UK gymnastics bows out in NCAA Regionals


Isabella Magnelli strikes a pose during her beam routine during the Florida vs. Kentucky gymnastics meet on Friday, Feb. 18, 2022, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. UK lost 197.350-97.575. Photo by Michael Clubb | Staff

Aaron Benjamin

The Kentucky gymnastics team was unable to fight through the NCAA Regional final, failing to place in the top two and advancing to the NCAA Championships. All events were held in Neville Arena in Auburn, Alabama. Participants included Denver, Florida, Georgia, Iowa State, Ohio State, Southern Utah, Kentucky and the host Auburn.

Kentucky led the first round with an overall score of 197.750, its highest in program history. Auburn came next, trailing by a slight margin of 0.25 with an overall score of 197.500.

Beginning at the vault, freshman Jillian Procasky landed a score of 9.725 to start hot for UK. A 9.90 from sophomore Isabella Magnelli raised the bar, as the score was her new season-high as well as a career-high on the vault. Ariana Patterson followed suit with a 9.90 of her own. Anchoring the squad would be junior Raena Worley, as she put up a near perfect routine, setting a new season and career-high vault score with a 9.95. The Wildcats saw their efforts materialize into a 49.400 total.

Heading over to the bars, sophomore Hailey Davis and Procasky each notched scores of 9.875. Davis’ score is a tie for both her season and career best. Cally Nixon followed with a stellar routine, coming away with a 9.95. Worley again rounded out the lineup, landing another 9.95, meaning a new career high for the star junior. Kentucky kept a necessary pace, scoring a 49.525.

Senior Anna Haigis received a 9.85 from the judges in UK’s first routine on the balance beam, a career-high for the Wildcat. Josie Angeny would record the highest score of the rotation for UK with a 9.90, as Kentucky totaled 49.300 on the beam.

In the final portion on the floor, Magnelli again shined with a 9.90, only to be outdone next by Haigis, who scored 9.95. Returning to her anchor position for the last rotation would be Worley, as she once again crushed, receiving a 9.925 from the judge’s table.

Thanks to multiple record-breaking performances, the Cats advanced to the regional final alongside Auburn.

The second session would feature Florida, Iowa State, Ohio State and Denver. With a score of 198.125, the Gators reigned victorious, advancing with Denver to the finals.

Just two days later on Saturday, April 2, the four teams competed for a chance to advance to the NCAA Championships.

Magnelli and Worley once again led the way on the vault, nailing 9.90 routines each. On the bars, Nixon, Angeny and Worley each totaled scores of 9.85. The Cats kept pace halfway through the finals.

Back on the beam, Magnelli again earned a 9.90, followed up by Patterson who notched a 9.80. Worley would go second to last and put up a fabulous 9.95, tying her career and season-high. Angeny’s anchor score of 9.825 held the Cats in position to advance.

In the last rotation, Kentucky again took the floor. Patterson looked good to start in her routine, but after a fall on one of her flips, she received a lackluster 9.025. Magnelli put up a 9.90, followed by a 9.95 from Davis. Worley would end in spectacular fashion with a 9.975, an almost perfect routine. However, that would not be enough as Kentucky would fail to finish in the top two, coming in behind Auburn and Florida.

Kentucky ends the season with a record of 8-3 with four wins over top-15 programs, three of which are in the SEC. In conference play, the Cats would finish slightly above .500 at a record of 4-3. UK was near perfect at home, going 6-1 while it split matches on the road, going 2-2.