Gator gymnast Marissa King wins NCAA vault title
Florida sophomore Marissa King won the 2011 NCAA vault title in the NCAA Gymnastics Championships’ individual event finals in Cleveland on Sunday.
It is the first vault title for the Gators since 1998 when Betsy Hamm and Susan Hines claimed a share of the balance beam and vault titles, respectively.
Two other Gators competed in event finals on Sunday. Senior Maranda Smith, who persevered through five seasons of multiple injuries and surgeries, shared second in the floor exercise final at 9.90. Freshman Alaina Johnson advanced to three finals. She tied for fifth on floor (9.8875), tied for sixth for the bars (9.85) and shared ninth for vault (9.7875).
King won the vault title with a score of 9.875, while Oklahoma’s Madison Mooring was runner-up at 9.825. King also competed in the floor final, sharing ninth at 9.85.
“I still can’t really believe I’m national champion,'' King said. "Going into the vault final, I knew that I had a chance but I didn’t focus on the
general outcome. I just went out and did my two vaults just like I do in practice. It was great going into the competition confident with both
vaults. I was very pleased with the one and a half vault. I did it exactly as I wanted to and have been doing it through the season. On the
full, I had a hop back but luckily the overall outcome was great. It was great accomplishment. It will take a while to sink in and
I can’t wait to be with my team.”