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10 again: Kytra Hunter makes more history with perfect vault, Florida thumps Arkansas

Florida can't go a single gymnastics meet without making more history.

At this point, the formalities of win-loss results in the meets Florida's absurdly good gymnastics team is competing in — the Gators beat Arkansas by a point and a half, 197.525 to 196.025, in their Valentine's Day dual meet on Friday — feel secondary to the history Florida's absurdly good gymnasts are making on a week-to-week basis.

On Friday, it was Kytra Hunter's turn to add a page to the record books with a 10.0 on vault.

Hunter nailed her 1½ twisting Yurchenko, earning the first 10.0 of her collegiate career on the vault after scoring 9.975 six times over her first two years as a Gator, winning the 2012 NCAA title in the event, and notching 9.95 and 9.925 scores on the apparatus over the last two weeks to win event titles against Oklahoma and at Kentucky.

Hunter joins Bridget Sloan as the only Florida gymnasts in program history — which dates to 1973 — to put up perfect scores on more than one apparatus; after decades without a single gymnast achieving that distinction, Florida's gotten two in consecutive weeks. And hers is Florida's first 10.0 on the vault since Susannah Evans earned one in 2004.

Hunter's 10.0 also made Firday's meet Florida's fourth in a row with a 10.0, tacking on another week to a streak that stretches back to January 24, and the Gators' ridiculous series of floor routines against Georgia that featured back-to-back 10.0s from Sloan and Hunter.

Florida's four straight competitions with 10.0s eclipses the previous program record of three straight competitions set by the Gators in 1998 when Susan Hines recorded three 10.0s on the vault over the course of five days — though that was, technically, just two different competitons, as Hines put one 10.0 up in an NCAA regional championship, then put two up on consecutive days1 in different sessions of the 1998 NCAA Championships.

And Hunter's 10.0 came on arguably her worst night of this 2014 season. She didn't compete on all four apparatuses for the first time this year, skipping the floor exercise because of stomach flu that kept her from training for it earlier in the week, and posted Florida's lowest score of the night — a bobble-aided 9.400 — on beam, which would get dropped, helping Florida score a season-low 49.000 on the apparatus.

But the Gators still swept the event titles, put up season highs in vault and uneven bars, saw Sloan get her fifth consecutive all-around win (this one a defeat of the nation's No. 2 all-arounder, Katherine Grable), and just powdered the GymBacks to run their record to 6-0.

After a couple of weeks against mediocre and merely good SEC teams, Florida will face off with LSU this coming Friday, in a matchup that pits two likely NCAA Super Six teams. After all this history, though, it's no great stretch to guess Florida will make more by knocking off the Tigers.


  1. Amazingly, despite that show, Hines shared the national championship on vault, because individual event titles — but not the individual all-around title — are decided separately from team titles.