Men's basketball - Kentucky won its 13th straight game and fourth straight on the road, traveling to Baton Rouge, La., and collecting a 74-50 win over LSU. - Terrence Jones had his strongest game of the season, scoring a season-high 27 points and narrowly missing a double-double with nine rebounds. Jones also blocked a game-high tying three shots. - Anthony Davis posted a double-double, his 11th, tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds to go along with three blocks and two steals. Darius Miller also scored in double-figures, finishing with 13 points. - UK held LSU to 39.6 pct. from the field, the 14th time this season the Cats have held its opponent below 40 pct. Women's basketball - Kentucky improved to 20-2, 9-0 SEC with wins over Auburn and Alabama last week. This is the first time in program history UK has started conference play 9-0 and UK's 20-2 start ties its best start in program history through the first 22 games. Kentucky's best start to a season was in 1982-83 (21-2). The Wildcats have also won a school-record 12 straight SEC games dating back to last season, including seven in a row at home. - UK defeated Auburn on the road last Thursday 66-48, paced by junior A'dia Mathies' team-high 20 points and sophomore Samarie Walker's career-high 15 rebounds. UK forced the Tigers into 30 turnovers, the most in league play in the Matthew Mitchell era. - On Sunday, Kentucky earned its third consecutive 20-win season with an 82-68 win over Alabama. The balanced scoring effort was led by senior Keyla Snowden with 14 points, while Mathies and freshman Bria Goss added 13 and 11 points, respectively. UK forced the Tide into 25 turnovers, resulting in 29 points for the Wildcats. - UK's current 17-game home winning streak is the fourth longest in program history. The Wildcats will play host to Ole Miss on Thursday before hitting the road for three straight away contests.
Gymnastics - The youth-filled Kentucky gymnastics team continued to show its improvement over the weekend when it earned a dual-meet victory against Illinois-Chicago on Saturday with a season-high score of 195.05. The high mark was the best in a regular-season dual meet on the road since the 2011 squad went 195.05 at Ohio State. It is also the highest team score in a dual-meet road victory since March of 2010. - Kentucky posted season-high team scores on bars and beam, earning a 48.825 on bars to crush the previous season high of 48.5. On beam, Kentucky earned a team score of 48.975, which is tied for the 12th-highest beam score in school history and the highest since the 2009 team posted a 49.1 on March 15 in Alaska. UK's gymnasts did well on every event, setting or tying 17 season highs and 14 career highs in the meet. - Three Wildcats took home event title honors. Sophomore Holly Cunningham finishing first on vault with a 9.825, while junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo and senior Storey Morris finished first on uneven bars and balance beam, respectively. Sophomore Audrey Harrison and freshman Alexis Gross competed in the all-around competition and both earned career-high marks. Harrison scored a 39.0, while Gross posted a 38.875.
Men's tennis - Kentucky kicked off its home portion of the 2012 spring schedule with a very successful week, going 4-0 overall with three wins over teams ranked in the top 60 in the nation. - The Wildcats started the week with a 7-0 win over No. 29 Indiana in its home opener before taking down in-state foe Eastern Kentucky 6-0. Over the weekend, UK hosted the ITA Kickoff Weekend, where they defeated No. 57 North Carolina State 4-0 and No. 22 Tulsa 4-1 to earn a spot in the National Indoor Championships for the third consecutive season. - Senior Eric Quigley was the headline of the week early on, as he became the school's all-time winningest singles player with his 145th singles win on Tuesday against EKU. Quigley, who now owns a 147-44 career record, passed former UK great Paul Varga, who played from 1982-85, and ended his career with a 144-80 record. - Sophomore Alejandro Gomez was the star for Kentucky on Saturday as he clinched the decisive fourth point in UK's win over Tulsa. With the Wildcats holding a 3-1 lead and the remaining three singles matches in the third set, Gomez posted a 6-0 third-set win at No. 5 singles to seal the UK victory. The win moved UK to 47-9 at home since the start of the 2009 season and was the Wildcats' 20th victory over a top-25 team since 2009.
Track and field - Freshman sprinter Keilah Tyson broke the women's indoor 60-meter dash freshman school record Saturday with a time of 7.36 at the Rod McCravy Memorial meet. Tyson's race tied the third fastest time in program history. - Senior Terri-Ann Grant won the high jump, setting a personal record in the event, eclipsing 1.82m/5-11.50, the second best high jump mark in program history. - Freshman Terence Boyd had a strong weekend at the Rod McCravy Memorial, recording the seventh best mark in UK history in the long jump Friday, and the eighth best mark in UK history in the triple jump Saturday. - Junior Luis Orta finished second in the men's 3,000m run with a time of 8:10.58, a career-best for the Caracas, Venezuela native, and the eighth best in school history.
Swimming and diving - Behind wins in 25 of 32 events, the University of Kentucky swimming and diving teams defeated the University of Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday at the Lancaster Aquatic Center with the men claiming a 192-101 win, and the women claiming a 169.5-116.5 win. - Tyler Reed led the Wildcats again on the men's side, swimming his best-ever time in a dual meet in the 50-freestyle, pacing the field with a 20.53 in that event. Also, in the 200-freestyle, Reed recorded a 1:38.95. - Greg Ferrucci posted a 418.65 in the one-meter competition, smashing his own school record by over 20 points. Ferrucci finished first in the one meter, and three-meter competitions, pacing the field with a 423.75 in the three-meter. The 423.75 was just six points shy of the UK program record, which Ferrucci owns.
Rifle - UK rifle competed in a pair of matches over the weekend, including a 4635-4566 win over Morehead State on Sunday at UK's Barker Hall. UK also shot in the Withrow Invitational, hosted by Murray State, on Friday. - In both matches, UK shot with a new starting lineup, featuring primarily freshmen and newcomers. In the win on Sunday, freshmen Elijah Ellis and Jonathan Pinkel led the way, with Pinkel setting new career highs in both guns. - Kentucky returns to its grueling spring semester road schedule, traveling to Morgantown, W.Va., for a pair of conference matches to conclude the regular season. UK will face West Virginia on Saturday, Feb. 4, before facing off with North Carolina State on Sunday, Feb. 5.
Thursday, Feb. 2 Women's basketball hosts Ole Miss - 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 3 Swimming and diving at Louisville - 2:00 p.m. Gymnastics at LSU - 8:00 p.m. Track and field at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Saturday, Feb. 4 Women's tennis hosts Purdue - Noon Men's basketball at South Carolina - 6:00 p.m. Rifle at West Virginia Track and field at Notre Dame Meyo Invitational Sunday, Feb. 5 Men's tennis hosts Pepperdine - Noon Women's basketball at LSU - 3:00 p.m. Women's tennis hosts Miami (OH) - 4:00 p.m. Men's tennis hosts Abilene Christian - 6:00 p.m. Rifle vs. NC State (Morgantown, W. Va.)
Men's basketball - The Wildcats pushed their winning streak to 11 games, posting a hard-fought 77-71 win over Alabama on Saturday. - Kentucky had six players score in double-figures for the first time since the 2004-05 season, led by Terrence Jones' team-high 15 points. Doron Lamb (14), Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (13), Anthony Davis (11), Darius Miller (11) and Marquis Teague (10) also scored in double-figures in the victory. - The Wildcats hit a number of crucial free throws down the stretch against Alabama, going 8-for-8 from the line inside the final minute of play. - UK's 11-game winning streak is the second longest by the Wildcats in the John Calipari era. Women's basketball - With wins over Georgia and Florida last week, Kentucky improved to 18-2 overall, 7-0 in the SEC which ties its best start in program history through the first 20 games. UK's best start to a season was in 1982-83 (21-2). - Trailing by 10 (46-36) vs. UGA with 15:42 left in the game, UK went on a 24-7 run paced by 13 points from freshman guard Bria Goss, to capture its first win in Athens, Ga., since 2008. The rookie guard ended the game with a career-high 22 points, netting 17 of those in the decisive second half. - Sophomore forward Samarie Walker gave the Cats a boost off the bench as she recorded a career-best 18 points and nine rebounds in just 20 minutes of play vs. UGA. Overall, UK's bench outscored Georgia's 34-0. - On Sunday, it was another balanced effort as the Cats won their 16th consecutive home game with a 57-52 victory over the Gators. Ten players scored at least two points, paced by senior guard Keyla Snowden who led with 11. - Sophomore guard Kastine Evans scored all 10 of her points in the second stanza, including eight of them in a key 17-2 second-half run. Goss pulled down a career-high nine rebounds, while Walker came off the bench for another solid performance, adding nine points, seven rebounds, a career-high tying three blocks and three steals.
Rifle - The defending NCAA Champion Kentucky rifle team suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday at No. 1 TCU, 4703-4694, with TCU using a school-record team score to win its nation-leading 26th consecutive regular season match. - UK lost its first match of the year, with the Wildcats only losing two regular-season matches in the last two years, both vs. TCU. - UK fell behind in smallbore at TCU, before bouncing back to narrow the gap in air rifle behind starring performances from Ethan Settlemires (595), Henri Junghanel (594) and Emily Holsopple (592). Settlemires led UK in smallbore with a 583.
Gymnastics - Behind a season-high team score on floor exercise where two Wildcats set or tied their career-high marks, the gymnastics team showed improvement from its first SEC meet of the year to its second meet of the year in a 196.275-194.075 loss to No. 8 Florida at Memorial Coliseum. - Of UK's 24 routines in the meet, a total of 20 were performed by freshmen or sophomores. Overall, the youthful Wildcats showed improvement from last week, setting 10 season-high marks and setting or tying nine career-high scores on the night. Sophomore Audrey Harrison and freshman Alexis Gross were the lone two all-around competitors in the meet for Kentucky. - UK saved its best event of the night for last, earning a season-high mark of 48.625 on floor. Harrison finished fourth overall on the event and led UK with a season-high and career-tying mark of 9.8, while Gross followed close behind with a 9.725. Freshman Kenzie Hedges set a career high with a 9.725, while sophomore Kayla Sienkowski went 9.7. Freshman Shelby Hilton made her second-consecutive floor lineup and went 9.675, while sophomore Kayla Hartley completed the UK rotation with a 9.375. Men's tennis - The No. 7 men's tennis team started its 2012 season off on the right note by earning a 6-1 win over No. 53 Michigan State and a 7-0 win over IUPUI to sweep a doubleheader at the Indianapolis Tennis Center in Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon. The doubleheader was hosted by IUPUI. Kentucky played well in both matches, winning five of its six doubles matches and 11 of its 12 singles matches. It marked the first-ever meeting between the Wildcats and either IUPUI or Michigan State. - Senior co-captain Eric Quigley earned two singles wins in the opening day, moving him into sole possession of second place on UK's career singles wins list with 143 victories. The native of Pewee Valley, Ky., is now only one win shy of tying Paul Varga's school-record 144 career singles wins. Quigley is 143-44 all-time at Kentucky. - Quigley, along with sophomores Grant Roberts and No. 111 Alejandro Gomez, went 2-0 in singles action, while junior No. 36 Anthony Rossi and sophomores No. 95 Tom Jomby, Ryuji Hirooka and Maks Gold went 1-0 in singles action. True freshman Brett Johnson, who was playing in his first collegiate match, won his lone singles match.
Women's tennis - The women's tennis team is now 3-0 on the season after its opening weekend of regular season play. - Jessica Stiles and Khristina Blajkevitch, the 34th-ranked doubles team, defeated Marshall's 35th-ranked doubles team of Dominika Zaprazna and Maria Voscekova, 9-8 (8) in the season opener. - Freshmen Stephanie Fox and Edmee Morin- Kougoucheff put on strong performances in both singles and doubles play, ending the weekend undefeated.
- The Wildcats return home for a pair
of league games this week beginning with Arkansas on Tuesday night. UK just
completed a two-game road stretch where they posted a 2-0 record, including a
65-62 win over Tennessee in Knoxville on Saturday.
- Kentucky had to come from behind,
trailing the Volunteers by as many as eight in the second half, but the
Wildcats were up to the challenge, including freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist,
who led UK with his third double-double this season. He finished with 17 points
and a game-high 12 rebounds.
- Fellow freshman Anthony Davis was
named the SEC Freshman of the Week after he finished with a game-high 18 points
and added eight rebounds and four blocks, while Terrence Jones was the only
other Wildcat in double-figures with 10 points.
- Kentucky remains the only undefeated
team in the SEC at 5-0 after two hard-fought wins over No. 6/7 Tennessee and
No. 24/RV South Carolina last week. The Wildcats captured a one-point 61-60
victory over the Lady Vols on Thursday in Memorial Coliseum, snapping the Lady
Vols' 36-game SEC winning streak.
- Junior guard A'dia Mathies turned in
one of the most impressive individual performances in UK Hoops history in the
win by netting a career-best 34 points to go along with nine rebounds, two
assists, two blocks and two steals. She hit the game winner with 4.2 seconds remaining
to give UK its third win over top-10 team this season and first win over
Tennessee in five tries. For her efforts she was tabbed the SEC Player of the
- The Cats then defeated South
Carolina on the road, 66-58, marking their first win in Columbia, S.C. since 2009.
The balanced scoring effort was led by Keyla Snowden who came off the bench for
15 points and three steals. Ten of the 11 players who saw action scored at
least two points.
- Kentucky got strong outings from
Emily Holsopple and Ethan Settlemires to lead the defending national champion Kentucky
rifle team improved to 8-0 win a win at Army, 4693-4646, on Saturday at the
Tronsure Rifle Range.
- Kentucky opened its spring portion
of the schedule with the win at West Point, totaling a 2325 total smallbore
score and a 2368 total air rifle team tally.
- Holsopple and Settlemires led UK in
both guns, with the duo each charting a 585 in smallbore. Settlemires led UK in
air rifle with a 594, with Holsopple adding a 593. Also in air rifle, Henri
Junghänel finished with a 592, with Heather Greathouse recording a 592 and Stacy
Wheatley posting a 589. Katie Fretts finished with a 585 in air rifle.
Holsopple and Settlemires led UK with 585's, with Junghänel charting a 576, Greathouse
a 579, Wheatley a 572 and Fretts a 569.
- The No. 23 University of Kentucky
gymnastics team concluded its first Southeastern Conference meet of the season
by falling 196.650-191.975 to No. 11 Arkansas at Barnhill Arena in
- In all, Kentucky had 19 of 24
routines performed by freshmen and sophomores in the meet, while five Wildcats
made their collegiate debuts on an event in the meet.
- Kentucky's youth shined on vault
with freshman Kenzie Hedges leading the way with a 9.775, while sophomore Holly
Cunningham was second on the team and tied a career high with a 9.75. Freshman Sara
Shipley went second in the lineup and scored a 9.725, while sophomore Audrey
Harrison went 9.7. Senior Storey Morris posted a 9.65 followed by freshman Shelby
Hilton, who was making her collegiate debut, earning a 9.475. Kentucky scored a
48.6 as a team on the event.
- The Kentucky men's tennis team
completed a successful four-day run in the Southeastern Conference Coaches'
Indoor Championships with junior Anthony Rossi claiming the singles title at
the event. Rossi used a very workmanlike performance Monday to win the final
over the No. 10 Sadio Doumbia.
- Rossi becomes the first Kentucky
player to win the singles title in the annual event since Adam Malik did it back
in 1989. The UK star is only the second player in school history to win the
- Kentucky had a good showing at the
event overall with three singles players making the quarterfinals in Rossi, Eric
Quigley and Tom Jomby. UK also had two doubles tandems in the quarterfinals,
while sophomore Panav Jha and Quigley advanced to the doubles semifinals.
Track and field
- The Kentucky men's and women's track
and field programs began their seasons Friday and Saturday by hosting the
Kentucky Invitational at Nutter Field House.
- The Wildcats got strong performances
from its men's one-milers, as junior Luis Orta ran a personal-best and SEC-leading
time of 4:09.59 to finish in second. Sophomore Adam Kahleifeh finished fourth
with a time of 4:12.20.
- Freshman Bradley Szypka finished
second in the men's shot put with a throw of 16.28m/53-05.00, while junior Darryl
Bradshaw finished third in the 60-meter hurdles finals with a time of 8.18.
- The Wildcats placed in the top three
in six different events Saturday.
Swimming and diving
- The UK swimming and diving teams
combined to go 2-2 over the weekend, with both teams dropping an SEC dual meet
to Alabama on Saturday, but quickly rebounding to sweep Emory University on
- On Sunday in the women's
100-butterfly, UK had a dominating performance taking first through fifth.
Julia Gerotto led the way, recording a
time of 57.49, while Anna Mattox followed up with a 58.47 for second place.
Lindsay Lash, Abby Myers, and Diana Norkus rounded out the top-five for
- Overall on the weekend, Kentucky won
seven of the contested eight diving events. Sophomore Greg Ferrucci claimed
first place in three of the four events he was entered in.
- Women's tennis traveled to Honolulu,
Hawaii, for the Rainbow Wahine Spring Invitational.
- The team swept Kansas in doubles
play. The 34th-ranked duo of Khristina Blajkevitch and Jessica
Stiles took on the Kansas' 42nd-ranked doubles team of Monica Pezzotti and
Paulina Los, defeating them 8-4.
- Freshman Stephanie Fox faced
Washington State's 123rd-ranked Elizaveta Luzina and beat her in straight sets
with a score of 6-1, 6-3.
Tuesday, Jan. 17
Men's basketball hosts Arkansas - 9:00
Thursday, Jan. 19
Women's basketball at Georgia - 7:00
Friday, Jan. 20
Women's tennis hosts Marshall - Noon
Gymnastics hosts Florida - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 21
Men's basketball hosts Alabama - Noon
Rifle at TCU
Sunday, Jan. 22
Women's tennis hosts Belmont - 11:00
Men's tennis vs. Michigan State - 2:00
Every Tuesday, UK Athletics recognizes outstanding performances for our student-athletes. These are the honorees for the week ending Sunday, Jan. 8:
Men's basketball: Anthony Davis
Anthony Davis averaged a double-double for the third straight week, helping the Wildcats to a 2-0 record on the week including a win in the SEC opener over South Carolina ... Davis has tallied five-straight double-doubles and six in his last seven games ... He now has nine double-doubles on the season, tying him for fourth most by a UK freshman in school history ... He blocked 10 shots on the week and is on pace to destroy the UK single season blocks record by nearly 70 blocks ... Davis tallied a 20-10 game against Arkansas-Little Rock, his second 20-10 performance of the season ... He then just missed a triple-double in his first-career SEC outing, with a 12 point, 10 rebound, seven block effort against South Carolina
Swimming & diving: Greg Ferrucci
The Kentucky diving team competed in the Georgia Diving Invitational this week in Athens, Ga. UK was paced by sophomore Greg Ferrucci who posted a score of 412.20 in the three-meter competition. The score was good enough to land the defending Southeastern Conference Freshman Diver of the Year the overall champion in the event, taking home first place. John Fox placed eighth in the same competition, posting a score of 334.10.
The score of 412.20 on the three-meter dive set a new school record for Ferrucci, passing Ben Starchuk, who held the record since 2005 with a score of 406.43 on Feb. 5, 2005.
Gymnastics: Head coach Tim Garrison
In his first meet as the head coach of the UK gymnastics team, Tim Garrison led the Wildcats to a second-place finish at the Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic event at Memorial Coliseum. A total of 3,686 fans helped open the Tim Garrison Era at Memorial Coliseum with an energetic atmosphere.
Women's basketball: Bria Goss
Scored 11 points against Arkansas on a perfect 4-4 shooting from the field, including a career-high tying three 3-pointers, to go along with five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Scored 13 points, including a career-high tying three 3-pointers for the second consecutive game, and had four rebounds and three steals vs Florida.
Shooting 6-7 from beyond the arc over the last two games.
Is 8-11 from the field over the last two games.
Third in scoring (12.0 ppg), tied for second in rebounding (4.5 rpg) and first in steals (2.5 spg) for the week.
Has reached double figures in scoring in 14 of 16 games for the Wildcats, including each of the last eight.
Has started in every game this season.
Has at least two steals in seven of UK's last eight games.
Leading freshman scorer in the SEC.
Men's basketball: Terrence Jones
Recovering from a dislocated pinkie Jones scored in double figures in back-to-back games helping Kentucky to a 2-0 mark on the week ... Shot better than 73 pct. from the field on the week, averaging15.0 ppg ... Shot over 88 pct. from the field in SEC-opening victory over South Carolina hitting eight of nine shots ... 20 points against South Carolina was most since tallying 26 against St. John's on Dec. 1
Women's basketball: A'dia Mathies
Scored a team-high 21 points vs. Arkansas, including a career-high five 3-pointers, a season-high six assists, three rebounds, two blocks and two steals.
Scored 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in 20 minutes vs. Mississippi State.
Scored 20 or more points in both games this week.
Hit three of Kentucky's program-record 14 3-pointers vs. Mississippi State.
Was 8-16 from beyond the arc in wins over Arkansas and Mississippi State.
Led UK in minutes played this week.
Has started in every game she has played this season.
Has reached double figures in scoring in 13 of 15 games she has played in.
No. 22 in scoring all-time at UK (1,166), and is just four points shy of tying Jocelyn Mills at No. 20.
No. 9 in steals all-time at UK (215), and is just nine steals shy of tying Sandy Harding at No. 8.
Gymnastics: Storey Morris
Gymnastics senior Storey Morris performed very well in her final season opener as a UK gymnasts, scoring a 9.7 or above on vault, uneven bars and balance beam. Morris started the night by sticking her landing on vault en route to a score of 9.8, while she secured a 9.7 posting on bars and led the Wildcats on beam with a score of 9.75.
Men's tennis: Eric Quigley
Kentucky men's tennis senior Eric Quigley went 2-0 in singles play at the Rainbow Warrior Challenge over the weekend, taking his career singles record to 139-43, sitting only two wins shy of tying Jesse Witten (2002-05) for second all-time in career singles wins.
Boasting a No. 23 ranking, the program's highest since 2007, Kentucky gymnastics opens its season on Saturday. The Wildcats will host Oklahoma, Bowling Green State and Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 6 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum for Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic.
UK will be led by head coach Tim Garrison, who is in his first season as head coach following a successful tenure as an assistant at Nebraska. Garrison will rely on a pair of senior co-captains in Storey Morris and Whitney Rose to anchor his first Kentucky team. The two have combined to win 21 individual event titles in their careers as Wildcats.
Garrison and the Wildcats won't have to wait long to be sternly tested this season, as the visiting Oklahoma Sooners are ranked in the top five in the preseason GymInfo Preseason Coaches' Poll.
Tickets to the event are available by calling the UK Ticket Office at (859) 257-1818 or toll free at 1-800-928-2287. Fans in attendance will have numerous chances to win prizes, including a family four pack of tickets to see Shrek the Musical on Feb. 19. Junior Wildcat Club members who show their badge will receive free admission to the event and a special gift. After the meet, the entire team will sign autographs.
Men's basketball - The Wildcats open the 2012 calendar year, playing their annual game at Freedom Hall Tuesday night, hosting the Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans. - UK closed out 2011 riding a career-game from freshman Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, to a 69-62 win over in-state rival Louisville. - Kidd-Gilchrist tallied his second-career double-double with 24 points and 19 rebounds, both career-highs and was named the Bluegrass Sports Commission MVP of the game for his efforts. - Anthony Davis also tallied a double-double, his seventh, with 18 points and 10 rebounds to go along with six blocked shots. Women's basketball - Kentucky bounced back from a tough road loss at Middle Tennessee after the holiday break by capturing a hard-fought 59-56 win at Florida on Sunday in the SEC opener. It marked UK's first SEC-opening win since 2008 and its third-straight win over Florida. - Junior guard A'dia Mathies, who scored a team-high 14 points, was crucial to the Wildcats' win over the Gators. With UK trailing by two in the first half, Mathies nailed back-to-back 3-pointers, grabbed a rebound and took a charge in the final 60 seconds to give Kentucky a four-point halftime lead, and the Cats would never trail again. - Freshman guard Bria Goss also was a key catalyst as she scored 11 points all in the first half and added four rebounds and two steals. Goss has now scored in double figures in 12 of 14 career games, including six in a row. - Sophomore Samarie Walker added eight points and seven rebounds in her first SEC contest. - The Wildcats return to Memorial Coliseum on Thursday, Jan. 5 against Arkansas in the first of three consecutive SEC home games.
Tuesday, Jan. 3 Men's basketball vs. Arkansas-Little Rock - 7:00 p.m. (Louisville, Ky.) Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational
Wednesday, Jan. 4 Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational
Thursday, Jan. 5 Women's basketball hosts Arkansas - 6:00 p.m. Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational
Friday, Jan. 6 Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational Saturday, Jan. 7 Men's basketball hosts South Carolina - 4:00 p.m. Gymnastics hosts Oklahoma/Wisconsin-Oshkosh/Bowling Green - 5:30 p.m. Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational
Sunday, Jan. 8 Women's basketball hosts Mississippi State -3:30 p.m. Men's tennis at Hawaii Warrior Invitational
First, he sat down with UK baseball head coach Gary Henderson for a series of questions and answers. In it, Henderson talked about the fall, playing in the nation's toughest conference and some of his players' success in summer leagues. Make sure to read the full Q&A, but here are a couple highlights:
SEC Digital Network: What do you believe your strengths of your team this upcoming year?
Gary Henderson: "I think it's early, but I'm really hopeful that infield defense and depth on the mound are going to be some things that we can rely on. We're going to hit again, that part's pretty clear. We knew that coming in that we were going to have another good offensive club. How good, you don't know; just exactly how well balanced you're going to be, you don't know, because some of the younger guys have got to prove it first. We'll be another good offensive club, as are most clubs in our league and then it comes down to how well you play infield defense and how much pitching depth you have. It always comes down to that."
SEC Digital Network: What do you feel are the unique strengths of the University of Kentucky that benefit your baseball program? Gary Henderson: "Kids love to go to school here. Lexington is a great town; we would argue that it's the best town in the league and there are some people that would agree with us. It's a great place to go to school. The academic experience that our kids have here on campus is second to none. We love the town. [Athletics director] Mitch's [Barnhart] commitment to an overall department is fantastic and there is a tremendous sense of community and a tremendous sense of being a Wildcat on campus."
SEC Digital Network: How much does the support that you receive from your administration help your program moving forward?
Tim Garrison: "The support from our administration is unparalleled from what I've seen and from what I've heard from talking to other people. When you've got our athletic director and associate athletic directors coming into the gym to watch workouts, and come to our competitions, they are willing to give us everything we need to be successful and they've said that. The support is unreal."
SEC Digital Network: You still have a few months before your season begins in January, but how much excitement do you sense there is on your team for the start of competition?
Tim Garrison: "I don't think they know how excited they should be right now because they're in the grind, they're in the trenches of working hard. They're tired, they're sore and I think they've got a little bit of blinders on at this point because, right now, they're all those things and they don't see the product. They don't see the finish line just yet, which is great. The thing is, we're throwing curve balls at them all the time; they're going to be so ready for competition that I really think them understanding exactly where we're headed and what we're going to do is huge. When they get in a facility where there's 10,000 people watching and there's pressure and we're trying to qualify for something or beat a team that just opened the door for us, we're going to be able to do that. We're going to be able to walk right through that door."
Former UK gymnast Jenny Hansen is the only woman to win three straight NCAA all-around title (1993-95). She also captures NCAA titles on the balance beam (1994, 1995), vault (1994, 1995) and floor exercise (1995). (UK Athletics)
"Where are they now" is a weekly six-part summer series that will
take a look back at the careers of former Kentucky athletes and find out
what they're doing post-UK. Today we will catch up with record-setting gymnast Jenny Hansen.
To call Jenny Hansen's career as a gymnast at the University of Kentucky "decorated" would be a gross understatement. Running down a list of her achievements is mind-boggling in and of itself.
Eight NCAA gymnastics championship titles. A record three straight all-around titles from 1993 to 1995. Thirteen All-America honors. Kentucky Sportsman of the Year in 1995. Most outstanding gymnast of the past 25 years as recognized by the NCAA.
Simply put, she's still the greatest gymnast in program history and one of the best student-athletes to don UK's colors.
For Hansen, though, the honors that meant the most were her inductions into the hall of fames for both UK and the state of Kentucky. Being recognized alongside fellow inductees like Pat Riley, Allan Houston, Tim Couch and Hillerich & Bradsby (the makers of Louisville Slugger baseball bats) was an experience that stopped Hansen in her tracks.
"It's kind of surreal," Hansen said. "I think of myself as Jenny Hansen. I'm Jen. I'm Hansen. I'm just me. I've been given this amazing gift and this incredible talent to be able to do what I can do. For the University of Kentucky and the state of Kentucky to recognize me and put me in their hall of fame, I was just blown away. There are no words really to explain it."
Humility and self-awareness are traits that we look for in athletes, but finding them in genuine form is often a tall task. With Hansen, they are unmistakable. She recognizes that the natural talent that she has been blessed with is a gift; a gift that has taken her places she could not possibly have foreseen; a gift that she believes she is responsible for stewarding and continuing to share with others.
It's that kind of attitude that has brought Hansen back to the place that made her a hall of famer: the gym. Her return started out as a foray into the world of television when a friend called her while Hansen was living and working in North Dakota.
"Two years ago, one of my best friends is a stunt woman, she called me up when I was living in North Dakota and she said, 'You need to train again, there's a show,' " Hansen said.
The cable television channel ABC Family was beginning filming on a new show that needed skilled gymnasts. Hansen picked up and moved to Simi Valley, Calif., for the new gig.
"I started training for this show called 'Make It or Break It,' " Hansen said. "It's an ABC Family show and it's about four girls that are trying to make the Olympics in gymnastics. They needed gymnasts and I ended up being a gymnastics double on the show and then I did background work and things like that."
Hansen had not seriously trained for a while, but the competitive fire that still burned inside of her responded in a way that she didn't foresee. She took her workouts "to the highest level" and found that her substantial talents had not yet been lost to the hands of time. Production on the second season of the show wrapped in December, but Hansen was not willing to end things there.
In fact, she has even higher aspirations. More than 15 years removed from her final season at UK, Hansen is trying to re-enter the elite level of gymnastics competition.
"That was for two years and at the end of December, we just finished up season two and during that time I guess I just started feeling like I wanted to continue on and keep working on it," Hansen said. "My ultimate goal would be to get to the Olympics but my current goal is just to try to get on the national team."
Of all sports, gymnastics is one that perhaps belongs most to the young. The roster of the United States national team for the 2008 Beijing Olympics included three 16-year-old gymnasts, one 18-year-old and two 20-year-olds. For perspective, Hansen was in college in the mid 1990s.
Hansen recognizes the challenge in front of her and embraces it. She is just a couple weeks away from the next milestone in her comeback. She will be participating in an elite qualifier on July 2 in Houston and there are two more meets on the horizon if things go according to plan.
"If I get the qualifying score, I'll get to go to the Cover Girl Classic and that's in Chicago," Hansen said. "In Chicago, hopefully I'll get the qualifying score to go to the Visa Championships in St. Paul (Minn.). This year that's my ultimate goal."
Hansen has learned the hard way that there is a reason why youth is favored in gymnastics, but the journey has been enjoyable nonetheless.
"There are a few little injuries that pop up, so I've had to back off my training a little bit, then I go back to it," Hansen said. "It's frustrating, but at the same time it's so much fun."
Naturally, Hansen is the type of athlete that will push herself to the brink in her preparation, even if the odds tell her that her chances of succeeding are extremely slim. Being more advanced in age than the last time she competed, Hansen has learned how to listen to what her own body is saying.
"It's taken a bit for me to listen to my body and what it needs," Hansen said. "I just can't stop and not work and everything is going to start piling up. It's my responsibility, as an adult, to keep myself afloat."
Also helping in her efforts is her sister, who serves as her coach for meets.
"I was talking to my middle sister who was on the national team in 1986 or 1987," Hansen said, "and I said, 'I don't know what to do. I don't have a coach and I have to go to this meet.' And she said, 'I'll be your coach.' She registered with USA Gymnastics. She got her coaching registration, she got all of this stuff and at the meets, she's my coach. It's really great."
While Hansen calls training her "full-time job," she still spends time as a personal trainer for a few clients and as a coach at her gym in California.
"I do a little personal training on the side, since out here you have to do everything," Hansen said. "I do a little personal training; I just have three clients. They're so much fun and I love working with them. I incorporate the gymnastics that I know and the things that I'm learning now. It's fun. I like encouraging these women. I also coach at the gym that I train at, only two days a week."
Once her gymnastics career reaches a conclusion, Hansen isn't willing to restrict herself to a single profession. Rest assured, though, she'll be using her talents and background as a gymnast, whether as a stunt woman, a trainer or a coach.
"That's my ultimate goal, to stay in the stunt world," Hansen said. "I would really like to do personal training and motivate people and maybe even motivate kids just to have fun in the sports that they do. There's so many things that I love doing and I want to stay in everything. I don't want to have just one occupation."
Whatever the future holds, much of Hansen's foundation was established during her time at the University of Kentucky. Though it was two decades ago, Hansen still looks back at her college experience fondly, from competition to academics to social life.
"An amazing experience," Hansen said. "I can't say enough about (then-UK head coach) Leah Little and (assistant coach) Tim Myers. I loved UK. I loved the college experience, I loved my roommates."
Hansen was especially full of praise for the athletic training staff during her time at UK, as well as her professors and classmates that she got to know as she worked toward her degree in animal science equine. Hansen had to cope with dyslexia as a student and said that without the support and tutoring at Kentucky's Center for Academic and Tutorial Services, her success in school would not have been possible.
"The CATS program was amazing," Hansen said. "Mike Haley, he was my adviser and he was the best. I would ask Mike what classes I should take and he was like, 'OK, Hansen, this is what you're going to do.' Being a student-athlete, you're so focused on (sports) that it was nice to have that CATS program to help you through so many difficulties, especially because I am dyslexic. That was a big help in my school."
Hansen has had the chance to briefly introduce herself to UK's newly-minted gymnastics head coach Tim Garrison and had a very positive impression about where he will take the program. She said that she was impressed by the work Garrison did with a gymnastics team in California close to Hansen's home.
"He was really great," Hansen said. "It's crazy that he's only the third coach at UK. I wish him success. I saw that he coached out here and he got a couple girls to nationals and things."
Little, Hansen's coach at UK, was largely responsible for the founding of the gymnastics program at the school. If there is one thing about Little that Hansen hopes Garrison can duplicate, it is the infusion of a spirit of fun into training and competition.
"I hope he keeps it fun for the girls," Hansen said. "That's what Leah was so wonderful at. She pushed us, but she let us enjoy our college experience. If we had problems, she would talk to us. There were times when I would just need a hug and she said OK and it was always such a heartfelt hug. She was right there with us. When we were crying, she would try to console us."