College gymnastics: McMurtry's 'Gym Slam' helps Florida edge No. 1 Oklahoma by narrow margin
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – It was the nation's top gymnastics meet of the weekend. Friday's competition brought together the winners of the last five NCAA titles – No. 1 Oklahoma and No. 5 Florida – in front of another sellout crowd. With a final push from its final performer, Florida moved into the lead for the first time Friday to claim the win by the sport's smallest margin.
The totals by both teams tonight are the top two in the nation this season, as Florida claimed the 198.15 -198.125 win.
Friday's meet drew the program's second consecutive sellout crowd, as 9,652 filled the Exactech Arena at the Stephen C. O'Connell Center for this anticipated dual.
The Gators trailed by 0.025 after the opening rotation and OU pushed out that lead to a tenth at the midway point. After a school-record balance beam set for UF, the two teams entered the final rotation tied.
Oklahoma completed its beam rotation and Florida needed a 9.9 from its final floor performer to tie the meet. Freshman Alyssa Baumann anchored the lineup with a collegiate-best 9.925, giving Florida the winning margin.
The two teams picked 1-2 in the Road to Nationals preseason poll put up big marks Friday, but none bigger than Florida senior All-American Alex McMurtry's two 10.0s. McMurtry used the perfect mark to win vault and beam. The beam mark completed her "Gym Slam", as she now joins Gator Great Bridget Sloan as Florida's two to earn a perfect mark for each apparatus.
Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols' (who also earned a Gym Slam last season), took the all-around win at 39.775 – the nation's top total of 2018. Nichols shared the uneven bars win with teammate Anastasia Webb at 9.95. She also tied UF's senior All-American Kennedy Baker at 9.975 for the floor win.
Each of Florida's event total were season-highs:
49.475 – vault
49.425 – bars
49.675 – beam (school record – previous high 49.625 3/7/2014 vs West Virginia)
49.575 – floor
- Florida's total of 198.15 is the ninth highest in UF history.
- Florida is now 14-55-1 all-time versus a defending national champion team, including 4-5 since 2010.
- This is UF's first win versus Oklahoma since the 2015 NCAA Super Six.
- This was Oklahoma's first loss since opening the 2016 season with a 196.950-196.725 loss at LSU.
- Tonight's crowd of 9,652 is a sellout. The Jan. 12 crowd of 9,661 versus then No. 1 LSU was the first sellout in program history.
In Florida gymnastics' 46-year history, 40 perfect scores have come from 14 different gymnasts.
Tonight, Alex McMurtry is the first to score multiple 10.0s in a single meet.
But wait........IT'S ANOTHER !!!!!! WOW!— Gators Gymnastics (@GatorsGym) January 27, 2018
This routine was @alexmcmurtry's st perfect score on beam and her second of the night!! Welcome to the Gym Slam club, Alex! #GoGators #WontBackDown pic.twitter.com/CQoG5GNY76
McMurtry's 10.0 on vault was the nation's first on the event this season and the third of her career. She earned her first 10.0 on beam (also the nation's first of 2018) for her ninth 10.0 of her career. McMurtry is now the UF career leader for 10.0s (previous record: Bridget Sloan – eight 10s).
McMurtry is the 10th in NCAA history to record a "Gym Slam".