No. 12 Kentucky Finishes Fifth, Posts Best SEC Championship Score in Program History
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The No. 12 Kentucky gymnastics team posted a 196.625, the highest in the first session of the SEC Championships, on Saturday at the Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. UK’s score of 196.625 earned the program’s best score in SEC Championship action.
Kentucky finished fifth overall in the championship event and improved its RQS to a school record 196.845. Three Wildcats – freshman Mollie Korth, sophomore Alex Hyland and sophomore Sidney Dukes - earned All-SEC for their performance in the first session of the meet.
“I’m so proud of this team and their accomplishments,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “Congratulations also to our individual All-SEC award winning athletes Mollie Korth, Sidney dukes and Alex Hyland. In addition to our All-SEC honors, Alex was crowned SEC beam champion. An outstanding accomplishment for a young lady that has been rock solid on beam for her team this entire year. There is no one more deserving.”
Hyland took home a share of the SEC beam crown with an impressive 9.95, tying her career-high. The score was her second 9.95 this season, and her eighth score of 9.9 or higher. In the all-around, Hyland finished second in the first session all-around with a score of 39.400, just behind teammate Korth. Hyland scored a 9.850 on the floor, 9.825 on the bars and 9.775 on the vault. For her performance in the all-around and vault, she earned All-SEC honors for the second time in her career.
“Today felt great,” Hyland said. “It’s an honor to receive an All-SEC award again. This meet is so fun and my beam routine just added an exclamation mark to the competition. I have a great team behind me and I couldn’t have done it without them.”
Freshman Mollie Korth won the first session all-around with a score of 39.425, and also took home the vault first session title with an impressive 9.9. The Cambridge, Wisconsin native posted a 9.85 on bars and floor, good for third and second, respectively. On the beam, she finished with a 9.825. Korth earned All-SEC honors in the all-around and the vault, and also appeared on the SEC All-Freshman Team.
“It’s such an honor knowing that all my hard work has paid off,” Korth said. “Being All-SEC means so much because we compete in the toughest conference for gymnastics in the United States. The feeling is amazing.”
Dukes finished second on the beam with a score of 9.9, earning her All-SEC honors for the second-straight season. The Tyler, Texas native finished third in the first session all-around with a 39.175.
“Being on the All-SEC team again is an unbelievable feeling,” Dukes said. “I wouldn’t be the gymnast I am without my teammates and coaches. I’m honored and blessed to be a Wildcat.”
LSU won the event with a score of 198.075.
Kentucky, a mathematical lock for the NCAA Regionals, will find out its fate during the NCAA Regional Selection Show on Monday, March 20 at 4 p.m. The show can be watched live on NCAA.com, and the Cats will head to one of six campuses. Kentucky can travel to hosts Washington, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Nebraska or West Virginia.
Kentucky started the night on vault and posted a 49.100, led by Korth with a 9.9. Sophomore Katie Stuart scored a 9.850 and sophomore Aubree Rosa followed with a 9.8. Dukes and Hyland also contributed with scores of 9.775.
UK posted a 49.200 on the bars, with Korth, sophomore Katrina Coca and junior Katie Carlisle leading the way with scores of 9.850. Hyland and Stuart also posted scores of 9.825.
Kentucky posted its best score of the night on beam with a 49.325. Hyland took the crown with a career best 9.95 and Dukes followed with a 9.9. Stuart posted a 9.850, Korth a 9.825 and freshman Hailey Poland a 9.8.
“Beam was the highlight of the day and had us in a great position going into the last rotation,” Garrison added.
The Cats finished with a 49.000 on the floor, with Korth and Hyland leading the way with scores of 9.850. Dukes and Stuart followed with 9.775s, and Carlisle contributed with a 9.750.