Jan. 24, 2009


Courtesy of Florida

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –The No. 1 University of Florida gymnastics team (2-1, 1-1 SEC) lost to No. 8 Arkansas (3-1, 1-0 SEC), 196.375-195.425, Friday in front of a Barnhill Arena crowd of 2,714. It was Florida’s first loss to Arkansas in the two team’s 19 all-time meetings.

Florida owned a 0.525 lead heading into the final rotation, but trouble on the balance beam hurt the Gators Friday. Florida’s final three performers – Amanda Castillo, Corey Hartung and Alicia Goodwin - all recorded falls, forcing UF to count two falls toward its beam total of 47.90. The Gators last were forced to count a fall in its beam lineup Feb. 22, 2008 at UNC.

The Razorbacks took all but one event title Friday. Arkansas’ Casey Jo Magee collected her third consecutive all-around title Friday with a school-record total of 39.525. She also won the beam at 9.90. Jaime Pisani took floor with the evening’s high mark of all events at 9.925 and she shared the vault title with teammate Michelle Stout.

Florida’s Melanie Sinclair used a mark of 9.90 to pick up her third-straight uneven bars title.

Maranda Smith and Corey Hartung led UF on floor with marks of 9.875 and Smith used the same mark to lead the Gators on vault.

Two Gators were making their first collegiate appearance Friday in a pair of events. Freshman Kailey Tissue, making her collegiate debut in a competitive lineup, anchored UF’s vault lineup with a 9.85. Junior Courtney Gladys moved from an exhibition appearance last week to a member of Florida’s beam lineup Friday. She took second overall at 9.875.

Lack of training time due to injuries was evident tonight, UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said, but the Gators will need to find a way to get the training in to avoid repeating this result.

“We are extremely disappointed in our performance this evening. It was not Florida gymnastics,” Faehn said. “It’s not we are expecting for a road competition or any competition for that matter. We have to go back and analyze why this happened. I think this will definitely light a fire in this team. It should show them that miracles will not happen on the competition floor if you don’t put in the training during the week.

Right now we are struggling with a little bit of a depth issue and injuries. Athletes aren’t able to put in repetitions and numbers and it is impacting their performance. Confidence comes from doing the routines over and over again. It shows them that it’s not just going to happen. I told them that I don’t care who it is, what year they are or how many times they’ve been in the lineup in the past - we are going to find the lineup made up of the athletes that are going to hit under any circumstance. It’s a hard knock, but we take these challenges so that it makes us stronger.

Next week, Florida returns home to play host to Kentucky for the Gators Link to Pink meet. This meet is the third Florida has hosted with events surrounding the event aimed at raising awareness about breast cancer.
Meet time is set for 7 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 30. The first 1,000 fans at Friday’s meet receive a free Gators Link to Pink t-shirt, compliments of SUN Sports. The meet will air tape-delayed on SUN Sports Sunday, Feb.
8 at 12:30 p.m. For a complete list of promotional events surrounding the 2009 Gators Link to Pink, please visit the Gator Outlook.

Final Team Standings
No. 1 Florida at No. 8 Arkansas – Jan. 23, 2009 – Barnhill Arena (2,714)
     Team    Vault    Bars    Beam    Floor    Total
1    Arkansas    49.325    48.975    48.70    49.375    196.375
2    Florida    49.275