UK Gymnastics Steps Outside SEC Play to Welcome Ohio State

Feb. 18, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team steps outside its Southeastern Conference schedule Friday when it plays host to Ohio State at Memorial Coliseum. The dual meet is slated to start at 7 p.m. EST.

Pink MeetFriday's meet marks UK's annual "Pink Meet." Fans wearing pink receive $1 admission. All ticket proceeds benefit breast cancer research, education and treatment at the Markey Cancer Center. The first 250 fans will receive pink backpacks while the first 50 UK students will be given free Nike pullovers. "Pink Meet" T-shirts also will be available for purchase. Fans also can register to win a $50 gift card from Movie Tavern.

Kentucky (3-5, 1-4 SEC) remains ranked among the nation's top 15 teams for the sixth consecutive week, listed at No. 14 according to the latest GymInfo rankings with a 195.338 scoring average. Sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) ranks 28th in the nation on the vault, averaging a 9.842 score. She has won or shared title honors on the vault each of the past three weeks.

Storey Morris (Tyler, Texas) and Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.) each have won three titles for UK this season. Morris set career highs on the uneven bars (9.875) and the balance beam (9.825) last week against Auburn, finishing second and third, respectively, in the events. Green has recorded standout scores on the floor exercise at the last two home meets for the Wildcats. She posted a career-high 9.950 against Florida on Jan. 22 and a 9.900 score against Auburn last week. Her 9.950 score on the floor exercise against Florida is tied for the second-best score by an SEC gymnast this season.

UK is coming off a 196.400-195.425 setback at home to then-No. 14 Auburn last Friday. The Wildcats won the vault and floor team titles, but were overtaken by the Tigers on the bars and beam.

"I was very disappointed after the last meet. We went back to the drawing board to adjust some things we hope will make a difference this week," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "This is our seventh meet of the season and we just need to put it together. We feel like we need to take the next step at this point in the year."

Kentucky's all-around team scores have hovered between 194.850 and 195.550 through the first half of the season and Mitchell says the squad is capable of better results.

"We've been pushing the team not to settle," Mitchell said. "We have to fight a little bit harder and work a little bit harder. Going from a 193 to 195 (team score) is work, but going from 195 to 197 is harder work. You have to be willing to take that step to get those numbers."

Ohio State (1-5, 0-2 Big Ten) is coming off a 195.650-192.800 loss at home to West Virginia on Feb. 13. For complete coverage of Kentucky gymnastics, please visit www.ukathletics.com and follow "UKGymnastics" on Facebook and Twitter. Live results for Friday's meet will be available at UKathletics.com.