Gym Cats notch top 10 win against Alabama


Kentucky senior Sidney Dukes performs on the bars during the meet against Alabama on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky defeated Alabama 197.200 to 196.800. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

Madison Dennis

The Kentucky Wildcats and the No. 9 Alabama Crimson Tide gymnastics teams put on a show for the fans that filled Memorial Coliseum. The Wildcats were able to take victory with a score of 197.200, leading in every event. Roll Tide fell with a score of 196.800.

It was the third straight meet the Wildcat’s have earned a score above 197.000.

“Were pretty happy with the fact we have been able to hit that mark three times in a row but more than that I think we are showing consistency across the events,” head coach Tim Garrison said.

“We have an amazing team and you can’t deny that at all. Everyone, every score counts,” Sidney Dukes said.

The Wildcats’ Danaea Davis and Katie Stuart tied to take the lead for vault with a score of 9.900. Not far behind, Alex Hyland earned a career-high 9.850. Kentucky scored a combined total of 49.225 on vault.

“Great start to the night, started us off with a great deal of momentum,” Garrison said.

Although, he said still thinks his team can improve on sticking their landings.

“We stuck two vaults. We competed six. We have four more that we can stick,” Garrison said on what his team can improve. 

On bars, Cally Nixon lead the team by putting up a 9.900, tied with her season high. Behind her, both Hyland and Alaina Kwan scored a 9.850. Kwan tied her season high in the event. The Wildcats scored a combined total of 49.300.

“On bars we were swinging loose, which is a great way to be,” Garrison said. 

Garrison described what “swinging loose” means for his team.

“We weren’t swinging tight, weren’t trying to micromanage ourselves, for better way of putting it,” he said. “They really were up there and going for every handstand and trying to get their sticks, they were swinging big release moves, very impressive.”

Hyland continued her strong night with a 9.950 on beam. She tied her career high and led the team in the event. Behind her, Josie Angeny earned a score of 9.900, beating her season high. Kentucky scored a total of 49.275 on beam.

“When they get over to beam it’s a different mindset, calm they go through, it’s almost methodical, there’s a rhythm to it. They switch that gear somehow and they perform really well up there,” Garrison said.

On floor, Kentucky’s Mollie Korth scored the highest of her teammates with a 9.950, tying her career high. Close behind, Dukes and Hyland each earned a score of 9.900. Dukes scored her all-time best in the event. The Wildcats earned a combined total of 49.400 on floor.

Garrison said he has heard from many that his team is fun to watch.

“They loved that. They eat that up. They want to be fun to watch because, you know what? They are having a good time,” he said.

The Wildcats will face Missouri next Friday at Hearnes Center in Columbia, Missouri, at 6pm. The meet will be broadcast on SEC Network.