UK's 2011 Gymnastics Schedule Boasts Multiple NCAA Qualifiers

June 9, 2010

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics squad will navigate through a challenging 2011 schedule that includes meets against nine opponents that qualified for regional competition at last year's NCAA Championships, head coach Mo Mitchell announced Wednesday.

Kentucky will play host to five meets at Memorial Coliseum during the 2011 campaign, beginning with "Excite Night," its annual celebration to jumpstart the new season, on Jan. 8. The pre-meet festivities lead up to the Wildcats' competition with Illinois. The Illini competed along with the Wildcats at the NCAA Lexington regional last season.

"There are no easy roads on this schedule," Mitchell said. "It's going to be tough, but that's what we train for. In the SEC everyone's schedule is difficult.""Our nonconference schedule is very competitive as well with Illinois, who competed at our regional last year. Ohio State performed well last year even with injuries and Maryland is always tough at home."

UK also plays host to a trio of Southeastern Conference rivals as part of its six-meet league schedule. The Wildcats welcome Arkansas (Jan. 21) and Georgia (Jan. 28) on consecutive Fridays at the end of January. UK concludes its league slate against LSU on Feb. 25. Arkansas and LSU qualified for nationals last season, while Georgia participated in the NCAA Columbia, Mo., regional a year ago.

The Wildcats face three SEC foes on the road, travelling to Florida on Jan. 14, Auburn on Feb. 4 and Alabama on Feb. 18. The Crimson Tide finished third at the 2010 NCAA Championships while the Gators took fifth place. Auburn participated in the Salt Lake City NCAA regional but did not qualify for nationals.

Two days after competing at Alabama, Kentucky travels to Columbus, Ohio, to take on Ohio State on Feb. 20.

Kentucky closes out its regular-season slate with three meets in March. UK plays host to a quad meet against George Washington, Bowling Green State and Bridgeport on March 4. The Wildcats travel to Maryland for a dual meet on March 11 before competing in a quad meet at Pennsylvania against Maryland and California on March 13.

The SEC Championship is March 19 in Birmingham, Ala. The NCAA regionals are scheduled for April 2 at six locations, including Tuscaloosa, Ala., Denver, Athens, Ga., Ann Arbor, Mich., Norman, Okla., and Corvallis, Ore.

Cleveland, Ohio, serves as host for the NCAA Championships on April 15-17.