Kentucky Comeback Falls Short Against No. 3 Arkansas

Feb. 6, 2009

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team (1-4 overall, 0-4 Southeastern Conference) fell short against the No. 3 Arkansas Razorbacks (5-1, 3-0 SEC), 194.500-195.075, Friday in Memorial Coliseum during the Pink Meet.

The Wildcats outscored the Lady Backs on vault and floor but it was not enough to overcome the beam score, an event which has troubled the Cats all season.

Kentucky scored a solid 49.125 on vault in the first rotation but Arkansas swung on top with a 49.225 on the uneven bars. UK is ranked No. 11 on vault and the score was a top-10 career mark for head coach Mo Mitchell. Sophomore Jasmine Minion led the Blue and White on the first apparatus with a season high-tying 9.875. Minion earned second place overall, just behind the Razorbacks’ Jaime Pisani’s 9.900.

Grabbing their second-highest uneven bars score this season, the Wildcats tallied a 48.925. Freshman Whitney Rose, fourth in the line-up, took third place on the event with a career-high 9.825. After the second rotation, less than a one-point spread separated the Cats and ‘Backs.

The most difficult apparatus for each team was the balance beam. Despite minimizing errors, Kentucky was unable to receive a score of more than 9.675, registered by seniors Bridget Carreiro and Heather Hite. Hite, who anchors the event for UK, leads the team with an average of 9.800 and 12 career beam titles. Tough scoring came on both sides with the Cardinal and White averaging only a 9.512. Carreiro and Hite earned third place overall on the event as Casey Jo Magee of the Razorbacks received a 9.875.

UK made a remarkable comeback in the fourth rotation on the floor exercise. Beginning with a season high-tying 9.800 from freshman Andrea Mitchell, the Cats received a total of 49.125. In the middle of the line-up was Hite who nailed an almost perfect routine with a 9.925, taking the event top honors and earning her 10th event and 22nd career title. The score was a season-high for the Parkersburg, W. Va., native and only .025 away from her career mark. The routines from the Blue and White topped Arkansas’ 48.975.

Although a valiant effort was made by the Wildcats to turn their fate around, the Razorbacks slid past with a beam score barely above their own.

Junior Hillary Ferguson was again the lone all-around competitor for the Cats, finishing third with a 39.025 just behind Magee’s 39.075 and Pisani’s 39.325.

Kentucky remains in Lexington for another week to face the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs and Centenary Ladies in a tri-meet on Fri., Feb. 13 in Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET.