual wins are all up for grabs.
What We’re Watching: The final rotation: Auburn floor is always fun, but the Gymnasties add an extra dimension of entertainment value. Florida’s beam lineup has had fewer tweaks than the other events, but that could change; Riley McCusker had a phenomenal beam exhibition routine for last week and could make her collegiate debut on the event.
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Auburn has broken a myriad of school records this season, notching a program-best 197.925 last week against Kentucky. It’ll be eyeing two significant records during this meet: Breaking 198 and beating Florida for the first time in program history.
- Video Type: SECN+
- Video: https://auburntige.rs/3422GymTV
- Scores: https://auburntige.rs/3422GymStats
- Live Blog: https://collegegymnews.com/2022/03/04/live-blog-no-3-florida-at-no-6-auburn/
- Live Blog Editor: Claire