Kentucky Places Eighth at SEC Championships
By Jacob Most
March 23, 2013 --
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. -- The No. 19 Kentucky gymnastics team placed eighth with a 194.6 total team score at the SEC Championship on Saturday inside Verizon Arena.
Kentucky finishes the regular season with a school-record regional qualifying score 196.06. The Wildcats now await their NCAA regional fate, which will be revealed on the NCAA Gymnastics Championship Selection Show on Monday, March 25 at 3 p.m. ET.
Florida won the SEC Championship with a 198.0, Alabama took second with a 197.9, LSU was third with a 197.8 and Georgia took fourth with a 197.625. Competing in the afternoon session Auburn finished fifth overall with a 196.55. Arkansas was sixth with a 196.400 and Missouri took seventh with a 195.525.
Kentucky's best team score of the evening came on floor exercise as UK tied its season-high with a 49.125.
Kayla Hartley's floor routine turned plenty of heads as she produced a career-high tying score of 9.9. Audrey Harrison also came up with a top notch 9.85.
Gross notched a career-high tying 9.8 followed by a 9.8 for Mitchell. Marissa Beucler anchored with an impressive 9.725 considering she was competing on floor for the first time collegiately. Kentucky's floor score moved them up into third position among the teams competing in the afternoon session.
As the No. 7 seed, Kentucky began on balance beam. Kayla Sienkowski started the meet with a quality routine, sticking her dismount for a 9.775. Shannon Mitchell built off that with a strong 9.825 routine to get UK out of the blocks with two solid scores.
After a rocky middle portion of the lineup, Alexis Gross and Holly Cunningham steadied the ship with a pair of 9.8s, giving Kentucky momentum heading into floor.
The Wildcats sat in fourth position behind fellow session I competitors No. 12 Auburn, No. 16 Arkansas and Missouri after the opening rotation having totaled 48.5 on beam.
Harrison led Kentucky on vault with a 9.8, while Sara Shipley and Jill Chappel each earned 9.775s. Beucler built off her solid floor performance with a career best 9.75. The Wildcats scored 48.825 on vault, and were in third-place entering the final stanza.
Kentucky wrapped up the afternoon with a 48.15 on bars. Hartley and Gross finished quality individual afternoons as they scored 9.8 and 9.825 respectively. Shelby Hilton also recovered from a disappointing vault score with a solid 9.75.
The 2013 SEC Gymnastics Championship will be aired March 28 at 5:30 p.m. ET on ESPNU and again on March 30 at 7:00 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Final Team Standings
Place Team Score
1. Florida: 198.000
2. Alabama: 197.900
3. LSU: 197.800
4. Georgia: 197.625
5. Auburn: 196.550
6. Arkansas: 196.400
7. Missouri: 195.525
8. Kentucky: 194.600
UK Scores: VAULT: 48.825, BARS: 48.150, BEAM: 48.5, FLOOR: 49.125
Vault: Sara Shipley: 9.775, Jill Chappel: 9.775, Audrey Harrison: 9.8, Beucler: 9.75 (Career-high), Cunningham: 9.725, Hilton: 8.3
Bars: Shipley: 9.2, Hilton: 9.75, Hartley: 9.8, Harrison: 9.575, Gross: 9.825, Sienkowski: 9.2
Beam: Kayla Sienkowski: 9.775, Shannon Mitchell: 9.825, Marissa Beucler: 9.3, Audrey Harrison: 9.3, Alexis Gross: 9.8, Holly Cunningham: 9.8.
Floor: Tiara Phipps: 9.775, Alexis Gross: 9.8 (T-career-high), Shannon Mitchell: 9.8, Audrey Harrison: 9.85. Kayla Hartley: 9.9, Marissa Beucler: 9.725
All-Around: Audrey Harrison: 38.525