UK gymnastics starting off 2020 season strong

Kentucky head coach Tim Garrison celebrates as Kentucky senior Mollie Korth competes on the floor during the Excite Night meet against Missouri on Friday, Jan. 10, 2020, at Rupp Arena in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 196.525-195.500. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Erika Bonner

After a record 2019 season with the best finish in program history, the No. 12 Kentucky gymnastics team’s 2020 campaign is in full swing, starting off the year with a 4-1 record with some impressive accomplishments to add.

So far this season, the Wildcats have already garnered two weekly awards given by the SEC. On Jan. 7, senior Mollie Korth was named the season’s first SEC Gymnast of the Week. It’s the sixth time in program history that a UK gymnast has won the honor, and the first since 2011.

“It’s a huge plus for our young team to have multiple-time All-American Mollie Korth leading the way with SEC honors the first week of the season,” said head coach Tim Garrison in a UK press release.

Then, on Jan. 14, it was announced that Raena Worley was named SEC Freshman of the Week after three routines of 9.800 or better in Kentucky’s 196.525-195.500 win over then-No. 8 Missouri.

“Raena being recognized as SEC Freshman of the Week is a huge accomplishment early in her career,” Garrison said in a UK press release.

“She genuinely loves gymnastics, and that joy comes through in her training and competitive performances. She’s just getting started, and we are very excited about what the future holds.”

On Tuesday, the SEC announced Worley as the Freshman of the Week for the second consecutive week.

“Raena receiving back-to-back Freshman of the Week honors is a very welcomed validation of her efforts and competitive success to this point,” said Garrison, in a press release.

Garrison reached a milestone of his own in Kentucky’s quad meet against North Carolina, N.C. State and Lindenwood on Jan. 17 in Memorial Coliseum. He surpassed the 100-win benchmark after entering the season with 98 victories in the first eight years of his tenure. In the same meet, five different Wildcats earned individual wins in a first-place finish.

Next up for UK gymnastics is its first conference road meet, taking on Arkansas on Friday, Jan. 24 in Fayetteville, Ark. Kentucky’s first home SEC meet will be the following Friday, Jan. 31 in Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. against Florida.