McMurtry's perfect 10 on bars sparks Florida over Georgia

Florida's Alex McMurtry competes on the uneven bars, where she scored a perfect 10, during a gymnastics meet against Georgia at the Exactech Arena.

[Brad McClenny/The Gainesville Sun]
Published: Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:56 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, February 10, 2017 at 11:56 p.m.

So much for Georgia's winning streak.

Florida was in no mood to be a hospitable host after suffering its first loss of the season last Friday at No. 6 Alabama, albeit by a mere four-tenths of a point, and the third-ranked Gators rebounded with a 197.975-196.525 win Friday before an Exactech Arena crowd of 8,355.

It was certainly a night to remember, especially considering the Gators practiced lightly during the week due to a flu bug making the rounds.

“It's awesome,” UF coach Jenny Rowland said. “I really look at the performance over the score, but it's a testament to their hard work.”

UF improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference action, while the Gymdogs (5-2, 4-2) had their five-meet winning streak ended before the eighth-largest crowd in Florida history.

How complete was UF's performance?

Florida's winning score was not only a season-high for the Gators, but was the second-highest team mark in the nation thus far this season.

UF swept the top three spots in each of their first three events, then got a 1-2 finish from sophomore Alicia Boren and freshman Amelia Hundley on the floor exercise to cap it off.

Junior Rachel Slocum, a transfer from Eastern Michigan, won the vault title to get UF's night started with a career-high 9.975, with Boren (9.95) second and Alex McMurtry (9.90) third.

“I think Rachel sets the tone for the team in general,” Rowland said.

McMurtry then closed out UF's uneven bars routine with a perfect 10, just edging Hundley's 9.975, with junior Kennedy Baker third with a 9.90 in her only event of the night.

It was McMurtry's third career 10 on bars, tying the UF mark held by former standout Melanie Sinclair.

“It was just another competition,” McMurtry said. “I'm always surprised when I get a 10.”

Then it was on to the balance beam where McMurtry led another 1-2-3 Gator sweep with her winning mark of 9.95, with Boren and freshman Rachel Gowey each right behind at 9.925.

Boren, UF's final performer of the night, closed things out with a winning 9.95 on the floor, matching her career-high. That came right after Hundley's career-high 9.925.

Boren also led a 1-2 Gator finish in the all-around with a score of 39.725 that was a personal-best mark, while Hundley's runner-up score of 39.550 matched her career-high.

Georgia's Rachel Dickson (39.375) took third.

“We trained so well,” Hundley said. “It's just a matter of putting it out there, and I think we're going to continue to do that.”

Next up, UF hits the road again for what should be a tough test at Arkansas next Friday night at 7.

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