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Records continue to break for Kentucky gymnastics after finishing third in SEC Championship

Brady Saylor
Cecily Rizo performs her bars routine during the No. 6 Kentucky vs No 5. Florida gymnastics meet on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky lost 198.100-198.225.

The SEC Gymnastics Championship at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans concluded with a bright ending for Kentucky gymnastics as, for the first time in program history, the Cats placed third overall with a final score of 197.600.

Concluding the championship, LSU claimed the title win with a final score of 198.025 while Alabama followed close behind with a 197.750. Florida placed fourth in the competition with a 197.300 overall score.

Raena Worley, Creslyn Brose, Hailey Davis, Bailey Bunn, Arianna Patterson and Isabella Magnelli all earned top-10 individual wins while competing in the championship.

Patterson (vault) and Magnelli (beam) each finished second place for their events while Worley concluded the night as the floor co-champion, won third-place all-around and finished second place on the beam. Brose finished the night successfully as well, finishing in the top-five on floor.

The Cats took off early, starting the night on the uneven bars and scoring a 49.425 overall.

Tying with a score of 9.900, Bunn, Davis and Worley earned the top scores for Kentucky. Trailing close behind was Jillian Procasky, who secured a 9.875, while freshman Delaynee Rodriguez (9.850)  and Cecily Rizo (9.800) concluded the uneven bars with strength.

Balancing its way to success, “Team 50” secured an overall score of 49.500 on the second event of the night, the balance beam.

“Beam Queen” Magnelli and Worley scored a 9.950, tying with Alabama’s Luisa Blanco, Georgia’s Anya Turner and Lily Smith and LSU’s Haleigh Bryant for second-place overall in the event.

Close behind the top scorers, Bunn struck a strong landing to receive a 9.925, Brose scored a 9.775, Patterson scored a 9.275 following a fall and, tying her career best, Rodriguez took the score of a 9.900 home.

To continue a night of success for the Cats, UK tied its rotation best on the beam, with a score of 49.500 on the floor.

Worley continued her pattern of victory with a score of 9.975, tying with LSU’s KJ Johnson and Bryant for the top floor score of the championship.

After being ranked nationally on the floor exercise for seven weeks in a row, and earning four perfect 10s this season, Worley concluded her final SEC Championship routine by leaping into coach Tim Garrison’s arms, with her fellow teammates exploding with joy on the other side of the podium.

Following close behind Worley, Brose recorded the next best Wildcat score, dancing her way to a 9.925, continuing a streak scoring 9.900 or above on the floor in 11/12 meets all season as a freshman.

Elsewhere, Davis showed her consistency as well, receiving a 9.900. Like Brose, Davis has earned a 9.900 or better 10 times in 2024.

Magnelli and Wilson concluded the event, scoring a 9.850 while Rodriguez notched a 9.800.

Concluding the SEC Championship, Kentucky scored a 49.175 on vault.

Patterson proudly took the score of a 9.925, holding the Cats’ best score of the night and tying her season-best for the fifth time.

Following behind Patterson, Magnelli scored a 9.850 while three Wildcats, Procasky, Rizo and Worley, earned a 9.800. Wilson concluded her vault exercise with a 9.775.

Kentucky, holding the No. 7 spot nationally, will head to Fayetteville for its NCAA Tournament Regional, facing off against Arizona, Nebraska and No. 10 Arkansas.

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