Kentucky Earns Season-Best 196.225, 49.300 on Beam
March 14, 2009
ANCHORAGE, Alaska - In the first meeting between the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats (7-7 overall, 0-6 Southeastern Conference) and the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves (7-8 overall) UK took the win with a season best 196.225-192.050. The Friday night meet was marked by several season and career highs, both team and individual as the Wildcats sweep all four events, including the all-around.
The team total was the third best in program history and head coach Mo Mitchell’s second-best in his career at Kentucky. Not only did the overall score make it into Kentucky record books, but the Cats earned a season-best 49.300 which ranks second in the records.
“I’m proud of what they’ve done,” Mitchell said. “This was a long time coming. We put everything together and we stuck things instead of just doing the routines. I’m so proud of Whitney Rose in the all-around, earning her season-best. We did especially great on beam. It was the event that capped the night for us. It’s been our nemesis and tonight it was our victor.”
A season high-tying 48.975 on the uneven bars kicked off the night for Kentucky. Junior Hillary Ferguson recorded a 9.800 as the first Wildcat to compete. Three scores of at least 9.750 followed, anchored by senior Natalie Rubinstein’s season high-tying 9.875. The Hollywood, Fla., native secured her fourth career title as she overtook the competition.
The Seawolves remained in striking distance with a season-high 48. 625 on vault, led by Lauren Agostino’s career-best 9.900. But UK took to the vault in the second rotation, an event on which they are ranked No. 15.
Two more season highs were recorded in the vault. Topping all the competition was freshman Whitney Rose. The Frisco, Texas, native nailed her landing for a career-high 9.925 and the event’s title, the second of her career. Sophomore Phylicia Reshard had started the event for the Cats with a season high-tying 9.750. Other scores were by a 9.825 by Jasmine Minion and a 9.875 from Emily Green.
Kentucky started to pull away after the second rotation, leading 98.050-96.825.
The Wildcats had a slow start on the floor exercise, but quickly pulled themselves together. Green took a season high-tying 9.850 followed by an equal score by Minion. Senior Heather Hite pulled out the top team score with a 9.875 giving the Cats a total of 48.875.
AAU struggled on the balance beam, counting multiple falls. Agostino again took the top score for the Seawolves with a career-high 9.750.
Going into the final rotation, the Blue and White held over a two-point lead. UK took to the balance beam as Alaska-Anchorage finished on floor.
First up for the Cats was Ferguson who stuck a solid 9.800, just shy of her career-high 9.825. Following the Richmond, Ky., native was senior Bridget Carreiro with a career-high 9.900. Carreiro walked away with the event title and the first of her career. Junior Emilie Rymer helped cement Kentucky’s season-best beam score of 49.325 with a season-high 9.850. Capping the beam routines for UK was Rose with another career-best 9.850 followed by a season-best 9.925 from Hite.
Ferguson and Rose competed on all four events for Kentucky. Rose earned a 39.100, the best of her career and enough to give her the second title of the night and her career. Ferguson took third with a 38.500 behind AAU’s Leah Wilson who earned a 38.675.
The two teams will meet for the second time on Sunday, March 15 at 6 p.m. ET.