LEXINGTON, Ky. – The 20th-ranked Kentucky Gymnastics team topped 196 for the third consecutive meet in a 196.375-192.7 win over Bowling Green during Senior Night inside Memorial Coliseum on Friday.
Kayla Hartley clinched the second-highest team score in school history with a nearly-flawless floor exercise routine, which scored 9.9.
The Versailles, Ky., native nailed all her tumbling passes and executed her dance elements tremendously in the anchor spot, igniting the crowd into a deafening roar as a fitting end to the 2013 home season.
The performance gave Hartley the event title for the second week in a row, as it was also her first 9.9 since the season-opener. The junior has three event crowns from the past two meets.
The Wildcats excelled on floor overall on Friday as they scored 49.125, which tied the season-high on the evening’s closing rotation.
Holly Cunningham has also claimed three event titles in the most recent two competitions as she won balance beam on Friday with a 9.875, which matched the career-high beam score she first received last week.
Kenzie Hedges took the event honors on vault as she stuck her landing for a career-best 9.875.
“I feel great about the team's performance tonight," head coach Tim Garrison said. "More importantly, I feel really good about where we are as a team. We're still making mistakes, but there are fewer of them now. We still have work to do and we will be back in the gym Sunday focused and ready.
"One thing I do not feel we need to work on is our expectation level. This team wants more." Kentucky began the meet on vault behind Hedges’ career-score, and a 9.85 from Cunningham. The Wildcats led 49.1-48.725 after the first rotation.
Sara Shipley began uneven bars for UK in style with a career-high 9.85. Hartley and Alexis Gross produced quality routines, which were judged at 9.825. Harrison also had a great bars routine, including a stick dismount, which garnered a 9.8.
Kentucky totaled 49.025 on bars, and led 98.125-97.65 after two rotations.
The Wildcats would enjoy a solid run through beam as all five scores, which counted were 9.8 or higher. Cunningham led the way for the second week in a row, while Kayla Sienkowski also tied her career-high with a 9.825 on the back of a very nice dismount.
Kentucky scored more than 49 on beam (49.125) for the fourth time this season, and the third time in a row as another 196+ performance was well within reach heading to floor.
Hedges tied her season-best floor score with a 9.825 as she methodically went through all her passes. Shannon Mitchell also notched a 9.825 before Audrey Harrison recovered nicely from a disappointing beam routine with a top-notch 9.85 to set the stage for Hartley.
The hometown-favorite has enjoyed a top-quality junior season, and she capped off a great home win on Friday with arguably the best floor routine of her career to send the local fans home happy.