It is the favorite meet of the season for many Gators gymnasts. They say the Southeastern Conference Championships is a unique event.

So many competitors, so many familiar faces. The SEC’s showcase meet brings together gymnasts who have known each other their entire career. Gymnasts who have trained together and traveled across many miles to compete at club meets.

All those hours together built strong bonds.

Those longtime friendships will pause for a few hours Saturday night. Focus shifts to team goals and every program competing at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans wants the same thing: an SEC title.

Florida coach Jenny Rowland has emphasized to her team that every meet is a chance to get better and improve.

But this week’s meet is especially important when it comes to school pride.

“This team has their closest friends on the floor across from them, but yet it’s go time, it’s game time,” Rowland said. “It’s for an SEC title and really they take a lot of pride in that.”

The last time the No. 4 Gators brought home the title from the SEC Championships was in 2016, Rowland’s first year in Gainesville.

Seniors Alicia Boren and Amanda Cheney are the only two Gators on the current Florida

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