GymKat Rally Nearly Takes Out National Champs
March 8, 2003
The University of Kentucky gymnastics team gave a great performance against the third-ranked team in the nation in front of 6,881 fans at Coleman Coliseum in Tuscaloosa on Saturday, March 8, just missing No. 3 Alabama. The final score 196.475-195.125 did not tell the story of the meet, which had the GymKats leading the defending national champion Crimson Tide at the end of three rotations.
The GymKats began the evening on the uneven bars, where they posted a season-high mark of 48.775. Senior Julia Gore led the way for Kentucky, scoring a team-high 9.875. Sophomore Michelle Gales scored a career-best 9.800, and matching 9.725's were added by juniors Julie Joy and Aronda Primault.
Kentucky moved to the vault, where freshman Krista Roemerman led off the rotation with a 9.700 on her first-ever collegiate vault. The GymKat scores continued to go up during on vault. Primault led the squad with a strong 9.900, followed closely by Gore's 9.850 and sophomore Lindsay Cameron's 9.825. A 9.800 from Gales and a 9.775 from sophomore Kara Prestigiacomo gave Kentucky a total of 49.150. The Wildcats took a 0.175 lead into the intermission.
The GymKats again looked strong on their third rotation, the floor exercise. Gales led the way with an inspired 9.925 that included a double layout and a double tuck on her first two passes. Primault gave a 9.850, while Gore and sophomore Krista Prestigiacomo threw 9.800's into Kentucky's team total of 49.025, their second highest score of the season. The Wildcats held onto the lead over the defending national champions after three rotations, 146.950-146.875.
The final rotation of the afternoon featured Kentucky on beam and Alabama on floor. Gore led the Cats with a 9.800, supported by Primault, Gore and senior Mindy Smith, who each posted scores above 9.700. The GymKats were forced to count their first fall of the evening, however, in the event, and came away with a score of 48.175. Bama's floor exercise, currently ranked second in the nation, pulled out a 49.600, to save the narrow victory for the No. 3 GymTide.
All three of UK's all-arounders scored above 39.250, led by Gore's 39.325. The GymKats team total of 195.125 allows them to discard their score from Florida, immediately raising their team RQS by six-tenths of a point.
Kentucky will complete its 2003 home schedule on Friday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. ET, when Denver University and Southeast Missouri visit Memorial Coliseum for "Blue & White Senior Night." UK seniors Karla Adelt, Julia Gore, Jennifer Simmons, Mindy Smith and Melanie Zaharias will be honored prior to the meet.
Individual Apparatus Results (Kentucky only - full results available at www.rolltide.com)