No. 12 UK Gymnastics Prepares to Face No. 2 Alabama

Feb. 24, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- - The 12th-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics team plays host to second-ranked Alabama on Friday at Memorial Coliseum. The dual meet starts at 7 p.m. EST and will be televised on a delayed basis on March 4 by CSS.

The Wildcats are ranked among the nation's top 25 squads for the seventh consecutive week - the fourth longest streak in school history. Three UK gymnasts rank among the nation's best with sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) tied for seventh on the vault (9.890), senior Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.) tied for 18th on the floor exercise (9.850) and senior Hillary Ferguson (Richmond, Ky.) tied for 23rd on the floor exercise (9.845).

Rose has won the vault title at each of UK's last four meets. Green has taken first place on the floor exercise at each of the last three home meets for Kentucky.

"Whitney is very confident on the vault," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "She is very talented and brings great leadership to the team on and off the floor. Green is a very spunky and confident gymnast and her floor routine is a crowd pleaser at home and away meets. Her choreography is unique and fits her to a T."

Kentucky (4-5, 1-4 Southeastern Conference) is coming off a 195.850-193.975 victory over visiting Ohio State last Friday with the Wildcats registering a season-high team score. UK swept all four events and junior Andrea Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.) claimed her first all-around title of the season with a 39.125.

Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) also won its non-conference home meet last week, topping then-No. 21 Arizona 197.250-195.100. It marked the Crimson Tide's third 197-plus team score of the season.

"We feel like our team can go 197 and that's our goal," Mitchell said. "We have the hunger, desire and work ethic to get there. We've performed well in practice and in certain areas during our meets, but we haven't put together a complete meet to this point in the season."

Friday's contest with Alabama also marks UK Faculty and Staff Appreciation Night and UK Alumni Association Night. UK faculty and staff and up to three guests receive free admission to the meet. UK Alumni Association members also receive free admission with their membership card. The first 100 UK faculty and staff will receive a free UK gymnastics pad folio notebook.

Live results for the Alabama-Kentucky meet will be available at UKathletics.com.

For complete coverage of Kentucky gymnastics, please visit www.UKathletics.com and follow "UKGymnastics" on Facebook and Twitter.