By Jacob Most
Jan. 24, 2013 -
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Coming off back-to-back SEC dual meet wins for the first time ever, the No. 15 University of Kentucky gymnastics team will take on No. 5 Alabama inside Coleman Coliseum.
Friday’s meet will match Kentucky with another top-15 program for the second time in as many weeks as UK defeated then-No. 9 Arkansas Razorbacks in convincing fashion before 5,600 UK fans last Friday.
Kentucky took the meet 195.5-193.075 while winning every team and individual event.
The Wildcats (4-1, 2-0 SEC) continued their unprecedented start to the season as last Friday’s victory gave the program a 2-0 conference start for the first time ever. All four wins this season have come against higher-ranked opponents.
Kentucky is off to the best start in school history as the Wildcats have never before topped 195 in all three meets to begin the season.
Alabama (2-0, 2-0 SEC) is the two-time defending national champion.
Audrey Harrison has led the way in 2013 for the Wildcats. The Knoxville, Tenn., native won the individual all-around competition against Arkansas for the second consecutive week. The junior notched a career high 39.275 highlighted by her 9.9 to anchor on uneven bars, also a career high.
Harrison won individual titles on bars and floor exercise (9.85) last week. The junior now has four event titles this year and 11 all-time.
Holly Cunningham took her first event honor of the season on vault against Arkansas.
Shannon Mitchell and freshman Marissa Beucler shared the beam title last week. Both garnered 9.85s, as Beucler’s impressive score came in her first career competition.
The Wildcats have the ninth best average team score on bars in the nation this season and are ranked No. 14 on floor exercise. Harrison is ranked No. 18 nationally on bars and tied as the No. 24 all-arounder.
Friday’s competition will be Alabama’s “Power of Pink” meet as both teams will wear pink leotards to help raise awareness for the fight against breast cancer. Kentucky will wear pink again to help increase breast cancer awareness during the Feb. 15 home meet against Missouri.
Friday’s meet will air on Fox Sports Network on Feb. 2.
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