No. 11 UK Gymnastics Travels to No. 9 Georgia Friday

Feb. 3, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team travels to battle No. 9 Georgia, Friday, Feb. 5, at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens, Ga. The first rotation begins at 7:30 p.m. EST. The meet will be broadcast on a delayed basis by Fox Sports South on Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. EST.

At No. 11 according to GymInfo, Kentucky (3-3, 1-2 SEC) owns its highest national ranking since 1998 heading into its meet with five-time defending national champion Georgia. Kentucky was ranked eighth on Feb. 24, 1998 and achieved its highest ranking in school history at No. 5 on Jan. 20 of that year. Kentucky entered this season unranked, but climbed to 14th after recording a 194.850 in a win over Texas Woman's University on Jan. 9. The Wildcats have been listed at No. 12 each of the past two weeks.

Kentucky's team average of 195.262 after six meets ranks fifth among Southeastern Conference schools and second to No. 1 Alabama (196.494) among schools in the central region.

"We're excited about our ranking," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "It means a lot because our players continue to believe more in themselves and build more confidence."

Kentucky ranks among the nation's top 20 teams on all four events, third on the floor exercise (49.056), 11th on vault (49.006), 17th on the balance beam (48.462) and tied for 17th on the uneven bars (48.737). Individually, senior Hillary Ferguson (Richmond, Ky.) is listed 21st in the nation on the floor exercise with a 9.844 average.

"We're pleased with our ranking on the floor and vault," Mitchell said. "We've worked really hard in those areas. But our future success as a team will be directly proportional to how we perform on bars and beam. We want to put all four events together. If we can do that, we'll find ourselves having a lot of success."

The Wildcats are coming off a 196.750-195.325 setback to Arkansas last Friday in Fayetteville, Ark. Sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) recorded UK's best vault score of the season with a 9.925 to share title honors with Jaime Pisani of Arkansas. The vault score is tied for third highest in the SEC this season.

Senior Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.) took second place on the beam at 9.875 behind Casey Jo Magee (9.900) of Arkansas. Senior Emilie Rymer (Medina, Ohio) tied Pisani of Arkansas for third with a 9.825.Ferguson finished second on the floor exercise for UK with a 9.875. Junior Andrea Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.) led Kentucky on the bars with a 9.775, tying for fourth.

Georgia (1-3, 0-3 SEC) plays its first home meet in almost a month when Kentucky comes to town on Friday. The Gym Dogs continue to look for their first SEC victory of the season after suffering a 195.225-194.900 road loss at Auburn last week.

Live results for the Kentucky-Georgia meet will be available at georgiadogs.com.

The national rankings are tabulated by total season average from Jan. 11 through Feb. 8, with the regional qualifying score determining the rankings beginning Feb. 15.

Stay tuned to UKathletics.com for complete coverage of the UK gymnastics team and follow "UKGymnastics" on Facebook and Twitter.