While the 2019 NCAA Gymnastics season kicked off last weekend with a slate of thrilling meets and nearly all the top teams in action, one of the most highly-anticipated teams, pre-season number three Florida, began their new year in week two at home against the Missouri Tigers. Debuting a jam-packed new recruiting class of freshmen faces in Gainesville, the Gators seized upon their plethora of talent to shine in their first meet, defeating Missouri 197.300-196.450.

In the first rotation, energy was incredibly high inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center at Florida, where the home team Gators began on vault, highlighted by an electrifying Yurchenko one-and-a-half for a 9.875 from senior Alicia Boren to end the rotation for Florida. On the bars for Missouri, 9.850s from Morgan Porter and Madeleine Huber helped the Tigers post a strong rotation overall, keeping it close with the favored Gators early on.

The Gators really came alive in rotation two, absolutely soaring to a massive uneven bars rotation score, counting no score lower than a 9.875, including highly-anticipated freshman and former US National Team member Trinity Thomas‘ 9.950 and a 9.925 from Megan Skaggs. Hannah McCrary helped post a 9.875 for Missouri on the vault, however lower difficulty vaults made it tough for the Tigers to keep pace with Florida.

Trinity Thomas competing on the floor exercise for the Florida Gators against the Missouri Tigers in Gainesville, Florida/Gator Sports

Balance beam was another very strong rotation from Florida, seeing big 9.900s for beautiful, solid routines from Rachel Gowey and Amelia Hundley for Florida, with only one score lower than 9.875 counting again in rotation three for the Gators. Aspen Tucker helped keep Missouri in contention heading into the final rotation, scoring a strong 9.875 on the floor exercise.

The highlight of the night for Florida an army of Gator fans came on the floor exercise in the final rotation, where Boren and freshman Nya Reed both posted big 9.925s on top of a beautiful 9.900 from Thomas, a medalist last year at the Tokyo World Cup. Mary Nicholson closed proceedings out on the beam for Missouri with a 9.875, ending a solid night for the Tigers against one of the top national championship contenders this season in Florida.

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