Florida gymnastics falls in national championship 2024: Gators lose fourth straight Four on the Floor

By OnlyGators.com Staff
April 20, 2024
Florida gymnastics falls in national championship 2024: Gators lose fourth straight Four on the Floor

Image Credit: UAA

Florida Gators gymnastics has been a model of consistency both within the sport and as a model program in the athletic department. Yet despite its immense success, it has been unable to win the big one across the last nine seasons.

No. 4 Florida was unable to take home the 2024 NCAA Championship on Saturday, finishing last place in the final meet of the season. This marked the fourth straight season UF advanced to Four on the Floor but also the fourth straight season it ended the event without some hardware.

The Gators posted 197.4375 on Saturday, its fourth-worst mark of the season and worst in an NCAA final since 2021. This despite putting together some of their best scores of the campaign on the way into the Final Four. Florida finished 0.7870 behind first-time national champion No. 2 LSU (198.2250) with No. 3 California (197.8500) and No. 5 Utah (197.8000) also placing ahead.

UF opened with a 49.2500 on vault and posted 49.2375 on balance beam in the third rotation; both were its second-worst scores of the season in those events. On either side, the Gators posted middle-of-the-road 49.4750s on uneven parallel bars and floor exercise. They did not place first in any rotation nor event on Saturday.

Junior Sloane Blakely had the most impressive singular performance of the day with a collegiate-best 9.9500 on beam. Classmate Leanne Wong, Florida’s star gymnast, posted 9.950s on bars and floor only to shockingly fall on beam (9.3750). That miscue forced UF to count a 9.6625 from senior Victoria Nguyen on the apparatus, effectively ending its national title bid.

Gators head coach Jenny Rowland has recruited exceedingly well ahead of next season, and the postseason performance of freshman Skylar Draser, who posted 9.9000s on bars and beam Saturday, is among the reasons why UF will enter the 2025 campaign as one of the national favorites.

Florida competed in the Four on the Floor / Super Six for the fourth straight year, 11th time in 12 seasons and 16th time in 18 seasons. Though the Gators have yet to claim a national title under Rowland, who completed her eighth season with the program, they continue to come excruciatingly close.

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