Big Weekend For Florida Athletics

It might not make national headlines like the athletic program is used to in recent years, but this past weekend was important in proving Florida's longevity of success in the SEC. The program recorded its 200th SEC Championship when men's golf won it to make Florida the first school in the conference to reach the 200-title plateau.

The men's golf team won the SEC Championship, giving Florida its 200th SEC title. The first Florida SEC title came in 1937 when men's swimming and diving collected the program's first conference title.

Florida is the only program in the SEC to record 200 conference titles.

"The 200th SEC title is a testament to the dedication and drive shown by Gator student-athletes and coaches over these many seasons," Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said. "Every title is celebrated because winning a championship in any of the league's sports is truly an accomplishment because of the strength of the SEC."

The gymnastics team just missed a shot at competing for the national championship over the weekend. The final 16 teams showed up in Cleveland and split into two semifinals, where the top three from each advanced to Saturday. The Gators came in fourth place, just .075 behind third place Utah, and their season was over.

Alabama, who won Florida's semifinal, won the national championship on Saturday.

It wasn't all bad news. Sophomore Marissa King won the 2011 NCAA vault title over the weekend. It was the first vault title for the Gators since 1998. King posted a 9.875 on the vault.

Senior Maranda Smith came in second place in the floor exercise final.

Lacrosse secured sole possession of the ALC Championship in the program's second year of existence. The team went 1-4 in conference play last season and secured a 5-0 record this year. After defeating Northwestern 13-11 on Thursday night to clinch a share, the Gators won 8-7 at Vanderbilt to clinch sole possession of the title.

The team came into the week ranked No. 6 and should go up in the new rankings this week. The win over No. 2 Northwestern looks to be program defining, after the Wildcats have won five of the last six national titles. Florida is now off until May 1 when they play at Cornell in their final tune up for the ALC conference tournament May 5-7.

Baseball won the weekend series at Georgia behind a 14-7 win on Sunday. Florida won the first game 5-4 behind 6.1 strong innings from Hudson Randall. The bullpen collapsed on Saturday, and Georgia ran away with game two.

Preston Tucker hit two home runs and drove in six runs on Sunday behind a strong outing from freshman Karsten Whitson to give the Gators the series. Tucker came into the game, the 15th of conference play, without an SEC home run, and he hit two Sunday.

Softball swept at weekend series at Auburn, but the on-field results weren't the most important. The Gators got their ace, senior Stephanie Brombacher, back on the mound to toss 4.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits. She also recorded four strikeouts and allowed a walk. Hannah Rogers tossed 2.1 perfect innings to get the save in the second game of the series.

Rogers also recorded the win in the other two games, and Florida outscored Auburn 37-10 on the weekend.

The future of the basketball team looked good in the Jordan Brand Classic Saturday. Brad Beal scored 15 points, the fifth highest total in the game, on 7-for-17 shooting and pulled down eight rebounds.

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