April 9, 2012
LEXINGTON, Ky. – After a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Champaign Regional on Saturday with an overall team score of 194.750, the University of Kentucky gymnastics team has earned a top-25 final ranking for the third-consecutive season, according to the GymInfo team rankings which were released Monday.
Kentucky (11-10) finishes the season ranked 25th nationally with a National Qualifying Score of 390.240. The NQS is calculated by adding a team’s Regional Qualifying Score and its team score from the regional competition together.
This is the third-consecutive top-25 final ranking for Kentucky. UK finished 25th last season and 21st in 2010. The ranking makes first-year head coach Tim Garrison the first head coach in school history to lead his team to a top-25 final ranking in his first season, according to records kept since 1996.
The Wildcats are coming off their 24th appearance in a NCAA Regional after participating in the 2012 NCAA Champaign Regional last weekend. Kentucky’s best event during the meet was uneven bars, where it posted a high mark of 48.95. Junior Caitlyn Ciokajlo led Kentucky on the event with a career-high tying 9.875. Seniors Storey Morris and Whitney Rose were also impressive on the event with Morris posting a 9.8 and Rose a season-high tying 9.775.
The NCAA Regional appearance ended a historic first season for Kentucky under Garrison, who became the first coach in school history to lead a team to a 196 team score in his first season. The Wildcats had several other accomplishments throughout the season, including entering the NCAA Regionals with the second-highest RQS in school history. The Wildcats also ended the regular season with three consecutive team scores of 195.875 or higher, which was the best three-meet stretch in school history. That successful stretch of meets gave Kentucky its first winning regular season since 2008.
Individually, UK gymnasts posted an impressive total of 22 event titles during the 2012 season, including three all-around titles by sophomore Audrey Harrison. Four gymnasts posted strong scores of 9.85 or higher on vault during the year, while Morris led Kentucky on uneven bars and balance beam with career-high marks of 9.9 and 9.85, respectively. Harrison and fellow sophomore Kayla Hartley paced UK on floor with each gymnast scoring 9.9s, while Harrison grabbed a career best 39.250 in the all-around competition.
For more information on the Kentucky gymnastics team, visit UKathletics.com or follow “UKGymnastics” on Twitter and Facebook.