Junior Kytra Hunter did it again.
For the second time in as many meets, Hunter stepped onto the mat with poise, held her head high, took a deep breath and put together a flawless turn at the floor exercise. The result was the same, too: perfection.
Led by Hunter’s 10.0, No. 2 Florida Gators gymnastics (4-0, 2-0 SEC) shut down the No. 1 Oklahoma Sooners (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) on Friday night at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville FL, defeating its third ranked and second top-five opponent in four meets this season.
Just one week after Hunter and sophomore Bridget Sloan, the last two defending champions in the NCAA All-Around respectively in 2012 and 2013, posted back-to-back 10.0s on floor, the duo came close to replicating their effort.
First up was Sloan. She failed in her charge, picking up a measly 9.950 after her routine rocked the O’Dome. Little did her teammates, coaches or the fans in attendance know what would come next from Hunter.
Five total 10.0s have been scored on floor in Florida gymnastics history. Three have come in a seven-day span and two are owned by Hunter. It is the first time in 16 years that a single gymnast has registered a perfect score on the discipline.
Her injury-plagued 2013 season now in the rear view mirror, Hunter is looking even better than she did as a freshman, a scary notion for the Gators’ upcoming opponents.
According to Florida, she is now just the second gymnast in program history to score a 10.0 in consecutive meets (Susan Hines, vault, 1998).
“It’s amazing because I’ve felt for quite some time she’s been deserving of a 10 whether it be on vault or floor. I’m just thrilled,” said head coach Rhonda Faehn on Friday. “I think this is the best floor routine she’s ever had [and the] best choreography. I think she’s really connecting with the crowd and judges, and I think they are really connecting with her as well.”
Sloan and Hunter entered Friday night’s meet sharing the top all-around average in the nation, but Sloan actually surpassed her teammate posting a 39.75, 0.05 more than Hunter’s 39.70. The ladies are now ranked one-two and will undoubtedly be at the top of the pack for the remainder of the season.
The Gators’ 197.875-197.225 victory likely hurt the Sooners more than a normal loss considering OU was looking for revenge after UF edged Friday’s visitors 197.575-197.375 in the 2013 NCAA Super Six to capture Florida’s first-ever national title.