By Jacob Most
Jan. 17, 2013 -
LEXINGTON, Ky. – A pair of top-15 teams will duel when the No. 14 University of Kentucky gymnastics team hosts No. 9 Arkansas on Friday inside Memorial Coliseum.
The meet marks the 2013 edition of the annual Excite Night at the Kentucky Classic with festivities beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET and the meet getting underway at 7 p.m.
Kentucky (3-1, 1-0 SEC) is off to the best start in school history with a 195.325 average, as the Wildcats went 195.125 in the opener and 195.525 in a win against Auburn last Friday. Kentucky had never before topped 195 two straight weeks to begin the season.
The win at Auburn was the Wildcats’ first Southeastern Conference dual meet road win since 1999, and first victory in a SEC-opener since 2008.
Kentucky climbed 11 spots to No. 14 in the first full in-season edition of the GymInfo rankings earlier this week.
The ranking is the highest for Kentucky since the Wildcats checked in at No. 12 during February 2010.
Kayla Hartley is tied for the No. 17 national ranking in floor exercise with a 9.875 average. The junior, Versailles, Ky., native has won on floor at both of UK’s meets this season with a career high 9.9 coming on opening day at Cal.
Audrey Harrison is tied for No. 23 in the individual all-around rankings with a 39.125 average score. The junior tallied a season-high 39.2 last Friday in an all-around win at Auburn.
Kentucky posted the ninth-highest score in the nation during the opening-weekend when it earned a 195.125 in a quad-meet with California, Auburn and Arizona. The team score was the highest in a season-opening meet in UK history. The quality start bests UK’s previous best stretch to begin a year, when it posted a then-season opening school record score of 194.850 followed by a 195.525 in 2010.
Kentucky is ranked No. 9 nationally on uneven bars, No. 16 on floor, No. 19 on vault and No. 23 on balance beam.
The Wildcats snapped Arkansas’ winning streak in the matchup last season at the SEC Championships, which ran the all-time series to 18-1-1 in favor of the Razorbacks.
Live scoring as well as live streaming video coverage will be available on UKAthletics.com.
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