GYMNASTICS: #4 Gators win fifth meet in a row

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. --- The number four ranked University of Florida gymnastics team (9-2, 4-1 SEC) claimed its fifth consecutive dual meet title Friday with a 196.45-195.475 win over number 11 Arkansas (5-4, 2-3 SEC) in front of a Barnhill Arena crowd of 4,430.

"I was very pleased with how we performed tonight," UF Head Coach Rhonda Faehn said. "We had some lineup changes because Orley (Szmuch) was out with her sprained ankle and Savannah (Evans) was fighting a virus all week. We weren't even sure what our lineup was going to be until warm-up was over tonight. The team came out and performed aggressively, hit all of their routines and I think they did a great job."

Florida recorded no fall in its opening meet team score of 48.85 on the uneven bars, but that team score was hurt by steps on landings. Freshman Tiffany Murry made her first appearance in the UF bars lineup since the Jan. 14 dual at LSU and anchored the team with a winning mark of 9.875 for the evening. Sophomore All-American Samantha Lutz also turned in a 9.825 for the event to share second overall with Arkansas' Katie Hardman and Emily Peacock.

The Gators, the nation's number one vaulting team, turned in a strong vault set of 49.30 Friday. Sophomore All-American Savannah Evans won her first vault title of the season with a mark of 9.925 to finish the Florida vault set. Murry shared runner-up honors at 9.90 with Arkansas' Mallory Machnik and Samantha Cortez. The 9.90 mark matched the Gym'Back vault record.

On floor, UF posted a 49.175. Evans again led UF on the event with her runner-up mark of 9.875. Freshman Ashley Reed also matched her collegiate-best score with her floor mark of 9.85 to share third overall with Peacock. UA's Mallory Machnik won the floor with a 9.90.

The Gators finished the meet with a six-for-six set on the balance beam to tally a team score of 49.175 for the event. Senior All-American Erinn Dooley returned to the Gator beam lineup to claim her first event title of 2005 with her season-best mark of 9.875. Reed shared second with UA's Dana McQuillin, Hannah McLeod and Hardman at 9.85.

Florida sophomore All-American Katie Rue won her first collegiate all-around title Friday with a total of 39.175 while teammate Breanne King was second at 39.15. Reed shared third with McQuillin at 39.10.

Florida returns home to play host to number 19 Kentucky for a Friday, Feb. 25 dual meet. Competition begins at 7 p.m. in the Stephen C. O'Connell Center and tickets are $4.00 for adults, while children 17 & under plus UF students with ID are admitted free.

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