Gymnastics Heads to Las Vegas for Lady Luck Invitational

Jan. 12, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 14th-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics squad (1-0) travels to Las Vegas to compete against No. 15 Missouri (1-0), No. 16 LSU (1-0) and Arizona State (0-0) at the Lady Luck Invitational Friday, Jan. 15. The South Point Casino Hotel plays host to the meet beginning at 10 p.m. EST.

The Wildcats, who own their highest national ranking since 2002, are coming off a 194.850-187.250 season-opening home victory over Texas Woman's University on Jan. 9 at Memorial Coliseum.

Sophomore Storey Morris (Tyler, Texas) headlined Kentucky's gymnasts, sharing titlist honors in two events. Morris recorded a personal best in matching teammate senior Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.) for first place on the beam with a 9.825. Morris also shared top honors on the uneven bars with teammates senior Jacque Behrendt (Franklin, Tenn.) and senior Jamie Reimann (Johnston, Iowa) by scoring a 9.750.

UK senior Hillary Ferguson (Richmond, Ky.) and sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) shared title honors on the vault with a 9.850. UK junior Jasmine Minion (Memphis, Tenn.) took title honors on the floor exercise with a 9.825. UK junior Andrea Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.), who tied a personal best on the floor exercise with a 9.800, took first place in the all-around competition with a 38.800.

"This weekend gives the team a chance to see how it measures up against some of the nation's best squads," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "It's a different ball game now and we'll have our first SEC matchup with LSU. We've worked on some of the mistakes that were made last week and we look forward to having a better showing on Friday."

Sixteenth-ranked Missouri posted a season opening 194.725-190.650 win over No. 18 Ohio State on Jan. 8. Sophomore Mary Burke took her first collegiate all-around title with a 39.200 to match her career high. Missouri won three of the four events.

LSU earned a No. 16 ranking after recording a 194.375-190.625 win over Maryland on Jan. 8. The Tigers are led by senior Susan Jackson who is ranked fifth in the nation in the all-around. She ranks nationally tied for third on the floor, tied for 11th on the vault and tied for 25th on the vault.

Arizona State opens its 2010 season this weekend. The Sun Devils are led by juniors Mary Atkinson and Beate Jones. Jones, an All-Pac-10 first team selection in the all-around last season, will lead a group of 10 underclassmen. Head coach John Spini adds four freshmen: Amelia Rew, Nicole Johnson, Jordan McInyre and Christina Salavec who are expected to make an immediate impact. The Sun Devils finished fifth at the NCAA South Central Regional in 2009.