Florida gymnastics looking good through Feb.

By Corey Mitleider and Scott Barr – OGGOA Contributors

Two months of meets are in the books, and Florida Gators (7-1, 6-1 SEC) gymnastics sits comfortably ranked No. 2 in the nation behind Oklahoma after picking up recent victories over perennial powers Alabama (No. 4) and Georgia (No. 7). An undefeated month with four Southeastern Conference victories sets up Florida for a strong close to the regular season. The Gators have a pair of meets remaining against Minnesota (No. 14) in Gainesville, FL for Senior Day on March 1 and at Utah (No. 8) on March 16.

GYMNAST OF THE MONTH

Freshman Bridget Sloan
Scoring: all-around (39.563), second in NCAA on uneven bars (9.915 – RQS), T-seventh in vault (9.900)
Highlights: 9.9 or above in 10 of 15 events including 9.975 on bars vs. Kentucky
Awards: 10 titles (three all-around, one vault, four bars, two balance beam)

Sloan, who was named SEC Gymnast of the Week (once) and SEC Freshman Gymnast of the Week (twice) during the month, talked about her experience in enemy territory after winning the all-around and beating Georgia in its arena. “Definitely a different experience and a learning experience. Coming into a hostile environment like this, I really didn’t know what to expect,” she said. “There was a little bit of barking going on, but I think that is what fueled us. We definitely fed off of it and I think that is why we had such a great road team score.”

ROUTINE OF THE MONTH

Senior Ashanée Dickerson scored a near-perfect 9.975 on her floor exercise routine to cap Florida’s victory over defending national champion Alabama in Gainesville on Feb. 8. The score was a career-best for Dickerson on floor exercise and head coach Rhonda Faehn took it a step further saying, “That was the best routine of her four years here, it really was. That was amazing.”

Check out national rankings and more on Florida gymnastics…after the break!
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Gator Bites for Wednesday, February 24

From time to time, OGGOA will come across a plethora of news and notes that we wish to share with our readers. In those instances, we present a special post: Gator Bites. Enjoy.

» Arguably the greatest player in the history of Florida Gators baseball, free agent Brad Wilkerson has signed a minor-league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was a member of the 2010 UF Hall of Fame class, a part of the 1996 and 1998 College World Series teams, a two-time All-American, three-time All-SEC selection and the 1998 Collegiate Player of the Year. Wilkerson holds career records at Florida for batting average, RBIs, slugging percentage and walks. He played for four MLB teams from 2001-08 and won a gold medal with Team USA baseball at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

There are seven more Gator Bites for you to check out…after the jump!
Continue Reading » Gator Bites for Wednesday, February 24

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FOUR BITS: Baseball, volleyball, gym, swimming

1 » The Florida Gators baseball team will be participating in its first team practice and scrimmage at 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 29 at McKethan Stadium. The event, which is open to the public, is just a precursor to the team’s regular season opener on Feb. 19 at 6:30 p.m. against the South Florida Bulls. Other baseball events including autograph signings and a “Meet the Team” will occur before the Gators’ first game, so stay tuned. Baseball is currently ranked No. 9 in a preseason poll conducted by Collegiate Baseball.

2 » Florida was named one of four regional host sites for the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships in an announcement from the NCAA Tuesday. This is the 11th time in school history and the fourth time in the last six years that the University of Florida has been selected to host regional action. The Gainesville, FL, regional will take place in the Stephen C. O’Connell Center on Dec. 9-10, 2011.

3 » Ashanée Dickerson has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman Gymnast of the Week for the second-straight week. Scoring her third consecutive all-around title against the then-No. 12 Kentucky Wildcats on Jan. 22, Dickerson is the first Gators gymnast to open a season with three straight all-around titles since 1988. She leads the team with six event titles in 2010. Dickerson and the rest of the No. 4 Florida gymnastics team will face the No. 13 LSU Tigers on Friday, Jan. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Fourth Annual Gators Link to Pink event to raise awareness for breast cancer.

4 » Gators sophomore Teresa Crippen and junior Conor Dwyer received National Collegiate Swimmer of the Week honors Tuesday. Both Crippen and Dwyer had outstanding performances in Florida’s dual meet against the Auburn Tigers on Jan. 22.

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