2019 Preview – Florida Gators

FLORIDA
Seniors
Alicia Boren
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA every week in 2018
  • RQS of 9.930 FX, 9.920 BB, 9.880 UB, 9.870 VT
  • #1 returning RQS on VT, BB, FX
  • 10.0-start Y1.5 on VT
Amanda Cheney
  • Did not compete in 2018
  • Competed 5 BBs, 1 VT in 2017
Juniors
Sierra Alexander
VT
FX
  • Competed 4 VTs in 2018 before injury
  • Average of 9.763
Maegan Chant
VT
UB
FX
  • Competed 1 VT in 2018 for 9.825
  • Made final 2017 UB lineup for 9.820
  • Can provide 10.0-start Tsuk 1/1 on VT
Rachel Gowey
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on UB, BB, FX
  • RQS of 9.915 BB, 9.885 UB
  • Showed 4 VTs for 9.831 average
Amelia Hundley
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in 6 meets in 2018
  • Made final lineups on all four events
  • RQS of 9.905 UB. 9.865 BB, 9.825 FX
  • #1 returning score on UB
  • VT avg of 9.832
Sophomores
Alyssa Baumann
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed BB, FX every week in 2018
  • Ranked #10 nationally on BB
  • RQS of 9.920 BB, 9.900 FX
  • VTed 4 times for 9.733 avg
Jazmyn Foberg
  • Elbow surgery in November, likely out for 2019
  • RQS of 9.850 VT, 9.840 UB in 2018
Megan Skaggs
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Made final 2018 lineups on VT, UB, BB
  • RQS of 9.860 BB, 9.840 UB
  • Avg of 9.795 VT, 9.706 FX
Freshmen
Leah Clapper
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Gym America
  • 9th AA, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Senior elite, 2016-2017
Sydney Johnson-Scharpf
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Brandy Johnson’s
  • US elite, 2013-2017
Nya Reed
VT
FX
  • Capital
  • 4th VT, FX – 2018 JO Nationals
Savannah Schoenherr
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Georgia Elite
  • 2nd AA, 2018 JO Nationals
  • Y1.5 on VT
Halley Taylor
VT
FX
  • La Fleur’s
  • 8th AA, 2018 JO Nationals
Trinity Thomas
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Prestige
  • US elite, 2015-present
  • Y1.5 on VT

FINAL SEASON RANKINGS
2018 – 3rd
2017
– 3rd
2016 – 4th
2015 – 1st
2014 – 1st
2013 – 1st
2012 – 2nd
2011 – 7th
2010 – 5th
2009 – 4th

THE STORY
It’s tough to sneer at third place. That’s a solid result any team would be pleased with, and Florida has achieved that in each of the last two seasons, finishing 2018 as the #1 team in the SEC after out-touching LSU by an eighth of a tenth (FUN WITH NATIONALS SCORING) in Super Six.

But. In all three seasons of the Rowland Era so far, Florida’s roster has been talented enough to win the national championship (never more so than last season), and it has yet to happen. That’s why Florida won’t be over the moon about these third-place finishes. We all expect even better than third place from this roster. In 2019, the same is true. Despite the admittedly massive scoring losses from last season’s squad, Florida still boasts an insane team. Thomas? Baumann? Boren? Hundley? Gowey? Johnson-Scharpf? On names alone, you’d pick this roster over any other in the country, including Oklahoma and UCLA.

Still, we can’t go on names alone, or talent alone. This Florida team—now no longer featuring any team members from the Rhonda championship years—must prove that it can transfer its talent from an on-paper championship to an actual championship. Otherwise, we’re looking at another year of close-but-not-quite.


VAULT 2019
Lineup locks: Alicia Boren, Trinity Thomas
Lineup options: Savannah Schoenherr, Amelia Hundley, Alyssa Baumann, Megan Skaggs, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Maegan Chant, Nya Reed, Sierra Alexander, Rachel Gowey, Leah Clapper, Amanda Cheney

Florida has a ton of work ahead in order to retain its status as one of the top vaulting teams, the Gators having to do without four of their five best vaults from 2018—losing McMurtry, Slocum, and Baker to graduation and Foberg to injury.

Only Boren returns from that core group, meaning Florida must find at least three new 10.0-start vaults or risk falling off the pace. We know that Trinity Thomas will deliver an important Y1.5, and Savannah Schoenherr competed one in JO that worked quite well for her. They’ll both be essential features of the new-vault project.

Florida will want a little more than that, however, so we’ll have to keep an eye on the upgrade experiments and works-in-progress. Baumann is working on a 1.5 in preseason training that looks like it could be a competition vault. We often hear that Hundley is on the cusp of having a real 1.5, which remains a possibility, and other options include Maegan Chant’s Tsuk that we don’t see too often, Megan Skaggs, who vaulted sometimes in 2018, and Nya Reed who did well on vault in JO and has been training the 1.5. There are a number of maybe-10.0s on this roster, vaults that can’t be considered real until we see them in a meet but that Florida needs (from at least 1 or 2 people) to keep pace with the teams that are teasing us with the possibility of 5-6 10.0s.

Beyond that, pretty much the entire roster can vault a full for 9.800, so Florida will have no trouble filling out an acceptable lineup even if the full slate of 10.0s doesn’t come through. Take your pick from about 10 people, with the most likely options being the ones who are also training 1.5s. If they don’t get the 1.5s, we’ll probably still see them in the lineup with fulls.

BARS 2019
Lineup locks: Rachel Gowey, Amelia Hundley, Trinity Thomas, Alicia Boren,
Lineup options: Megan Skaggs, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Savannah Schoenherr, Alyssa Baumann, Maegan Chant, Leah Clapper

Despite losing its best score from McMurtry, Florida returns the hearty and essential core of its bars lineup from 2018. We can expect 9.9s again this season from both Gowey and Hundley, Trinity Thomas will be a feature, and Boren has been so reliable for 9.850 in that leadoff spot over the years that her performances earn her lock status as well.

Besides Thomas, the freshman class isn’t an “OMG MY BARS” group, but Johnson-Scharpf should be able to come up with an efficient routine and Schoenherr has the handstands to excel in college. I’d put both of them in the pile of legitimate possibilities along with Megan Skaggs, who appeared in the final lineup last season after making great strides in her dismount work from when she arrived. We didn’t see Baumann on bars at all last season because of her elbow, but we can dream.

I see 49.4s from this group, and as long as Trinity Thomas becomes the 9.9er we know she can be on bars, I don’t anticipate any kind of real regression. Sure, you can’t assume a 9.960 RQS from anyone (which is what McMurtry had last season), but overall the scores should still be there for 2019.

BEAM 2019
Lineup locks: Alyssa Baumann, Trinity Thomas, Alicia Boren, Rachel Gowey
Lineup options: Amelia Hundley, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Savannah Schoenherr, Megan Skaggs, Leah Clapper, Amanda Cheney

Alyssa Baumann and Trinity Thomas in the same beam lineup. Florida, you have no business not being a 10 parade this year. Add Gowey and Boren back to the group as well, both of whom snatched RQSs over 9.900 last season, and Florida’s beam prospects look very healthy for 2019. This should be among the best beam lineups in the country, and Florida won’t need to do too much to make up for the losses from last season here.

I’d expect Hundley to make her way back into the six as well after leading off last season, which already brings us to five likely beam routines with a whole bushel of underclasswomen to choose from in filling out a group of six—from Skaggs who competed regularly last season, to Schoenherr, to Clapper, to Johnson-Scharpf who should absolutely excel on NCAA beam. This will be a tough lineup to make.

FLOOR 2019
Lineup locks: Alicia Boren, Trinity Thomas
Lineup options: Nya Reed, Alyssa Baumann, Amelia Hundley, Rachel Gowey, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, Halley Taylor, Leah Clapper, Megan Skaggs, Savannah Schoenherr, Sierra Alexander

Florida will feel the loses from last season most acutely on vault and floor, and there’s certainly some work to do in this floor lineup to reinvigorate the supply of big, even if the roster boasts several billion routine options.

Boren still brings her powerful tumbling and returns as an essential score, and while Baumann’s floor routine isn’t massive, she scored well enough for it in the anchor position for most of last season that I expect to see her back. We also saw a last-minute switch in Super Six with Hundley moving to the anchor position and suddenly getting 9.925 instead of 9.825 (amazing how that works out), which tells us she also has the potential to get high scores if used correctly.

In terms of new routines, Thomas will be a significant feature toward the back of this lineup with her tumbling looking excellent so far in preseason training. I also anticipate seeing Nya Reed make it into the floor six this year, showing a powerful DLO that should earn some real scores.

Rachel Gowey appeared in the final lineup last season and can return, though there should be some solid competition for the last couple spots. Expect Skaggs to make some cameos, and it would be a real shame if we don’t get to see Johnson-Scharpf on floor given her performance ability. Florida has a bunch of compelling options here but must avoid getting penned into the 9.825s in the first 2-3 spots if it is to keep up with the 49.5+s we expect from the best teams. Whether this Gator team can do that is still TBD.

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10 thoughts on “2019 Preview – Florida Gators”

  1. You’re practically putting the whole roster in the potential lineup options – yet you didn’t do the same for UCLA or Oklahoma. Favoritism much?

    Like

    1. 1. There are a lot of people in the potential line-ups because there are very few locks and they have similar scoring potential, not sure that’s even a good thing to be labeled favoritism

      2. The previews for UCLA and OU don’t exist yet

      3. Even if there is favoritism, who cares? This is hos personal blog.

      Get it together Laquita’s Vault.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. In addition to what M has said, it’s quite selective reading to only talk about the number of names under “lineup options” while completely ignoring the comments Spencer wrote underneath in his explanation. He acknowledges that they have a ton of options for Yfulls that can reliably score 9.80 (like all the other top teams do), but if they want to continue to be one of the best vaulting teams in the country this year like they were last year, they’ve got “a ton of work ahead” (in Spencer’s words) since they’ve lost all but one of their strong vaults from last year.

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      1. Womp womp try a little harder anon. And put down the tub of mayo – it’s a condiment not a meal replacement!

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  2. Does anyone else think Leah Clapper will be a solid contender on 2+ events this year? I think she is underrated and will provide needed early-line up consistency.

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    1. I don’t know the specific injury, but she got elbow surgery in November. I don’t think she’s given a definite timeline for when she’ll be back, but given that the surgery was a month and a half ago, I think most people assume she’ll be out for most if not all of the 2019 season.

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