No. 23 GymKats Play Host to No. 26 Auburn
Feb. 21, 2002
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With two home meets remaining, the 23rd-ranked University of Kentucky gymnastics team plays host to No. 26 Auburn on Friday, Feb. 22 in the first meet of a three-meet Southeastern Conference swing. Action gets under way at 7:30 p.m. ET in Memorial Coliseum on the UK campus. Fox Sports South will broadcast the meet on a delayed basis on Saturday, March 9 at 5 p.m.
UK (6-4, 0-2 SEC) is coming off an historic win over Ball State when it set a school record with a 196.100 team total to hold off the Cardinals' 194.825. The previous team high was 195.875, which was set in 1996 in a tri-meet with George Washington and Radford and tied last season against Illinois.
"We feel good about getting back into conference competition," Coach Leah Little said. "Last week was a breakthrough meet, and I hope that carries over to the rest of the season, especially because the toughest part of the schedule is ahead of us."
Sophomores Aronda Primault and Julie Joy paced the GymKats. Primault finished first in the all-around with a career-high 39.350 and first on the beam with a personal-best 9.925. Joy scored a career-high 39.325 to finish second in the all-around, while her high of 9.925 on bars was good for first. In all, the GymKats set or tied 10 career-highs, which included Lindsay Cameron on bars (9.775), Julia Gore on bars (9.925) and floor exercise (9.875), Jessie Lemp on bars (9.875) and Melanie Zaharias on floor (9.775).
Auburn (6-7, 0-3 SEC) is ranked 26th nationally and also scored a season-high team total last week with a 195.800 in a quad meet at N.C. State. In that meet, AU finished second to No. 5 Nebraska, 195.800-196.875, but was able to defeat the Wolfpack and William & Mary. Auburn opened the season strong with a 4-1 record but has gone 2-6 since Jan. 25.
Kentucky and Auburn have met on the mats 43 times, and UK holds a 28-15 advantage. The teams' last meeting came at the 2001 SEC Championships where the GymKats scored a 195.850 to finish in fifth place just ahead of Auburn (194.500). In the second meet of the 2001 regular season, UK and the Tigers squared off in Auburn where AU squeaked out a slim 193.675-193.600 victory. The final margin was set after last-minute inquiries on some of the Tigers' bar routines lifted them past Kentucky.
Tickets will be available at the door and are $5 for adults and $2 for children in the eighth grade and below. Admission for UK students is free with a valid student ID.