LIVE BLOG: No. 13 Nebraska at No. 5 Florida

Tonight promises to be an emotional night as the senior Gators are honored in the final home meet of the season against Nebraska. Expect to see more lineup shifts from Florida, particularly after last week’s loss at Missouri. Alex McMurtry will likely be back in the all around for her swan song in the O-Dome while Jazmyn Foberg and Rachel Gowey’s floor berths will be in danger after their falls. There’s also the matter of replacing Kennedy Baker, particularly on vault and floor, which the Gators didn’t quite show that they’re capable of last week, so some new gymnasts may have to step it up.

Nebraska, on the other hand, will be trying to ignore the hullabaloo and push for a strong road score in one of its last opportunities. The Huskers came through with a strong showing at the Masters Classic last week, taking second to UCLA. They’ll be shooting for another big score in order to drop the 195 road score they’ll still counting in RQS, and it’ll take everyone firing on all cylinders to do it. Moving into the top twelve will take a big 197.025, which would be only the second 197 score of Nebraska’s season. It’s doable, but again, it’ll take everyone – not just Sienna Crouse and Megan Schweihofer – hitting at the same time to make it happen. Can the Huskers put all the emotion in the arena aside and make it happen? We’re about to find out!

6:44pm: Hey everyone! Intros are getting ready to start here, but we have lineups for you guys!

Looks like Skaggs is finally in the all around! Foberg is notably missing from the floor lineup – based on warmups, it looked like she should’ve been in the #3 slot. Jenny also seems to be playing with the order for bars, as Hundley has been moved earlier in the lineup and Foberg later.

It also seems Nebraska has done some lineup finagling, as Grace Williams is in the vault lineup while Kynsee Roby is out. Roby is also back in the lead-off spot for beam.

7:01pm: Y’all ready for this? Here we go with rotation one!

Gowey, VT: FTY, little bounce and a little bit crooked, lands off to the side.

Orel, UB: first handstand good. Tkachev is nice, almost overarches bail but saves it. Last handstand feels a little short. Big bounce back on a whippy DLO dismount, but a decent lead routine for the Huskers.

7:03pm: Skaggs, VT: still just the FTY – when will we see that Y1.5?? – nice and floaty, little bounce back.

Roby, UB: first handstand good. Jaeger nice. Pak is aggressive but nicely caught. Has to recast in order to turn around on the low bar but saves it okay. Last handstand good. Nice hollow position on the DLO, little slide back.

7:05pm: Foberg, VT: FTY, not as big as she can go, little foot adjustment on her bounce in place. Not a stick, but the crowd cheers like it’s one.

Schweihofer, UB: FIrst handstand maybe a little short. Piked Jaeger is super floaty, straight to the overshoot. Slings her DLO waaaaay out but manages to only do a little bounce back.

7:07pm: Boren, VT: Y1.5, feels a little wild in the air for her, big step forward. Not her best

Epperson, UB: good first handstand. Jaeger maybe caught a little close but she got big air. Had to save the following handstand. Bail is good. Last handstand solid, maybe not perfect. Super floaty on the DLO and sticks it cold!

7:09pm: Slocum, VT: FHS pike half, usual dynamics but lands a little low, felt like she twisted a little late. Scoots forward as she pops up.

Houchin, UB: Good first handstand. Pirouette on top of the bar. Tkachev is loooovely, bail is dead on and toes are perfect. Good last handstand. Giant full to double tuck and sticks it! That should be a big score for her.

7:11pm: McMurtry, VT: DTY, great height, little slide on the landing.

Crouse, UB: Love the Weiler she opens with! Gienger straight to overshoot, nice. Full in, and stuck! She went so fast I barely caught any of her handstand positions, wow.

7:13pm: Breen, UB exo: Has to muscle up the first handstand but gets it. Jaeger is good. Bail solid, little step on her full in dismount.

After one rotation, Florida leads Nebraska 49.325 to 49.3. Didn’t expect it to be so close!

McMurtry leads vault with a 9.95 for her DTY, while Crouse leads bars with a 9.925. Breen’s exo score was posted at 9.725, if there are inquiring minds out there.

7:21pm: Time for rotation two!

Williams, VT: FTY, looked like the landing surprised her and she bounced out of it really awkwardly. Hope it didn’t tweak an ankle or anything.

Boren, UB: Good first handstand, Tkachev is nice. Bail is straight on! Last handstand great. DLO a little close to the bar but stuck! She’s clearly been working on that.

7:23pm: Epperson, VT: FTY, big air, little slide back.

Skaggs, UB: First handstands are nice. Tkachev to pak, both really big! DLO dismount, little slide back.

7:25pm: Dujakovich, VT: FTY, a little off to the side, sizeable bounce back.

Hundley, UB: first handstand fine. Maloney and pak are floaty, Van Leeuwen looked better than usual. Full in with a stick! A good one from her.

7:27pm: Schweihofer, VT: FTY, nice air! Just slides her feet together on the landing, it looked like.

Gowey, UB: Biiiig Ray. Pak is good. Final handstand a little short. DLO with a bounce back.

7:29pm: Crouse, VT: Y1.5, great air, stick! Just slides her heels together. That’ll be another big score for them.

Foberg, UB: Her first time so late in this lineup – let’s see how it goes! Good first handstand, pak is nice and extended, Maloney is good. Connected to Gienger with less leg sep than usual but still some leg sep. Stuck full in! Good for her.

7:31pm: Houchin, VT: Another Y1.5, a little short and slides back a little.

McMurtry, UB: Great first handstand. Goes BIG for her Ray, hits it great. Bail solid, up to toe shoot. Last handstand might’ve been a little shy? Full in and sticks it! Hmm slow mo shows maybe a little slide back but I couldn’t see it in real time.

After two rotations, Florida’s lead opens up to 98.9 to Nebraska’s 98.55.

Crouse will tie McMurtry for the vault title at 9.95! And McMurtry takes the bars title at 9.975.

7:39pm: Rotation three time!

Hundley, BB: Front aerial to sissone, secure. Using A Whole New World this week as her beam music, I love this. Bhs loso, little bobble but keeps it small. Cat leap to switch side, solid. Roundoff 1.5 twist, stuck! One of the best ones I’ve seen her do recently.

7:40pm: Epperson, FX: A Pink Panther, routine, interesting! Front double full to open, little cross step landing. 1.5 twist to front lay, good. Rudi to close, that was fun!

7:42pm: Skaggs, BB: Double wolf turn to open, a little bobbly but keeps it under control. Switch to split, lovely positions in the air. Bhs loso, a little crooked but locks it down, barely bobbles at all. Cat leap to side aerial to back full, bounce back. Nicely done.

7:44pm: Roby, FX: Big full in to open! Wow! 1.5 twist to front lay, super low on the layout but stays on her feet somehow. Low amplitude on her dance elements but hits the positions fine. Double tuck to close, a little low, keeps the step under control as best as possible. Good for her!

7:46pm: Boren, BB: Gainer front toss, super secure. Bhs loso, looked a little unsure but snaps her arms down. Switch to straddle, solid. Cat leap to gainer loso. Cartwheel to gainer full, big air! And looked stuck from here, slow mo seems to confirm.

7:48pm: Hassel, FX: Front double full to open, nicely done! Would love to see her give a little more energy there. Front full to front lay, sketchy on the layout but stays on her feet. Low amplitude on dance elements, hmm. Rudi to back tuck, probably supposed to be a loso because she puts a hand down, couldn’t see if there was a knee as well. Rough go for her, and she still has beam left.

7:50pm: Gowey, BB: Switch to split, good. Bhs loso loso, super secure. Front aerial, bobble and can’t connect out of it. I think adds another jump connection in to make up her bonus but bobble at the end again. Stuck gainer full to close.

7:52pm: Orel, FX: Double pike to open, nice and high. Double tuck, not as much height there but nice and controlled. A little short on second straddle position maybe? 1.5 twist to front half to double stag jump, maybe a little messy in the stag position but otherwise fine. A good recovery after Hassel’s fall!

7:54pm: Baumann, BB: Onodi to open, lovely. Bhs loso, super secure, good. Switch to split, lovely positions. Front aerial, so solid. Not even a bobble on the full turn. Roundoff 1.5 twist dismount, sticks on her toes for a second or two before saluting. Not sure if they’ll give it to her, but honestly that was the only deduction I saw. Wow.

7:56pm: Crouse, FX: Front double full to punch front, nice! 1.5 twist to front half… to straight jump to knee I guess? She seems to intentionally jump up out of her front half before going down to her knee. Rudi loso is beautiful, she is really having a big night! Well done.

7:58pm: McMurtry, BB: Using Loving You Easy by Zac Brown Band tonight for her beam music, my favorite. Cat leap to front toss, solid. Bhs loso, super patient with it. Switch, shush to back hip circle, lovely. Does some extra little butt-wiggle hand wave choreo that makes Baker scream with excitement – some form of the nae nae maybe? I don’t know. Roundoff double full, looked like a little foot adjustment but hard to say in real time. Slow mo definitely shows a slide.

8:00pm: Schweihofer, FX: Full in to open, lovely open position, good control. Front lay to Rudi, maybe a little ragged in the legs for the Rudi. Nice split positions in her dance elements. Double tuck, well controlled there too. She’s a powerhouse here, that was excellent.

8:02pm: McLaughlin, BB exo: Front aerial to bhs, nice. Split to ring stag, secure. Side aerial to back full, stick! So nice that they gave her the exo nod on senior night.

8:03pm: T. Hutchinson, FX exo: Double pike to open, a little low chest on the landing. 1.5 twist to front lay, a little crooked on the diagonal but doesn’t go out or anything. Split and straddle positions in dance elements are nice. Rudi to finish, nice! A good backup routine for them.

After three, Florida leads 148.475 to Nebraska’s 147.775. Definitely not close anymore, but Nebraska can still hit that magic number for top twelve if they can average 9.85 this rotation. It’ll be tight!

Right now, McMurtry leads for the beam title with a 9.975, while Crouse and Schweihofer lead floor with dual 9.9s.

8:11pm: Rotation four! Last one!

Roby, BB: Oooh lovely press to split handstand mount on the end of the beam, very cool. Front aerial, bhs bhs, interesting. Y scale, goes up on toe, gorgeous. Switch to switch half… ish? Indistinct landing position there. Side aerial to back full, little bounce back. Good for her!

8:13pm: Hundley, FX: Whip to double tuck still, a little low on the amplitude for her, actually. Straddle positions are lovely. Double pike for her second pass, chest a little low again but pops it right up to cover. 1.5 twist to front lay, layout doesn’t rise like I’d like it to but it wasn’t scary or anything.

8:15pm: Crouse, BB: Front aerial, secure. Switch to straddle quarter, good. Front toss, a little squatty and she leans too far and comes off. Repeats the skill, and connects successfully to the bhs for her series. Gainer full off the end to dismount. What a shame, she was putting together such a strong night.

8:17pm: Skaggs, FX: 1.5 twist through to double tuck, a little short on the double tuck but only takes one staggered step forward, keeps it small. 1.5 to front lay, good. I love how this routine showcases her lines and her toe point, it’s very different from the others. Double pike to close, a little low but keeps it on her feet and doesn’t step forward.

8:19pm: Schweihofer, BB: Bhs layout 2ft, bobble with leg up but stays on. Switch to switch half, touches the beam and then hops down. Nebraska now counting a fall. Roundoff double full dismount, looked stuck from here. That’s rough.

8:21pm: McMurtry, FX: Triple full is soooo high! Bounce back, but I don’t think she went OOB. Can’t see from here. She looks tired in her middle choreo, I wonder if her back is bothering her more than usual. Front lay to front full is fine, floaty even, she gets a big smile and a shout from Jenny. Double tuck is lovely and high, nice control. That’ll be a big one for her.

Yup! 9.925, which gives her a 39.825, matching the Florida program all around record!!

8:24pm: Breen, BB: Bhs loso, solid. Split to sheep, legs apart on the sheep pretty badly. Roundoff 1.5 twist, squatty but stuck.

8:26pm: Slocum, FX: Opens with DLO, best I’ve seen her do tonight! Some of her ones in warmup were a lil rough. 1.5 twist to front pike, nice. Rudi to close, coaches are screaming in triumph for her!

8:28pm: Houchin, BB: Originally supposed to be Hassel, guess they swapped them out, maybe the fall was affecting her more than I thought. Front aerial, super solid. Switch to split jump, solid. Cat leap to side aerial, gorgeous! Roundoff double full, little step back.

8:30pm: Boren, FX: Kinda mad she’s still not anchoring but oh well. Gorgeous DLO to open, controlled step back. 1.5 twist to front lay, super floaty on the layout. Nice and precise on her dance elements positions, landing maybe a little bouncy but now I’m just being picky. Baker still gets on the floor to do the backward crawl choreo, ugh, my heart! Double tuck is super high, great control there. That’s gonna be another big one.

8:32pm: Williams, BB: Bhs loso loso, big bobble but stays on. Switch to split, good. Side aerial to back full, I think a bounce back?

8:33pm: Baumann, FX: Opens with her DLO! Ooh, super crunchy in the ankle. 1.5 twist to front full for connection pass, nice and floaty through the twists. Double pike, a little bouncy in the landing but covers well.

8:35pm: Epperson, BB exo: Bhs loso, good. Switch to split, solid positions in the air. Cat leap to front toss to beat, nice connections! Cartwheel to gainer full, bounce back.

8:37pm: McLaughlin, FX exo: Front lay to front full to open, good. Flexed feet in the dance elements but positions were good. Rudi second pass, solid. 1.5 twist to front pike, good. A nice ending for her.

Aww, and they brought Baker out onto the floor for an “exhibition” aka a big Gator chomp. What a sweet gesture!

Final scores are in: Florida 197.925 to Nebraska’s 196.7 – still a solid number for them, especially considering they had to count a fall on beam.

McMurtry wins at least a share of every event title tonight and the all around, making her the first Gator since Ashanee Dickerson to capture at least part of every single event title.

UF also broke its record for average season attendance, with a new high of an average of 8,304 attendees per meet.

And now it’s time for the tears, y’all. Senior montage time. And Jenny did the classy thing and gave flowers to the Nebraska seniors as well.

Live blog by Caroline Medley

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