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Florida shines at NCAA Gymnastics Nationals, advances to championship round

The NCAA Gymnastics Nationals kicked off in Ft. Worth, Texas Thursday afternoon.
The semifinals featured two sessions showcasing some of the nation's top gymnastics
talent. Among them, the Florida Gators delivered a standout performance, securing their
spot in the championship round with a display of skill, determination and grace.

Powered by the exceptional performance of junior sensation Leanne Wong, the Gators
were able to capture the final spot in the championship round, beating out #1 Oklahoma
and #8 Alabama. Wong's stellar routine on the bars was good enough to earn her the
co-national championship title, solidifying her status as one of the nation's top
gymnasts. In addition, her skills were on full display as she took home second place in
overall competition.

Adding to the Gators' impressive showing was freshman Skylar Draser, who came up
clutch on the big stage. Draser's dazzling performance on the beam earned her a score
of 9.900, tying her career-best, contributing crucial points to Florida's overall success in
the semifinal round.

After the meet, head coach Jenny Rowland stressed the importance of not worrying
about things out of their power. Both Rowland and Leanne Wong said, “control the
controllables.” The Gators did a great job of blocking out the noise and not looking at
what scores the other schools were posting. Rowland is very proud of how far her team
has come, especially given the fact that the Gators are a very young team. Of Florida’s
17-person roster, six are freshmen, including impact performers Skylar Draser and Anya

Florida has their sights set on securing their first national championship since 2015 and
their fourth in program history. As they advance to the championship round, there’s only
three teams standing in their way: No. 2 LSU, No. 3 California and No. 5 Utah. The championship round will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon in Dickies Arena in Ft. Worth, Texas

Benjamin is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing
Jamie is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing