UK gymnastics makes history with first-ever national semifinal


The Kentucky Gymnastics team huddles up after winning the final home meet of the season against Ohio State on Friday, March 2, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Photo by Jordan Prather | Staff

With its season on the line heading into the sixth and final rotation, UK gymnastics responded well to advance to the national semifinal round for the first time in program history.

The team will compete for a spot in the Super Six in St. Louis, hoping to take its 12-seed all the way to a national championship. Senior Cori Rechenmacher said the feeling was “hard to describe”.

Oklahoma ran away with the day, finishing with only two total points of deductions at a 198.000. The real battle was for second place, as the winner of that would advance to national’s in St. Louis.

After five rotations, No. 13 Denver led UK by .15, and the final rotation would send one school home.

UK showed out, posting a near-perfect 49.400 on the uneven bars, while Denver freshman Mia Sundstrom took a fall on the beam. Her balance cost her nearly a full point, and dropped Denver below the Cats.

”The bar team closed the door with one of the best rotations I have been a part of as a coach,” UK head coach Tim Garrison said. “I am so incredibly proud of this team, not just for today but for what they have done since arriving on campus to make this day possible.”

UK’s total final score was 197.050, the third-best ever in the school’s history. Denver finished with a 196.275 as they are eliminated from the tournament.

UK finished with seven total scores of at least 9.9, three of which came in the final rotation. The team’s last two rotations (vault and beam) had five of the seven 9.9 scores. 

Two of them belonged to star Mollie Korth as she had a career day, losing only about half a point in total deductions.

The only significant hit to UK’s score came in the floor event, where Ella Warren took a fall that gave her a 9.275 in the event. Even with this, the Cats would finish with a 49.400 on the floor, tying their program best in the event.

UK will take on Oklahoma, Florida, Washington, Utah and California in the semifinals on April 20 at 7 p.m.