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Gators Gymnastics falls short of fourth national championship

Florida finishes fourth out of four
FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 17: The Florida Gators react to their fourth place finish during the...
FORT WORTH, TX - APRIL 17: The Florida Gators react to their fourth place finish during the Division I Women’s Gymnastics Championship held at Dickies Arena on April 17, 2021 in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo by C. Morgan Engel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)(C. Morgan Engel | NCAA Photos via Getty Images)
Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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FORT WORTH, Tx. (WCJB) - The No. 1 ranked Gators Gymnastics team started off the NCAA National Championships on the beam, but never found the right balance to win the program’s fourth title.

Florida entered the competition having finished as the second qualifying team from Friday’s Semifinal, as they took on Oklahoma, Utah, and Michigan.

The Gators began the meet on their best apparatus of the season, the beam. However, when Payton Richards fell off, it seemed to suck the air out of the orange and blue’s momentum. She finished the event with a 9.0375, dead last out of all competitors. To make matters worse, Trinity Thomas only garnered a 9.175, and since that was the fifth best score of the group, Florida had to use that score. The team total of 48.762 was the worst score of any team, and put the Gators in a hole they couldn’t climb out of.

Despite recording at least a 49.3 and higher on the final three events, Florida was outclassed by the other teams and finished in a distant fourth place.

This was the second time this season the team failed to win a championship meet. The other instance was when it finished third at the Southeastern Conference Championships. Finishing behind Alabama and LSU.

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