MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – No. 1 Florida (11-0, 5-0 SEC) finished its weekend by claiming the West Virginia quad meet title Sunday afternoon in front of a WVU Coliseum crowd of 1,579. The Gators took the title with a total of 196.875, almost identical to Florida’s score of 196.85 set in Friday’s home win against Auburn.
West Virginia (8-5) was second Sunday at 195.225, followed by New Hampshire (8-7) at 194.40 and George Washington (7-9) at 193.05.
It was a quick turnaround for the Gators, who headed to West Virginia Saturday morning after meeting No. 22 Auburn Friday evening in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center for their home finale. The Florida coaching staff scheduled a two-meet weekend to give the Gators a feel for the rigors of the championship portion of the season.
“Overall, it was a solid weekend for the team,” UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said.”This double competition weekend will help prepare our team for the post season. It is a little bit tiring (competing Friday and Sunday) so I was happy to see how they continued to fight through every event and every routine.”
Florida opened the meet on the uneven bars. Junior Nicole Ellis got the set off to a good start, matching her season-best of 9.875 to tie for second overall. Freshman Mackenzie Caquatto matched her collegiate-best of 9.925 to take her second bar win of the weekend and third of the season. Marissa King made her season debut in Florida’s uneven bars lineup, posting a 9.825.
The Gators led all teams on all events Sunday with its 49.30 total on balance beam, led by Caquatto’s collegiate-best 9.975. Her score matches Florida’s season-best set by Ashanée Dickerson on Jan. 28 and gave Caquatto her third beam win of 2011. Junior All-American Elizabeth Mahlich and Johnson also turned in beam marks of 9.875 to share second – a season-high for Mahlich and equaling Johnson’s collegiate-best.
Caquatto is the fifth Gator in the program’s history to earn the near-perfect mark on beam.
Florida’s floor score of 49.125 was held back by some small breaks, but both Dickerson and King earned marks of 9.875 to share the event title. Sophomore Randy Stageberg shared third at 9.85 with WVU’s Hope Sloanhoffer.
Vault was Florida’s finishing event and the team earned a total of 49.25. Ellis and Smith tied for second overall with New Hampshire’s Chelsea Steinberg at 9.875. WVU’s Tina Maloney took the day’s vault title with a collegiate-best 9.90. West Virginia’s Amy Bieski claimed the all-around title at 39.325. Dickerson was runner-up at 39.225.g