Wildcats Unite to Conquer New Challenge

Feb. 12, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - What would you do for success if you already dedicated yourself to hours of practice, workouts and treatments? The Kentucky gymnastics team has collectively decided to give up a favorite activity which they love to do in the few moments they have to themselves outside the gym, coaches included.

This was not a coach's idea or demand; it came as a suggestion that all gymnasts have voluntarily committed themselves to uphold. Every member will maintain their restraint until the team secures a score of at least 196.000. Once the goal is achieved, everyone can return to their beloved activities. However, if scores happen to dip below the target, the gymnasts and their coaches must return to making sacrifices.

The most popular items given up were food related (5), favorite television shows (4) and napping (3).

• Jacque Behrendt - napping
• Bridget Carreiro - watching her favorite TV show
• Hillary Ferguson - watching her favorite TV show
• Emily Green - reading for pleasure
• Heather Hite - watching her favorite TV show
• Jasmine Minion - shopping
• Andrea Mitchell - coloring/art
• Storey Morris - sweets
• Jamie Reimann - eating at her favorite sandwich restaurant
• Phylicia Reshard - napping
• Whitney Rose - her favorite social networking site
• Natalie Rubinstein - watching her favorite TV show
• Emilie Rymer - getting her nails done
• Jennifer Taylor - napping
• Colleen Williams - soda

Assistant coaches Chuck Dickerson and Jackie McCarter each gave up drinking their favorite beverages, lemon-lime soda and coffee. As for head coach Mo Mitchell, he has parted with his razor and began growing a beard.

The goal is definitely within reach as the Cats have already scored a 195.225 against LSU on Jan. 23 in Lexington. Despite the adversity, the Wildcats have maintained positive attitudes and displayed the willingness to do whatever it takes to achieve the score.

"We have a tight-knit group of athletes on this team," Mitchell said. "They are all devoted to one goal and with their determination, which should really help us be successful."

Kentucky's next opportunity to gain back its forfeited items/hobbies is Friday in a tri-meet against No. 3 Georgia and Centenary in Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET.