Gymnastics Unveils 2008 Schedule
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Five home meets and nine meetings with teams ranked in the final 2007 GymInfo Top 25 poll highlight the University of Kentucky gymnastics schedule, announced Monday by head coach Mo Mitchell.
The Wildcats, who finished last season ranked 23rd nationally, open with Auburn on Jan. 12 as part of the 24th-annual Excite Nite festivities. Special guests include All That, who will open up the evening’s performances. Last year, a school-record crowd of 6,875 fans were on-hand to witness the yearly season-opening event.
Auburn marks the first of three Southeastern Conference foes who will travel to Memorial Coliseum this season. Kentucky ranked sixth in the nation in attendance last season with an average of 2,819 fans per home meet, after finishing 21st the year before. Of the six teams traveling to Lexington during the regular season, five were ranked in the final top 25 poll a year ago.
“We have one of the toughest schedules in the country this year,” Mitchell said. “It certainly rivals any schedule in the SEC because it is by far the toughest conference in the country. We face Georgia, which is the three-time national champion, and also LSU and Florida who are in the top five. At any given point, all of the SEC teams could be ranked in the top 16 in the country. That’s good for us because it brings out the best in us every time we compete.”
The Wildcats take their first road trip of the season to Cape Girardeau, Mo., on Jan. 18 when it faces Southeast Missouri State, a program that is coming off its most wins in more than a decade. Kentucky then returns home to meet Alabama on Jan. 25 in Memorial Coliseum. The Crimson Tide captured the NCAA Central Regional last season before finishing ninth at the NCAA meet.
Kentucky embarks on a trip to Baton Rouge, La., Feb. 1 to face the LSU Tigers in Pete Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers, who advanced to the NCAA Championships last season, just missed a berth in the school’s first Super Six team finals. Florida, which held the collegiate gymnastics top spot for much of last season and finished third in the nation, comes to Lexington on Feb. 8.
The Wildcats then have back-to-back SEC meets on the road at Arkansas (Feb. 15) and Georgia (Feb. 23). The Bulldogs, who have claimed the NCAA Championship eight times in their history – the second most in the history of the sport, have won three consecutive national titles.
Kentucky hosts a pair of non-conference home meets on Feb. 29 and March 7. National power and defending Big 12 Champion Nebraska comes to Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 29 before the Wildcats face Pacific 10 power Arizona and Western Michigan in a tri-meet on March 7.
UK then travels to Columbus, Ohio, for a meeting with Big 10 Conference member Ohio State on March 9. The Wildcats close out the regular-season slate with road meets at Texas Woman’s University (March 14), Centenary (March 16) and Bowling Green State (March 22).
The Southeastern Conference Championships take place Saturday, March 29 at the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. That meet will be regionally televised by Fox Sports Net South on a delayed basis. NCAA Regional action begins April 12 with the NCAA Championships taking place on April 24 and 26 in Athens, Ga.
The UK Ticket Office is offering an Olympic Sports Pass which includes admission to volleyball, softball, baseball, gymnastics, men's soccer and women's soccer. One pass gains admission to all Olympic sporting events, all season long. Individual passes are $25, while family passes (two adults, up to three youth) are $40.
Gymnastics season tickets can also now be purchased at the UK ticket office, located in the Joe Craft Center. Season can be purchased for $20 by calling the ticket office at 1-800-928-2287. Tickets are also sold at the Joe Craft Center prior to each home meet for $5.