Feb. 23, 2011
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Fresh off its best outing of the season where it scored a season-high team score and the highest vault score in school history, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team looks for more of the same when it returns home for the annual Pink Meet against No. 20 LSU on Friday at 7 p.m. ET at Memorial Coliseum.
The meet against the Tigers (2-7, 0-4 Southeastern Conference) will be the last SEC meet of the year for the Wildcats, who will go out of conference for the last four meets of the year. Kentucky (2-6, 0-5 SEC) will start the non-conference swing with a four-team meet at No. 7 Nebraska on Sunday with the Cornhuskers, No. 15 Iowa and Bowling Green.
“This is a really big meet for us,” UK assistant coach Heather Hite said. “I think that the girls understand that from here on out we have to be really, really good if we want to accomplish some of our goals. We have had a good week of workouts and I think that being back in front of our fans is going to give this team a boost.”
UK is coming off its best meet of the year at Ohio State, scoring a 49.4 on vault for the highest vault score in school annuals. The Wildcats were led on the event by senior Phylicia Reshard, who notched a career best 9.95. The high score for Reshard was the third highest in school history as she became only the sixth gymnast to wear to receive a 9.95 or higher on vault while at Kentucky.
The Wildcats defeated the Buckeyes on vault and uneven bars, while Reshard took home event honors on vault and junior Storey Morris was the event winner on bars with a 9.825. Kentucky used the impressive team scores on vault and bars to post its highest overall team score of the year with a 195.05.
“There are a lot of good things that we took out of that meet with Ohio State,” UK assistant coach Chuck Dickerson said. “We came out of the meet with some confidence knowing that we had a solid team score and yet made several mistakes. I look for continued improvement this weekend.”
Kentucky is ranked 29th in the nation overall, while sitting in the top 20 on three events. UK is ranked as the eight-best floor team in the nation with a Regional Qualifying Score of 48.95, while also placing 11th in the nation on vault and 19th on uneven bars. UK senior Andrea Mitchell is 24th in the nation in the all-around.
LSU enters the meet as the No. 20 team in the nation as the Tigers are ranked in the top 25 on three events. LSU’s best event of the year is the balance beam, where the Tigers have a RQS of 48.655 to sit 10th in the nation. The Tigers are also ranked tied for 11th on vault and 25th on floor exercise.
All fans attending the meet are encouraged to wear pink to support the Wildcats and a great cause. Fans wearing pink can receive admission to the meet for one dollar, while a portion of the ticket proceeds benefit breast cancer research, education and treatment at the Markey Cancer Center. Along with it being the annual pink meet, Kentucky will honor the 1983 gymnastics team that accomplished great strides for the program. A full list of promotions is listed below.
• UK Pink Meet shirts will be available for purchase at the meet. All shirt sales and donations benefit breast cancer research, education and treatment at the Markey Cancer Center.
• One lucky fan will win a pink iPod Shuffle (must register at the meet)
• FREE pink UK Gymnastics backpacks for the first 250 UK fans
• FREE pink feather pens for the first 150 kids, eighth grade and under
• FREE pink cosmetic bags for the first 100 females
• UK Alumni Association Night – FREE admission for UK Alumni Association members with membership card
• FREE admission when you show your ticket stub from the UK vs. Arkansas women’s basketball game
• The 1983 UK Gymnastics team will be recognized during the meet
• The junior gymnasts will be signing autographs following the meet
“Every year the pink meet is always a very special meet not only for Chuck and I, but also for the girls,” Hite said. “Our marketing department does a great job of getting people involved and making sure that everyone has a good time for a good cause.”
Live scores from the meet will be available at UKathletics.com. For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team follow “UKGymnastics” on Twitter and Facebook.