No. 15 Gymnastics Welcomes Illinois State and George Washington on Friday

March 11, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team concludes its regular-season home schedule when it plays host to Illinois State and George Washington Friday at Memorial Coliseum. Five Wildcats will be honored during "Senior Night" festivities beginning at 6:45 p.m. ET with the tri-meet to start 15 minutes later.

Jacque Behrendt (Franklin, Tenn.), Hillary Ferguson (Richmond, Ky.), Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.), Jamie Reimann (Johnston, Iowa) and Emilie Rymer (Medina, Ohio) have combined to win 55 event titles during their UK careers, helping lead the Wildcats to a standout 2010 campaign and No. 15 national ranking.

"It's an eclectic group that has been able to come together and make some valuable contributions to the program," head coach Mo Mitchell said. "They have competed in almost half of the events, so they are going to be missed.

"They are a special group that has come in together as a group of five and are leaving as a group of five," Mitchell said. "To be able to develop a bond like that is so uncommon in a lot of sports today, and then to compete all four years and make such an impact is a remarkable feat."

Kentucky (5-6) enters Friday's tri-meet ranked 15th nationally with a 195.600 regional qualifying score according to GymInfo. The Wildcats have been a mainstay among the top-25 rankings for each of the past nine weeks, its longest stretch since 1998.

Sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas), along with Ferguson and Green, rank among the top gymnasts nationally. Rose is listed 10th on the vault (9.900 RQS), while Ferguson and Green are tied for 25th on the floor exercise (9.870).

As a team, Kentucky is ranked in every event with a No. 9 listing on the floor exercise (49.125), No. 13 on the uneven bars (48.980), No. 14 on the vault (49.105) and No. 25 on the balance beam (48.540).

The Wildcats posted a season-high 196.050 score last week at Kent State to edge the Golden Eagles (195.950). UK's score marked the fifth highest tallied during Mitchell's seven-year head coaching tenure. UK also charted season-high scores on the beam (48.675) and bars (49.150). Rymer and Reimann shared title honors on the bars with 9.850 scores. Green and Ferguson shared title honors on the floor exercise with 9.900 scores.

"We're working toward ending the regular season on a high note," Mitchell said. "We need to go out on Friday, do our job and continue to build a higher RQS number."

Illinois State owns a 193.050 RQS after posting a 193.825-187.600 home victory over Alaska-Anchorage last Friday. George Washington finished second in a home tri-meet last week, posting a 192.375. The Colonials defeated William & Mary (191.750), but lost to New Hampshire (193.000). The Colonials own a 189.810 RQS.

Live results for the meet are available at UKathletics.com.

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