No. 22 GymKats Open Season with "Exciting" Victory Over Colonials
Jan. 10, 2003
The 22nd-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics team opened the 2003 season Friday with a 193.625-191.500 victory over regional rival George Washington in front of a crowd of 6,215 during Excite Nite at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Ky. The GymKats won three of the four events, with their highest total, 48.700, coming on the balance beam.
Junior All-American Aronda Primault led the way for Kentucky, posting an all-around total of 39.100. She was followed closely by teammate Julia Gore, a senior, who added a 39.050. The highest single event score of the night, 9.875, came from Gore on bars and senior Mindy Smith on beam.
"I was thrilled with the crowd and the excitement of the fans tonight," UK Coach Leah Little said. "We need to carry that high level of intensity through the entire season. This was our first meet, and now that we have competed we know exactly what we need to work on. All-in-all, things went very well, and now we have to turn our attention to next weekend's meet with LSU."
The GymKats opened the evening on vault, where they put up a 48.625, the second highest event total of the competition. Gore, Primault and sophomore Michelle Gales paced the Cats, each scoring 9.775.
Kentucky jumped out to a two-point lead after the first event and never looked back. The second rotation saw UK on bars, where the GymKats scored 48.150. Gore earned her second consecutive event crown with a 9.875, followed by Joy's 9.775 and a 9.725 from Primault.
After intermission the Cats moved to the balanced beam, where an inspired performance saw UK score a meet-high 48.700, which matches Kentucky's second-highest beam score from last season. Smith, performing last for the Wildcats, wrapped up the event with a strong 9.875, exceeding her high score from 2002. Primault added a 9.800 for Kentucky, while Gore notched a 9.750.
On the final event, the floor exercise, Kentucky's high-flying duo of Primault and Gales each scored a 9.800 to lead the GymKats. UK held off the Colonials in the final rotation to take the victory by 2.125 points.
The Cats continue their 2003 campaign on Friday, Jan. 17, at 7:30 p.m., when LSU and Centenary College visit Memorial Coliseum. The Tigers began the season ranked No. 9 in the nation and competed at the Bahama Breeze Invitational this weekend.
Team Scores 1. Kentucky 193.625 2. George Washington 191.500
Individual Apparatus Results
Bars: UK - 48.150; GW - 46.425
Beam: UK - 48.700; GW - 48.150
Floor: UK - 48.150; GW - 48.600