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UK Travels to Arkansas, Nebraska for Rare Two-Meet Weekend

Head coach Tim Garrison spent five years at Nebraska as an assistant coach

Head coach Tim Garrison spent five years at Nebraska as an assistant coach

Feb. 20, 2014

UK AT NO. 13 ARKANSAS, AT NO. 8 NEBRASKA & VS. BRIDGEPORT, UW-STOUT
UK at Arkansas:
Friday, Feb. 21, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET
UK at Nebraska: Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014 at 3 p.m. ET

Live Video: at Arkansas | at Nebraska
Live Results: at Arkansas | at Nebraska
Meet Info: Meet Notes
Additional Info: Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

LEXINGTON, Ky. – For the first time since 2011, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team competes twice in one weekend, at No. 13 Arkansas on Feb. 21 and at Nebraska on Feb. 23. The Wildcats and Razorbacks square off at 8 p.m. ET, while UK competes against the Huskers, along with Bridgeport and Wisconsin-Stout at 3 p.m. Sunday.

The Wildcats enter the weekend with a 4-7 record, 1-3 in SEC competition. UK posted a 194.850 in a neutral-site loss to then-No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 LSU and No. 17 Arizona on Feb. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas. Kentucky notched a 49.050 on both floor and uneven bars, while sophomore Amy Roemmele recorded a career-best 9.850 on both bars and beam. Sophomore Marissa Beucler and redshirt junior Kayla Hartley each tallied their first 9.900’s of the season, on bars and floor, respectively.

PRIMER: UK AT NO. 13 ARKANSAS
Friday’s weekend-opener in Arkansas’ Barnhill Arena begins at 8 p.m. The Wildcats have won back-to-back meets against the Razorbacks, including a 195.500-193.075 upset victory last season in Lexington.

Live video and live results will be available on ArkansasRazorbacks.com. The meet will also be broadcast on Fox Sports Net and air on March 1 at 2 p.m. ET. Brian Drebber and Lori Strong-Ballard will have the call.

Arkansas, ranked 13th nationally with a 196.125 average, is 3-4 on the season and 1-4 in SEC meets. The Razorbacks opened the season with wins over Western Michigan, Bridgeport and Missouri before losses to No. 7 Alabama, No. 12 Auburn, No. 3 LSU and No. 1 Florida. UA is eighth nationally on beam, 11th on vault, 16th on floor and 19th on uneven bars.

PRIMER: UK AT NO. 8 NEBRASKA, VS. BRIDGEPORT AND WISCONSIN-STOUT
UK will then travel to Lincoln, Neb. to face No. 8 Nebraska, Bridgeport and Wisconsin-Stout Sunday at 3 p.m. ET. The meeting between the Wildcats and Huskers is a rematch of the Ozone Challenge, Jan. 18 in Knoxville, Tenn. The three-team competition saw NU upset then-No. 3 Alabama, while UK placed third with a 194.650.

A live video stream and live stats from the Devany Center can be found on Huskers.com.

No. 8 Nebraska is 6-1 and 3-1 in Big Ten competition. The Huskers, who have been ranked in the top 10 all season, have beaten No. 14 Minnesota and No. 23 Penn State along with their upset win over Alabama. NU’s lone loss came to No. 8 Michigan. Nebraska is in the top ten on all four events, led by its sixth-place ranking on beam. The Huskers are seventh on vault, ninth on floor and 10th on bars.

Bridgeport, who competes in the Eastern College Athletic Conference and is ranked 60th nationally, is 9-2 and 0-1 in league meets. The Knights’ highest-ranked opponent was Arkansas in the season-opener, when UB finished second in the three-team event with a 190.875, behind the Razorbacks and ahead of Western Michigan. The Knights are 57th on vault and 58th nationally on beam, while they are 60th on bars and 63rd on floor.

Wisconsin-Stout is 5-5 and 1-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and ranked 78th nationally with a 180.414 average. The Blue Devils boast wins over Winona State, UW-Eau Claire, Gustavus Adolphus College and two wins over Hamline. Stout is a perfect 4-0 in its last three meets. The Blue Devils’ highest event ranking is vault, at 73rd, while they are 76th on floor, 77th on bars and 79 nationally on beam.

HOMECOMING FOR GARRISON, WHITTLE
Sunday’s meet in Lincoln, Neb., is a homecoming for head coach Tim Garrison, a former Nebraska assistant coach, and sophomore Montana Whittle, a Lincoln native.

Garrison coached NU from 2006-11, where he helped the Huskers make two NCAA Super Six appearances and win two Big 12 Conference titles. In his five years at Nebraska, Garrison helped produce 10 NCAA All-Americans. In 2011, Garrison helped lead the Huskers back to the NCAA Super Six Finals and finished fourth, where they matched their best finish in school history.

Whittle was coached by Garrison his wife Rachel Garrison along with Tanya Gifford at the Nebraska School of Gymnastics. She was a Region Four Champion on uneven bars in 2011 and 2010 to go along with Regional Championship on floor exercise in 2010 and 2009. She also was a Nebraska State Champion in the all-around, beam, bars and floor in 2011.

LAST YEAR VS. THE RAZORBACKS
More than 5,600 fans witnessed UK gymnastics history on Jan. 18, 2013 in Memorial Coliseum as then-No. 14 Kentucky upset No. 9 Arkansas in convincing fashion. The Wildcats won 195.500-193.075 and claimed every team and individual event title.

The victory gave the Wildcats back-to-back Southeastern Conference wins for the first time in program history. The win was also UK’s second in a row against its SEC rivals.

Audrey Harrison stole the Excite Night show, winning the individual all-around competition with a 39.275. She scored a 9.9 to anchor uneven bars to win the event along with floor exercise. Marissa Beucler and Shannon Mitchell shared meet-high scores on beam with a 9.825, while Holly Cunningham scored a 9.825 to win vault.

JAN. 18, 2014 VS. THE HUSKERS
In its first road competition of the season, UK fell to No. 6 Nebraska and No. 3 Alabama at the Ozone Collegiate Gymnastic Classic on Jan. 18 in Knoxville, Tenn. The Wildcats scored a 194.650, behind the Cornhuskers’ 196.250 and the Crimson Tide’s 196.050.

Kentucky scored a 48.875 on floor, the second-highest total at the meet, along with a season-high 48.750 on vault, a 48.625 on beam and a 48.400 on bars. Senior Audrey Harrison, a Knoxville native, came in third in the all-around with a season-high 39.175. Her total came behind two Nebraska gymnasts and just 0.250 out of second place.

UK tallied 12 individual season high scores, while sophomore Marissa Beucler registered a career-high-tying 9.725 on vault.

UP NEXT: VS. AUBURN, FEB. 28, 7 P.M. ET
The Wildcats return home to face Auburn on Feb. 28 at 7 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum. The second-to-last home meet of the season, UK will look to win its second consecutive meet against the Tigers after a 195.525-194.250 win in 2013.

LAST TIME OUT: AT METROPLEX CHALLENGE
Competing against three teams ranked in the top 17, including two of the nation’s top three teams, Kentucky placed fourth at the Metroplex Challenge on Feb. 15 in Fort Worth, Texas.

At a neutral-site competition for the second time this season, the Wildcats (4-5, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) scored a 194.850, to finish behind No. 2 Oklahoma’s 198.175, No. 3 LSU’s 197.875 and 17th-ranked Arizona’s 195.625. For the second consecutive meet, UK posted a 49.000 or higher on two events, with a season-best 49.050 on uneven bars and also a 49.050 on floor to begin the competition. The Wildcats added a 48.650 on vault and a 48.100 on balance beam.

Eight individual season or career highs were set or tied Saturday, including two career bests set by sophomore Amy Roemmele on uneven bars and balance beam. Senior Audrey Harrison competed in the all-around for the sixth time in 2014 and scored a 38.425.

CATS RANKED 18TH ON FLOOR

Through six weeks of competition, the Wildcats are ranked 18th nationally on floor with a 49.004 average. Four of UK’s six best team scores, including the top three, have come on floor, with four consecutive scores of 49.000 or higher.

Kentucky recorded a 49.125 at Missouri, followed by a 49.000 at Georgia and a 49.025 against Florida. In all three meets, it was a consistent effort from the Wildcats that resulted in the high totals. At Mizzou, all six UK gymnasts scored a 9.700 or higher, while all five Wildcats to score at UGA and against Florida each posted at least a 9.775.


 

 

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