UK gymnastics ends season with program-best performances


The team lineups are announced before the senior night meet against Central Michigan on Friday, March 8, 2019, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Madison Dennis

The Kentucky Wildcats gymnastics team competed in the NCAA Regional Final in Athens, Georgia, on Saturday and earned the highest score in program history while they fell to No. 15 California, No. 8 Georgia, and No. 1 Oklahoma with a score of 197.600. Georgia and Oklahoma both advanced to the championships, while California and Kentucky ended their seasons. 

Although the team did not take victory, coach Tim Garrison was proud of what his team accomplished has this season. 

“This team challenged itself to improve, and as a result, has set numerous records throughout the season. Tonight was no different,” Garrison said after UK’s performance. “Even though it was not enough to advance, it was a fitting way to send off an amazing group of seniors and a great building block for our program as we look towards next season. This is a fantastic group of young women.”

The Wildcats totaled their bar performance with a score of at least 49.300 for the fifth time this season. Notably, senior Katie Stuart tied her season-high with a score of 9.850.

Next, Kentucky performed on the balance beam. Stuart tied a career high by scoring a 9.900, the first 9.900 of the meet. Senior Sidney Dukes matched Stuart’s score while Alex Hyland tied a season high with a score of 9.925.

In their third event of the meet, Kentucky earned its best score of the night on floor with 49.600. All six gymnasts earned career high scores in the event, tying the second-best total score in UK history. Mollie Korth earned a 9.950, while Hyland and Dukes earned a 9.925. Both Stuart and Ella Warren earned a score of 9.000, and Hailey Poland had a score of 9.875. 

In the last event of the meet, Kentucky tied its highest score in program history, earning a score of 49.425 in vault. Korth tied her career high with a score of 9.950, while fellow senior Stuart earned a 9.925. 

Kentucky’s Korth (39.625), Stuart (39.575) and Hyland (39.600) earned career highs all-round in the meet. 

This season the Wildcats had an overall record of 9-14 and 3-4 in SEC meets. The Cats will have another chance to earn victory when they send Hyland, Dukes, and Cally Nixon to Forth Worth, Texas, to compete for an individual national title.