Down to Duluth: NCAA Spotlight
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Conference championships came and went like a blur this past weekend. Scoring around the nation was pretty very safe for this point in the season. Each team winning their respective conference title was not without some bumps in the road on their way to the top of the team podium. This is almost more exciting for a gymnastics fan, as the skill level, scoring and excitement seem to be building to a culmination at the NCAA Championships held April 20-22 in Duluth, GA.
Continuing our journey ‘Down to Duluth’, we have selected University of Florida freshman Kytra Hunter for this week’s honor! Hunter’s all around win at the Southeastern Conference Championships paced the Gators for notching their eighth team title, as well. Hunter dazzled on vault with a technical prowess few others at the meet displayed. Her 9.975 total made her a double individual champ, as well as meaning two judges flashed a 10.000 for the vault.
Florida’s victory over defending NCAA Team Champs Alabama bodes well for the rest of their 2012 campaign. As mentioned before, the Gators were not perfect in their SEC pursuit; counting two scores under 9.800 on their first event, balance beam. Hunter rose to the occasion, though, throwing a team-high 9.875 to push the Gators over 49 on the make or break event (49.050).
After the team and individual awards had been announced, Kytra Hunter was not surprisingly named the 2012 SEC Freshman of the year, and then watched as Florida head coach Rhonda Faehn shared Coach of the Year honors with Auburn’s Jeff Graba.
Kytra Hunter’s success at the SEC Championships promises to propel the Gators toward more post season success. Being able to compete in the same venue as NCAAs is an indispensible learning opportunity, as well. We recognize Kytra Hunter’s outstanding accomplishments throughout the 2012 season up till this point and are excited and confident to see what she and the Gators bring with them Down to Duluth.
Photo Credit: Mike Erdelyi
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