Four Wildcats Earn All- SEC Gymnastics Accolades
LEXINGTON, Ky. - Four University of Kentucky gymnasts earned All-Southeastern Conference honors, the league announced on Thursday.
Sophomore Taylor Puryear and freshman Sydney Waltz were named to the All-SEC Team, while Waltz and fellow freshman Cori Rechenmacher were named to the SEC All-Freshman Team. Junior Montana Whittle was named to the conference's Community Service Team.
Puryear and Waltz's selection to the All-SEC team marks the third consecutive year UK has had at least two named to the team. Prior to fourth-year head coach Tim Garrison's arrival in Lexington, Kentucky had just eight honorees in program history, and no more than one in a season.
Rechenmacher and Waltz are UK's first All-Freshman team selections in team history.
The two freshmen were recognized by the SEC for the first times in their careers, while Puryear and Whittle were both named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll last season.
Puryear and Waltz earned All-SEC honors after they tied for meet-high honors on floor with a 9.900 in the first session of the SEC Championships on March 21. Waltz's score marked a career best, while Puryear's was a season high.
Rechenmacher was named to the All-Freshman Team after a 9.800 on beam was the top score in the first session among freshmen. She was second on the team and tied for fourth among all competitors on the event in the championships' opening session.
Whittle earned UK's Community Service Team nomination after she logged over 100 hours of community service this year. The Lincoln, Neb., native's work was highlighted by a 10-day service trip to Ethiopia with a group of UK student-athletes. The group repainted schools, helped build houses and interacted with several communities. Whittle also participated in several team-wide community service projects, including working with Habitat for Humanity and collecting Halloween costumes for the teams' inaugural Halloween Costume Drive.
The Wildcats return to action at the NCAA Regionals, where UK will make its program-record 11th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance and 27th overall. Held on April 4 at 6 p.m. ET, UK was selected to compete in Columbus, Ohio, against No. 6 Michigan, No. 7 UCLA, No. 18 Arizona, Central Michigan and Ohio State. The top two teams from each of the six regional sites advance to the national championships.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.