Feb. 3, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Fresh off its best meet of the season where it posted a season-high team score of 195, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team looks for more of the same when they begin a difficult three-meet road swing at No. 22 Auburn inside Auburn Arena on Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
“It felt good to get back in the gym this week with some momentum under our belt,” assistant coach Chuck Dickerson said. “We hope to use what we did last week as a spring board for the rest of the season. The girls have worked hard this week to keep the momentum going.”
Kentucky (2-3, 0-3 Southeastern Conference) was impressive last week, hanging with No. 3 Georgia the entire meet. The Wildcats took home the team title on vault and floor exercise, while posting season-high scores on beam and floor. Senior Phylicia Reshard was the star of the meet for Kentucky, gathering the Wildcats first all-around title in a SEC dual meet since 2007. The native of West Chester, Ohio, scored career-high marks on uneven bars and beam, while tying a career high on floor to take home the all-around title with a score of 39.250.
Three Wildcats took home event titles last week with Reshard and fellow senior Jasmine Minion earning honors on floor and junior Whitney Rose claiming her third event title on vault this season. The medalist honors were the first of Reshard’s career, while Minion claimed her seventh career title. The event honors for Rose on vault were the 12th of her career.
Auburn (1-3, 1-2 SEC) is also coming off its best meet of the season, where the Tigers scored a season-high mark of 195.150. AU has been good on all four events this season, but excel on bars and beam where it ranks in the top 25 in the nation. The Tigers come into the meet ranked 22nd in the nation with an average of 48.706, while they sit sixth on beam with a 48.825 average. Individually, Auburn has two gymnasts ranked among the nation’s best with Kylie Shields tied for fourth on beam with a 9.85 average and Rachel Inniss is tied for 11th on beam with a 9.838 average and tied for 14th on floor with a 9.856 average.
“Auburn is another really good team and always performs well at home,” Dickerson said. “They are under a new coach this year and are starting to really put things together. Hopefully, we can go down there and perform to our ability and continue to get better.”
After the Wildcats face No. 22 Auburn on Friday, Kentucky will have two weeks until its next meet. Starting with a road trip to No. 6 Alabama on Feb. 18, UK will have a total of four meets in 10 days, starting with the showdown with the Tide. UK then travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a dual meet with No. 16 Ohio State on Feb. 20, before coming back home to Lexington on Feb. 25 to face No. 24 LSU. Kentucky finishes the road trip by heading west to face No. 10 Nebraska, No. 23 Iowa and Bowling Green in Lincoln, Neb., on Feb. 27.
Live scores from the meet with Auburn are available at UKathletics.com. For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team, follow “UKGymnastics” on Twitter and Facebook.