GymKats Notch Victory Over No. 12 Iowa, Finish Third at Arizona State Quad Meet
TEMPE, Ariz. - The University of Kentucky gymnastics team put together its strongest vault performance of the year to overtake No. 12 Iowa for third place with a 194.350 at a quad meet hosted by Arizona State on Friday, March 16 at Wells Fargo Arena. No. 7 Nebraska collected the meet title with a 197.100, while the No. 8 Sun Devils finished second with a 195.575.
"We had a great meet for a road meet this late in the season," Coach Leah Little said. "The scores on floor just werent there tonight, even though we hit five of six routines and didnt get the scores we were accustomed to this season. We had to pull Nicole Allen from the lineup with an injury in warmups and had to go with some gymnasts who werent completely warmed up. Now we just have to get focused on the Southeastern Conference Championships."
The GymKats (7-10, 0-5 SEC) got underway on the uneven bars and put together their best bar routines for the second straight week, matching last weeks 49.000. Junior Jennifer Simmons gave her best performance of the season with a team-leading 9.850. She was followed closely by fellow junior Katie Toups and freshman Julie Joy, each with a 9.825, which was a season high for Toups. Junior Jessie Lemp added a 9.800, while freshman Aronda Primault contributed a 9.700 to put UK in third place after the first rotation.
UK moved on to the balance beam in the second rotation where sophomore Mindy Smith again led the way with a 9.800. Primault and Simmons each added a 9.725, while Joy chipped in a 9.70 and Zaharias a 9.675. The GymKats total of 48.600 on beam pushed their total up to 97.625, keeping them in third place overall. In the third rotation, UK was on what had been one of their best events the past month; however, the GymKats scored a season-low 47.575 on the floor exercise to slip to fourth overall with 145.200 points. Senior Beth Coleman led the way with a 9.675.
The GymKats finished the night strong by tying a season-best mark on the vault with a 49.150, the sixth-highest vault mark in school history. Simmons hit a season best with a 9.900 to lead a group of four UK gymnasts to score top season marks. Joy was second for UK with a career-best 9.850, while Zaharias and Primault each scored a 9.825, a season best for Zaharias. Junior Katie Toups rounded out the scoring for UK with 2001 best of 9.750.
In the all-around competition, Joy topped her previous career-high set last week with a 38.900 to lead UKs three all-arounders and place third overall. Simmons was very close behind with a season-best 38.850, while Primault totaled a 38.800.
Vault 49.150 Bars 49.000 Katie Toups 9.750 Aronda Primault 9.700 Julie Joy 9.850 Jessie Lemp 9.800 Melanie Zaharias 9.825 Julie Joy 9.825 Aronda Primault 9.825 Katie Toups 9.825 Jennifer Simmons 9.900 Jennifer Simmons 9.850 Beth Coleman 9.400 Melanie Zaharias 9.150 Beam 48.600 Floor 47.575 Jennifer Simmons 9.725 Katie Toups 9.450 Jessie Lemp 9.250 Beth Coleman 9.675 Julie Joy 9.675 Jennifer Simmons 9.375 Aronda Primault 9.725 Julie Joy 9.525 Mindy Smith 9.800 Mindy Smith 9.200 Melanie Zaharias 9.675 Aronda Primault 9.550 All Around Julie Joy 38.900 Aronda Primault 38.850 Jennifer Simmons 38.800