No. 20 Kentucky Prepares to Host NCAA Gymnastics Regional

April 8, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The 20th-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics team plays host to the NCAA Lexington Regional Championships Saturday at Memorial Coliseum at 6 p.m. Fans can purchase tickets by contacting the UK ticket office at 1-800-928-CATS. Reserved seating is $6 while adult general admission is $5. Youth, senior citizen and UK student general admission is $2.

The Wildcats are one of six teams along with No. 1 Alabama, No. 12 Nebraska, No. 13 Illinois, No. 24 Central Michigan and No. 27 Michigan State competing at the event. Individual event specialists and all-arounders from Ball State, Bowling Green State, Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan also make up the field.

The top two scoring teams advance to the NCAA Championships final in Gainesville, Fla., on April 22-24. In addition, the top two all-arounders not from a qualifying team as well as each event winner - if they are not already qualified with a team or as an all-arounder - move on to Florida.

Kentucky is making its 22nd appearance at the NCAA regionals, including its sixth in a row. The Wildcats have finished as high as third twice at the NCAA regionals, but has yet to advance to the NCAA Championships final. UK earned an invite after acquiring a 195.600 regional qualifying score during the season, its best score in school history entering the postseason.

"We've had two weeks of good practice leading up to regionals," eighth-year head coach Mo Mitchell said. "We're in a good position, where if we do our job, we have a good chance of advancing. We're hoping fans will come out and support us."

Kentucky has been ranked among the top 25 programs in the nation for each of the past 12 weeks, the longest stretch for the Wildcats since 1998. 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.

Live stats are available at UKathletics.com and the NCAA Gymnastics Lexington Regional web site at UKathletics.com/ncaagymnastics/.