Seeing a new team win a title was the storyline that compelled me to follow NCAA gymnastics more closely, and I was so excited to see this happen. In my previous post that I wrote the morning of the Super Six, I mentioned that I thought Florida would either win the title or struggle in the first rotation. I never imagined they would do both.
After the second fall on beam, my heart was in my throat. I knew that Florida wasn't out of it, as I felt that the Gators were approximately 0.500 better in scoring potential than any other team on the floor. Knowing Florida could come back was one thing. Seeing the Gators actually achieve that comeback was absolutely incredible.
I got more nervous when Florida's first floor performer fell. Yet, the comeback was just beginning. With everything on the line, Bridget Sloan, Ashanee Dickerson, Marissa King, Kytra Hunter, and Bridgey Caquatto nailed their routines. It was one of the best and most complete floor performances I've ever seen- from the tumbling, the landings, the dance and presentation, to the determined fire in their eyes.
That comeback and championship was one of those things that makes you spontaneously high-five the person sitting near you that you just met a few hours earlier, as you bonded over seeing history being made.
As I said, I started following Florida because I wanted to see a new team win. (I'm a fan of college gymnastics as a whole and like most teams, and I try not to show preference on this blog.) However, I admit that I've found a soft spot in my heart for this Gator team and program. Florida hosted the first Nationals I ever attended, and I really enjoyed sharing that experience with the wonderful Gator fans that I met. Over the past four years, I found myself rooting for these talented and passionate Gator gymnasts and coaches. I am absolutely THRILLED for them. I can't believe the girls I first saw compete as freshmen are now seniors, and I can't even begin to imagine Gator gymnastics without Marissa King.
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Seeing Florida win has only built my anticipation for the future of college gymnastics. I'm interested to see if Florida can continue to win NCAA titles, and I'm also excited to see whether
So congrats, Florida. I have really loved following your program's journey toward that elusive title, and I'm so happy that I was in LA to see that incredible comeback and victory.
I can't wait to see what's next!