Gymnastics Travels to Ball State for Exhibition

Dec. 4, 2009

LEXINGTON, Ky. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics squad travels to Ball State for an exhibition meet Saturday, Dec. 5 in Muncie, Ind. Rotations begin at 1 p.m. EST at Worthen Arena.

The Wildcats return 11 letterwinners -- including five seniors, four juniors and 2009 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year Whitney Rose (Frisco, Texas) -- all intent on improving on last season's 8-14 overall record.

"The team is really excited to go to Ball State and begin to show the improvements we've made from last season," seventh-year head coach Mo Mitchell said. "We've worked very hard, beginning earlier this summer, to develop a new mindset, an attitude toward raising expectations. We have really good athletes here who are capable of being the best in the conference and the country."

Kentucky looks to remain one the nation's best squads on vault. The Wildcats, who finished at No. 14 nationally in the event last season, return senior Emily Green (Penfield, N.Y.), junior Jasmine Minion (Memphis, Tenn.) and Rose. The trio won seven titles in the event in 2009, with Green ranking as high as 24th nationally during the season.

UK's deepest event could come on the uneven bars, where Mitchell says he could choose from as many as 10 athletes. Rose, along with senior Jamie Reimann (Johnston, Iowa), junior Collen Williams (Naperville, Ill.), sophomore Storey Morris (Tyler, Texas), and freshman Caitlyn Ciokajlo (Brooklyn, Mich.) look to lead the list of competitors.

Senior Emilie Rymer (Medino, Ohio), who could make strong contributions on vault, joins Andrea Mitchell (Knoxville, Tenn.), Green, Minion and Rose as proven performers on the beam for Kentucky.

Green and Rose will help anchor UK's effort on the floor exercise. Green posted scores of 9.825 or better in five of the last seven meets last year."Overall, I think we have a strong team," Mitchell said. "What are going to be the strengths of our team are our attitude and work ethic and how we approach the season, which is totally different than last year."

The Wildcats kick off regular-season competition with "Excite Night" against Texas Woman's University, Saturday, Jan. 9 at 6:30 p.m. EST at Memorial Coliseum. Numerous UK prizes will be given away throughout the evening and the entire team will sign autographs following the meet.

Tickets can be purchased by calling the UK ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at the Joe Craft Ticket Office on the night of the event. Group tickets (20 or more people) are available by calling the ticket office in advance of the event.