UK Gymnastics Jumps to No. 16 after Season-Opening Win

Jan. 10, 2011

LEXINGTON, Ky. - Fresh off a victory over then-No. 17 Illinois and Northern Illinois in its season opener, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team has moved up eight spots in this week's GymInfo team rankings to No. 16.

Senior Andrea Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.) highlights the rankings for Kentucky as the nation's top gymnast on floor exercise. Mitchell scored a 9.95 Saturday to claim the highest floor score in the country this season and the third highest score in school history. Fellow senior Jasmine Minion (Memphis, Tenn.), who scored a career high 9.925 on floor Saturday, is tied for No. 2 in the country. As a team, Kentucky ranks second in the country on the event with a score of 49.1.

"This team has worked hard to get prepared for the season and I think that moving up in the rankings is a sign of that hard work paying off," assistant coach Heather Hite said. "However, we know that it is a long season and there are still improvements that need to be made. The girls know there is still work to be done and hopefully Saturday's showing will motivate them to do even better going forward."

Kentucky (2-0) entered the season at No. 24 but made the move up the rankings with a score of 194.350 in the season-opening victory. Along with the overall team rankings, the Wildcats are ranked in the top 25 in every event as a team. Kentucky is tied for 17th on uneven bars, tied for 22nd on vault and 25th on beam.

The ranking marks the 15th consecutive week that the Wildcats have been ranked inside the GymInfo top 25. UK started the 2010 season unranked before jumping to No. 14 in the rankings after the season opener. Team rankings are tabulated by season average for the first part of the season and then by regional qualifying scores from Feb. 21 to the end of the season.

Mitchell and Minion are not the only Wildcats that are listed in the top 25 nationally. Senior Phylicia Reshard (West Chester, Ohio) and junior Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) were rewarded for their impressive performances on floor as Reshard is tied for 10th after a 9.875 and Rose is tied for 20th with a 9.85. Sophomore Caitlyn Ciokajlo (Brooklyn, Mich.),who won her first event title on bars at the meet Saturday, is tied for 23rd in the country on the event. Mitchell wraps up the rankings coming in at No. 24 in the country on the all-around competition with a score of 38.975.

The Wildcats will be back in action this weekend when they open up Southeastern Conference action at No. 1 Florida on Friday at 8 p.m. ET. The Gators are the defending SEC Champions.