No. 25 Kentucky Takes Beam Title, Fall to No. 4 Crimson Tide
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – After posting the highest score of the season so far, the No. 25 Kentucky Wildcats couldn’t top the No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday evening, falling 196.775-195.525 in Coleman Coliseum.
The Wildcats shown steady improvement in the meet, posting the best team score of the season by four tenths of a point Saturday evening. The team posted no lower than a 48.650 on any single rotation.
Additionally, UK claimed its ninth event title of the season, edging the Crimson Tide on beam, 49.025-49.000. The strong showing from freshmen all-arounders Sidney Dukes and Alex Hyland guided the team to the claim the event crown, posting a 9.875 and 9.9 respectively.
Dukes took second in the all-around with a 39.375, while Hyland placed third with a 39.1. Both marked season bests for the rookies.
“I thought we he a solid meet tonight,” said fifth-year head Coach Tim Garrison. “I saw the fight and discipline that had been missing from our performances. That said, we still gave away valuable tenths of a point that make the difference between winning and losing. We have work to do.
“Our beam team showed up big again and has tremendous potential to score huge for us. Floor made a turn for the better tonight also with some great routines. We have made progress on Vault and bars, but are waiting for some of our key players to get back in lineups and for those who are currently in the lineups to execute at a higher level.
“Sidney had another great day, once again beating her personal best in the all-around and narrowly missing the all-around title. She is performing at an extremely high level for only being five meets into her collegiate career.
“Alex had a good day for the team also. A strong all-around score and setting her personal best on beam with a 9.9 was important to our success.
“I think that Montana [Whittle] has been really solid for us as of late. She’s really been a ‘glue’ member of the team for us and has come up for us when we need her.”
With the loss, UK is now 1-4 on the season with a 0-4 Southeastern Conference record. Alabama is 3-2 with a 2-1 record in league play.
Kentucky will compete in a pair of meets next weekend, first hosting Missouri in Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Feb. 12, at 7 p.m. The meet, dubbed the “Father-Daughter meet,” will be broadcast live on the SEC Network. The Wildcats will then head to Muncie, Ind., to face Ball State for the second time this season. The match will be held Sunday, Feb. 14, at 1 p.m.
In the meet’s second rotation, Kentucky took to the vault and posted its second best score on the apparatus this season. The team 48.9 was led by Dukes in the fifth spot, who scored a 9.875. Classmate scored the other 9.8-plus score, posting a 9.8 prior to Dukes’ run. Freshman Aubree and Hyland both scored 9.75’s. The event was led and anchored by seniors Marissa Beucler and Tiara Phipps, with each scoring a 9.725.
Kentucky began on what proved to be their most difficult rotation of the day. Dukes once again led the team, posting a 9.8 for the Wildcats. Hyland competed third while Whittle anchored the team, both posting a 9.725. Sophomore Katie Carlisle returned to the lineup for the first time this season, as she and freshman Katrina Coca each posted scores of 9.7. Stuart started in the leadoff spot for the Wildcats with a 9.625.
The Wildcats’ best performance of the evening came in their title-winning beam routine, where the team scored a 49.025. Hyland’s performance in the anchor spot highlighted the team performance with a 9.9. Dukes, who competed directly before Hyland, put up a 9.875. The senior duo of Montana Whittle and Amy Roemmele each scored a 9.825, while freshman Aubree Rosa rounded out the scoring routines with a 9.6. A fall on the beam cost sophomore Cori Rechenmacher, who scored a 9.3 in the fourth spot.
The trio of junior Taylor Puryear, Stuart and Dukes each scored a 9.825 en route to a 48.95 team score on the floor. Roemmele started the rotation with a 9.75 before Hyland scored a 9.725. Rosa’s 9.675 in the anchor spot was discarded.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.