UK gymnastics earns second-highest team score in program history


Kentucky sophomore Ella Warren flips through the air during her floor routine in the meet against LSU on Friday, Feb. 8, 2019, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 197.150 to 196.025. Photo by Jordan Prather |Staff

Madison Dennis

A large crowd filled Memorial Coliseum to cheer on the no. 17 Kentucky Wildcats gymnastics team as they faced the no. 5 ranked LSU Tigers. The Wildcats upset the Tigers with a score of 197.150-196.025. Kentucky earned the 2ndhighest team score in school history. 

“Just an amazing night, to be able to put this performance together and to perform like we did and to come out with a 197 plus score. That’s huge and then to be able to beat an SEC team opponent, that is a very top-5 opponent, to be able to beat them is a special night.” Head coach Tim Garrison said of his team’s performance. 

Wildcats’ Mollie Korth earned the highest score of her teammates with a score of 9.925 on vault and had a perfect landing, causing the crowd to erupt into cheers. Behind her, Alex Hyland scored a 9.875. The Wildcats earned a total score of 49.200 on bars. 

On bars, Kentucky senior Alex Hyland led her team with a score of 9.900, a career high. Behind her were teammates, Mollie Korth and Cally Nixon with a score of 9.875. Kentucky was able to earn a combined total of 49.300

Mollie Korth lead her team on beam with a score of 9.900, earning a personal career high. Not far behind, Hailey Poland and Josie Angeny tied with a score of 9.875. Poland made her debut for the first time this season after suffering from a lower leg injury. The Wildcats earned a combined total of 49.425 points.

“We got rid of the wobble bug over there on beam. That was nice to see,” Garrison said of the team’s beam performance. 

Kentucky seniors Hyland and Korth tied to lead their team in floor with a score of 9.900. Close behind her, fellow teammate Sidney Dukes finished with a score of 9.850. In total, the Cats scored a 49.225 on floor. 

In practice, they focus on small things to perfect their performances. 

“We went really hard. We really didn’t settle at all. It was all about hitting those routines, getting them there, focusing on small things,” Poland said about last week’s practice. 

“I think it’s one of those nights that will help us moving forward,” Coach Garrison said.

Tonight is a small glimpse of what we can expect of the Wildcats in the future, but Garrison believes that there are still improvements to be made and to add more people in the line-up. 

“We still have some improvement to make. We still have some people coming back that we can substitute. We can add more people in the line-up.” Garrison said.

The Kentucky Wildcats will face the Georgia Bulldogs on February 15 at 7 p.m. in Athens, Georgia. The meet will be broadcast on the SEC network.