UK Gymnastics Qualifies for NCAA Central Regional Championship

March 29, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team has qualified to compete at the NCAA Central Regional Championship on April 10 hosted by the Wildcats at Memorial Coliseum. Fans can purchase tickets by contacting the UK ticket office at 1-800-928-CATS. Reserved seating is $6. Adult general admission is $5. Youth, senior citizen and UK student general admission is $2.

UK is one of 36 teams from around the country to qualify for a regional invitation. Lexington is one of six national sites to play host to six competing teams, joining Los Angeles, Calif., Salt Lake City, Utah, Columbia, Mo., University Park, Pa., and Morgantown, WVa. The top two performing teams from each regional advance to the NCAA Championship finals on April 22-24 in Gainesville, Fla. Top all-arounders and individual specialists advance as well.

Joining 20th-ranked Kentucky in the Lexington Regional is top-ranked Alabama, as well as No. 12 Nebraska, No. 13 Illinois, No. 24 Central Michigan and No. 27 Michigan State.

It marks the sixth consecutive year and the 25th time in school history that UK has advanced to the NCAA regional competition. The Wildcats have taken part in an NCAA regional six times in seven seasons under head coach Mo Mitchell. UK has finished as high as fourth place three times, including 2001, 2005 and 2006.

"We are excited for the opportunity to compete in the regional round," Mitchell said. "We look forward to competing at home and hope our fans will come out and support us."

Kentucky has ranked among the nation's top 25 teams for each of the last 12 weeks, the program's longest stretch since 1998. The Wildcats earned their invitation with a 195.600 regional qualifying score. UK is ranked 14th on the floor exercise (49.145), 16th on the vault (49.105), tied for 18th on the uneven bars (48.980) and 28th on the balance beam (48.670). Sophomore Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) leads UK's efforts on the vault, tied for 14th in the nation with a 9.900 RQS. Senior Hillary Ferguson (Richmond, Ky.) is tied for 35th on the floor exercise with a 9.875 RQS. Senior Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.) is tied for 39th on floor exercise with a 9.870 RQS.

The Wildcats are coming of a seventh-place finish at the SEC Championship last weekend in Jacksonville, Fla.