March 12, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- After one of the best meets in school history Sunday, scoring an impressive team score of 196.025, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team has moved up two spots to No. 23 nationally in the latest GymInfo team rankings, it was announced on Monday. Kentucky (8-6, 1-5 Southeastern Conference) earned the ranking with a season-best Regional Qualifying Score of 195.255.
This is the second-consecutive top-25 ranking for the Wildcats, who entered the top 25 last week for the first time since preseason rankings were announced in December. It also marked the eighth time since 1996 that UK has been ranked in the top 25 at this point in the season (week three of RQS scoring). The RQS of 195.255 is the second highest at this point of the season in school history.
The win against George Washington and Ball State was historic for the UK program, as it clinched the first winning regular season since 2008. The high team score of 196.025 tied the seventh-best team score in school history and marked only the 10th time UK has posted a 196 or higher score.
In addition, UK has now posted a 195.95 or higher in two consecutive meets for the first time since the 2002 squad grabbed back-to-back 196s. UK head coach Tim Garrison also became the first coach in school history to lead his team to a 196 in his first season.
The Wildcats defeated George Washington and Ball State on every event, while setting or tying eight season highs and seven career highs in the meet. UK scored a 49 or higher on three events, including a season-best 49.15 on uneven bars. Junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo took home the event title on bars with a 9.875, while senior Storey Morris won balance beam with a 9.875 and sophomore Audrey Harrison claimed floor with a 9.875. Harrison also took home her third all-around title of the season with a 39.175.
The win against the Cardinals and Colonials continued Kentucky's recent success as the Wildcats have scored a 195 or higher in four of their last five meets. UK scored back-to-back 195.05s at Illinois-Chicago on Jan. 28 and at LSU on Feb. 3. UK posted a 195.95 last week in Champaign, Ill., while it had a slight setback at top-five ranked Georgia on Feb. 18, scoring a 193.125.
Event rankings and individual rankings were also released on Monday. Kentucky is ranked 24th in the nation on balance beam with an RQS of 48.755, while sitting 26th on vault (48.835), 27th on bars (48.815) and 32nd on floor (48.84). Individually, Harrison is ranked 34th in the nation in the all-around competition with an RQS of 39.09.
The Wildcats will be in action again Saturday when it travels to face Centenary in Shreveport, La., at 7 p.m. ET. After the meet, UK will return to Lexington for a few days of practice before it begins postseason play at the Southeastern Conference Championships in Duluth, Ga., on March 24.
For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team, follow "UKGymnastics" on Twitter and Facebook or visit UKathletics.com.