Gymnastics Falls to Top-Ranked Oklahoma in Oklahoma City
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Competing on a podium for the first time this season, the No. 21 Kentucky gymnastics team lost to No. 1 Oklahoma, 197.275-194.425 at the Perfect 10 Challenge in Oklahoma City on Friday.
The meet for the Wildcats (3-4, 1-3 SEC) was highlighted by a career-best 9.875 by Sydney Waltz on beam, giving the freshman her first event title of her career on the event. In the neutral-site matchup 20 miles from their campus, the Sooners (10-0, 1-0 Big 12) were held to their second-lowest score of the season. OU entered the meet ranked first in the nation on all four events in addition to its No. 1 team ranking.
Along with her event title on beam, Waltz shared team-high totals on vault with senior Shannon Mitchell, each scoring a 9.775. On uneven bars, UK was led by freshman Cori Rechenmacher's 9.850, while sophomore Taylor Puryear posted a 9.775 on floor to lead the Wildcats.
Kentucky opened with a 48.800 on uneven bars, followed by a 48.575 on vault. Kentucky closed with a 48.600 on floor and a 48.450 on beam. Oklahoma registered a 49.475 on vault, a 49.275 on bars and a 49.075 on beam before closing with a 49.450 on beam.
The Wildcats return home to host No. 14 Arkansas on Feb. 20 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. During the meet, Jenny Hansen will have her jersey retired, and UK will honor its alumni. One of the most distinguished gymnastics athletes in NCAA history, Hansen is an eight-time NCAA champion and won nine SEC individual titles. She set and continues to hold every individual record in school history.
UK opened the competition on uneven bars with a 48.800. Rechenmacher's career-high-tying 9.850 led the way, while freshman Katie Carlisle, senior Kayla Hartley and junior Marissa Beucler both notched a 9.750. Junior Amy Roemmele competed first and scored a 9.700. Oklahoma opened with a 49.475 on vault.
On vault, Kentucky recorded a 48.575, led by Mitchell and Waltz, each with a 9.775. Freshman Brittany Furuyama led off for the first time this season and scored a 9.725, followed by Beucler's 9.650. Junior Tiara Phipps made her career debut on the event and also scored a 9.650 in the anchor position.
After two events, UK trailed the top-ranked Sooners 98.750-97.375. OU posted a 49.275 on bars. The third rotation saw the Wildcats on floor, where they scored a 48.600. Oklahoma tallied a 49.075 on beam.
Puryear's 9.775 marked a team-high total for UK on floor. Hilton, competing first, and Mitchell, fourth, both notched a 9.750. Phipps recorded a 9.700 and Hartley anchored with a 9.625.
The final rotation sent UK to beam, where the Wildcats recorded a 48.450 and Oklahoma registered a 49.450 on floor. Waltz's career-best 9.875 gave the freshman her first career event title on beam. Carlisle scored a 9.725, while Whittle added a 9.650. Roemmele, Rechenmacher and Mitchell all scored a 9.600.
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