GymKats Notch Victory Over No. 12 Iowa, Finish Third at Arizona State Quad Meet
TEMPE, Ariz. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team put together its strongest vault performance of the year to overtakeNo. 12 Iowa for third place with a 194.350 at a quad meet hosted by Arizona State on Friday, March 16 at Wells Fargo Arena.No. 7 Nebraska collected the meet title with a 197.100, while the No. 8 Sun Devils finished second with a 195.575.
"We had a great meet for a road meet this late in the season," Coach Leah Little said. "The scores on floor just werent theretonight, even though we hit five of six routines and didnt get the scores we were accustomed to this season. We had to pull NicoleAllen from the lineup with an injury in warmups and had to go with some gymnasts who werent completely warmed up. Now we justhave to get focused on the Southeastern Conference Championships."
The GymKats (7-10, 0-5 SEC) got underway on the uneven bars and put together their best bar routines for the second straightweek, matching last weeks 49.000. Junior Jennifer Simmons gave her best performance of the season with a team-leading 9.850.She was followed closely by fellow junior Katie Toups and freshman Julie Joy, each with a 9.825, which was a season high forToups. Junior Jessie Lemp added a 9.800, while freshman Aronda Primault contributed a 9.700 to put UK in third place after thefirst rotation.
UK moved on to the balance beam in the second rotation where sophomore Mindy Smith again led the way with a 9.800.Primault and Simmons each added a 9.725, while Joy chipped in a 9.70 and Zaharias a 9.675. The GymKats total of 48.600 onbeam pushed their total up to 97.625, keeping them in third place overall. In the third rotation, UK was on what had been one of their best events the past month; however, the GymKats scored aseason-low 47.575 on the floor exercise to slip to fourth overall with 145.200 points. Senior Beth Coleman led the way with a9.675.
The GymKats finished the night strong by tying a season-best mark on the vault with a 49.150, the sixth-highest vault mark inschool history. Simmons hit a season best with a 9.900 to lead a group of four UK gymnasts to score top season marks. Joy wassecond for UK with a career-best 9.850, while Zaharias and Primault each scored a 9.825, a season best for Zaharias. Junior KatieToups rounded out the scoring for UK with 2001 best of 9.750.
In the all-around competition, Joy topped her previous career-high set last week with a 38.900 to lead UKs threeall-arounders and place third overall. Simmons was very close behind with a season-best 38.850, while Primault totaled a 38.800.
Vault 49.150 Bars 49.000Katie Toups 9.750 Aronda Primault 9.700Julie Joy 9.850 Jessie Lemp 9.800Melanie Zaharias 9.825 Julie Joy 9.825Aronda Primault 9.825 Katie Toups 9.825Jennifer Simmons 9.900 Jennifer Simmons 9.850Beth Coleman 9.400 Melanie Zaharias 9.150Beam 48.600 Floor 47.575Jennifer Simmons 9.725 Katie Toups 9.450Jessie Lemp 9.250 Beth Coleman 9.675Julie Joy 9.675 Jennifer Simmons 9.375Aronda Primault 9.725 Julie Joy 9.525Mindy Smith 9.800 Mindy Smith 9.200Melanie Zaharias 9.675 Aronda Primault 9.550All AroundJulie Joy 38.900Aronda Primault 38.850Jennifer Simmons 38.800