Gymnastics Posts Third Best Score in UK History in Loss to No. 2 Florida
Final Scoresheet (PDF)
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Head coach Tim Garrison had high expectations for the Wildcats entering the season, and as the post-season approaches the 23rd-ranked Kentucky squad is showing exactly why. For the second consecutive meet, the Wildcats posted one of the top five team scores in program history, as Kentucky fell to Florida, 197.525-196.65 in front of a crown of 6,660 in Memorial Coliseum on Friday evening.
Kentucky’s 196.65 was good for third in UK’s all-time team performance list. Last week at Arkansas the Wildcats scored the second highest team score all-time with a 196.7 in a loss to the Razorbacks.
“Tonight feels good and it feels even better to know we have made progress,” remarked Garrison. “I don’t think this was a fluke. This is our team. This is who we are now.
“We had a little bit of a struggle when we started off on vault and we didn’t start off as sharp as we needed to, but we came back and were locked in on bars. We have the ability to add people, to make changes to the line-ups, which we haven’t been able to do before. Now we have the depth.
“I added Danaea Davis in the number two spot on vault and she performed really well for us. Alex Hyland had to step in for Sydney Waltz on bars and she performed great. I think this is our team now. Beam has been doing well this year, so you come to expect that result from beam now. We could have been sharper on some of those landings, but overall it was another strong showing.
“Most of all, to come in and close the show on floor like we did tonight was something special. That, to me, says a lot about where our team is right now. We can come in, have some struggles, and then finished it off strong on the floor. It shows growth.”
Kentucky now sits at 6-6 on the season and 1-6 in Southeastern Conference action, while Florida moves to 7-2 with a 5-2 mark in league play.
Individual members of the Cats broke five career marks, while five more topped their best performances of the season. After a decent start on the vault, Kentucky flourished on bars, posting the third highest score as a team in program history with a 49.325. Following another impressive beam performance, UK capped the match with a season-best floor routine, in which each of the gymnasts at least tied their season-high marks to lead the team to a 49.325, tying the sixth-best score all-time on the apparatus.
Danaea Davis led the team on vault, grabbing a career best vault score of 9.825 in the second spot. Katrina Coca competed just before Davis and scored a 9.65, with Sydney Waltz competing in the third spot and earning a score of 9.7. Katie Stuart tied with Davis on the night, also with a 9.825 on vault in the fifth spot. Classmate Aubree Rosa, scored a 9.775, while Katie Stuart finished the night for the Wildcats with a score of 9.8.
The Wildcats shined on the uneven bars, with four gymnasts either tying or breaking season and career records. Hyland led the Wildcats with a career-high of 9.9, beating her old record by 0.125. Following Hyland in the fourth spot, teammate Cori Rechenmacher also scored a career-high on bars with a 9.875. Stuart competed in the second spot, matching her career-high of 9.825, while senior Marissa Beucler anchored the team tying her season-high of 9.875. Coca competed first and scored a 9.775, with Dukes in the fifth spot scoring a 9.3.
Rechenmacher led the Wildcats on the balance beam, scoring a 9.875. Montana Whittle grabbed a season-high of 9.85, beating her career best by 0.025. Hyland also scored a 9.85, with Dukes not far behind, scoring a 9.825. Amy Roemmele and Stuart competed in the second and third spot, respectively, both finishing with a score of 9.75.
It was a career night for many Wildcats on floor, with four gymnasts beating or matching their career-high, and two grabbing season-highs. Dukes and Puryear paced Kentucky on floor, both with 9.9 perfomances, a career-high for Dukes and a season-high for Puryear. Hyland competed in the second spot, finishing the night with a career-high 9.85. Teammate Tiara Phipps also grabbed a 9.85 score, marking a season-high for the senior from San Antonio. Stuart and Roemmele both scored a 9.825, notching a career-best and a tie for career-best, respectively.
Kentucky will close out the regular season by hosting Iowa State next Friday, Mar. 11, at 7 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats will honor four seniors in Beucler, Phipps, Roemmele and Whittle along with graduate assistant Alexis Gross in the annual senior night meet.
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