March 20, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- In a continuing effort to recognize the accomplishments of student-athletes beyond the field of competition, the Southeastern Conference once again highlighted a Community Service Team for women's gymnastics with senior Whitney Rose being Kentucky’s 2012 recipient, the league office recently announced.
The SEC sponsors a Community Service Team for all 20 sports that it sponsors. The gymnastics Community Service Team represents seven SEC gymnasts, one from each competing institution. The honor looks to highlight an athlete from each school who gives back to their community in superior service efforts.
Community service has been a big part of Rose’s life even before she enrolled at Kentucky. She spends time at the Hope Lodge, a home away from home for cancer patients and their families, while also taking part in a mentoring program that matches young females with influential teens. She was part of the Cats Cultivating Character, a group of UK student-athletes who teach lessons of character to students each month while also volunteering at Morton Middle School in Lexington to help students who need assistance taking the CATS test. Most recently, Rose has visited a nursing home in Georgetown, Ky., to spend time with the elderly, while also helping with God’s Pantry in Lexington.
Rose was named to the Frank G. Ham Society of Character last year, which recognizes Wildcat student-athletes who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to academic excellence, athletic participation, personal development, career preparation and serving as a role model. She was also named a Lyman T. Johnson Award Winner, which is given to a student who has made a significant contribution to the University of Kentucky and the community.
The native of Frisco, Texas, has been equally as impressive in the gym as one of the faces of the program during her career. Her impact to the team was immediate as she finished second on the team on vault during her freshman season en route to being named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2009. Her sophomore season, Rose became the first gymnast since 2006 to advance to the NCAA Championships after a 9.9 score in the NCAA Regional. The talented gymnast finished the 2010 season ranked 14th in the nation on vault with an average score of 9.858. Rose led Kentucky again on vault last year, while she has scored a 9.925 or higher three different times on vault during her career. This year, Rose has performed on uneven bars in every meet with a strong average on the event.
Rose and her teammates are having a great season under new head coach Tim Garrison. The Wildcats are currently ranked 24th in the nation in the Gyminfo team rankings after they scored a 195.875 or higher in three consecutive meets for the first time in school history.
The Wildcats will be in action again this weekend when they travel to compete in the SEC Gymnastics Championships in Duluth, Ga., on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. Tickets to the event may be purchased at SECsports.com or by calling the Gwinnett arena directly at 1-800-745-3000.
For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “UKGymnastics” on Twitter and Facebook.
SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team:
Ria Domier, Sophomore, Alabama
Kelci Lewis, Junior, Arkansas
Laura Lane, Senior, Auburn
Randy Stageberg, Junior, Florida
Mariel Box, Senior, Georgia
Whitney Rose, Senior, Kentucky
Ericka Garcia, Senior, LSU