Clash Of Champions: No. 5 Florida Hosts No. 1 Oklahoma In Top-Five Showdown

The No. 5 Florida Gators host the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Friday night in what should be an incredible meet — and perhaps our first glimpse at what the postseason could look like if these two squads make it to nationals.

Five Straight

Oklahoma and Florida have combined for titles the last five seasons. The Gators were champions in 2013 and 2015, while Oklahoma earned back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017. In 2014? The Sooners and Gators tied for the NCAA title with matching 198.175s. It was the first tie for a NCAA gymnastics title.

Sooners + Floor

Oklahoma is the top-ranked squad on three events — vault, bars, and beam — but are fourth on floor exercise. While they have excellent routines in the final slots in the lineup with Maggie Nichols and AJ Jackson as the one-two punch to close out, three of the remaining four members of the Sooners’ floor lineup did not compete the event last season. 

Brenna Dowell is a strong floor worker and is the lone member in that group that was in all but one floor lineup in 2017. Brehanna Showers missed 2017 with injury and Jade Degouveia did not crack into the floor lineup in 2017 while newcomer Anastasia Webb has been relatively solid in the floor lineup.

Gators + Uneven Bars

After finishing 2017 ranked fourth on uneven bars, Florida has struggled a bit on the event this season with cracking the big scores. The Gators have slipped into the 9.700-range on bars through the first three meets and have scored a 9.900 or better just three times on bars this season. 

Florida does return five of six bar workers to the lineup — Kennedy Baker, Alicia Boren, Amelia Hundley, Rachel Gowey, and Alex McMurtry. Expect that core group plus one freshman — Jazzy Foberg and Megan Skaggs have appeared so far — continue to build on the scores this season.

10.0s On Vault

Oklahoma and Florida have two of the most dynamic vault lineups in the country. The two teams combine for at least eight total 10.0 starts on vault. The Sooners have four Yurchenko one and a halfs from Degouveia, Nichols, Jackson, and Dowell plus an Omelianchik from Webb. 

So far, Florida has only competed with three 10.0 starts — Yurchenko one and a halfs from Baker and Boren plus the front handspring-front pike half from Rachel Slocum. McMurtry will eventually start throwing her Yurchenko double for a fourth 10.0 start. After that, it’s anyone’s guess — both Skaggs and Hundley showed Yurchenko one and a halfs during preseason training but have not yet competed them.

Athletes To Watch

Alicia Boren | Junior | Florida

Boren has been killing it this season for Florida. She is tied for eighth in the country in the all-around and posted a season-best 39.575 in the Gators’ opening meet against West Virginia. She’s been a lot of fun to watch on floor, in particular, where she has scored a 9.875 or better all three meets this season.



Anastasia Webb | Freshman | Oklahoma

Webb has shown a lot of poise in two competitions for the defending champions. She has been solid across all four events for Oklahoma so far and was particularly good on balance beam in the season opener, where she went up after the Sooners had made some mistakes and did not waver. She earned second in the all-around both meets with a solid 39.400.



How To Watch

The meet will be live on SEC Network Plus at 7 PM ET, which can be streamed from WatchESPN with your cable login. The meet will be aired on tape delay on ESPNU at 10 PM ET

USA Gymnastics Names Biles, Hurd & 4 More To 2018 World Championships Team

Interview: Riley McCusker - Day 2, 2018 US Championships

The 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships are less than two weeks away from starting in Doha, Qatar, and USA Gymnastics has just announced the six gymnasts who will be representing the red, white, and blue in the year's biggest international competition. A seventh alternate gymnast will be named in Qatar.

Simone Biles Spearheads The Women's Worlds Event Finals Contenders

Although Doha 2018 marks the first world championships of the quad with a team competition, this year's event finals will still be one to watch, especially with the return of reigning Olympic all-around, vault, and floor champion Simone Biles.

Roster: U.S. Women's 2018 World Team Selection Camp

Following the 2018 World Championships nominative roster release by the International Gymnastics Federation, USA Gymnastics posted the gymnasts who will attend the 2018 U.S. Women’s World Team Selection Camp.

USA's Nominative Team For The 2018 World Championships

The nominative registrations are in for the 2018 World Championships, and the USA's team consists of Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum, and Kara Eaker, with Shilese Jones as the alternate.

Great Britain Names 2018 World Championships Team

Press release via British Gymnastics:

Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Kelly Simm, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella will be the Great Britain women’s team for the forthcoming artistic gymnastics World Championships.

Corinne Bunagan To Represent Philippines At Worlds

Interview: Philippine Senior Elite Corinne Bunagan, ENA Gymnastics

For the first time in three years, the Philippines will be represented in the biggest gymnastics competition of the year. New Jersey native Corinne Bunagan of ENA Paramus will compete at the 2018 World Championships in Doha next month. She received the opportunity after proving herself to be a reliable competitor at the 2018 Asian Games.

U.S. Men's Team Announced For 2018 World Gymnastics Championships

USA Gymnastics has announced the men's team for the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Sam Mikulak, Akash Modi, Yul Moldauer, Colin Van Wicklen, and Alec Yoder make up the five person team with Allan Bower as the traveling alternate.

Led By Hunter Dula, Utah Adds Top JO Talent For 2019 NCAA Gymnastics Season

Now that first official practices are underway at many schools, we’re continuing our series on the new additions to NCAA gymnastics team rosters, highlighting the Utah Utes today. Similar to LSU, the team have only lost two key competitors to graduations, Tiffani Lewis and Maddy Stover. Lewis was an important competitor for the team on vault, bars, and floor, while Stover was one of the team’s top beam workers. 

Valorie Kondos Field To Retire As UCLA Gymnastics Coach After 2019 Season

Longtime UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field, better known as Miss Val, announced this morning that she will retire from her position after the 2019 NCAA season. While this is news for most, the fan-favorite coach made the decision years ago.

LSU Looking To McKenna Kelley & Bailey Ferrer For New 1-2 Punch

Now that first official practices are underway at many schools, we’re continuing our series on the new additions to NCAA gymnastics team rosters, highlighting the LSU Tigers today.