UK gymnastics gets first win over Alabama, sets school record in the process

Sophomore Alex Hyland celebrates after her uneven bars routine during the meet against Alabama on February 10, 2017. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Keyera Jackson

The Friday night victory over No. 6 Alabama is stirring up buzz for No. 10 UK gymnastics team for multiple reason. Not only did UK get it’s first win in program history over a perennial gymnastics powerhouse in the Crimson Tide, but the Cats did so with a new school record score of 197.475.

UK ended up winning the SEC battle with Alabama by a slim margin, topping the Tide’s 197.050 mark by only .425. The win over the six time NCAA Champions in Alabama moves UK to 4-3 on the season and 2-3 in SEC competition.

“This was a signature win for our program,” head coach Tim Garrison said. “We’ve been talking about creating a gymnastics tradition here at Kentucky for some time. We feel that this team with their accomplishments are well on their way to achieving that goal.”

Alabama was not easily defeated, but this is a UK team that continues to improve and surprise everyone as Friday was the third time this season where the team had beat their own school record for highest team score.

During Friday’s match, UK was led by freshmen Mollie Korth. She contributed a career best performance with her all-around performance score of 39.625. That score ranks Korth’s performance as seventh best in the program’s history and played a big part in helping UK overcome Alabama.

Korth scored a 9.925 three times on vault, floor and barn while also claiming individual honors in all three. Korth led her team but she was supported by her teammates.

Alex Hyland, Katie Stuart and Sidney Dukes all scored above 39 in all-around as well. Hyland finished second for UK with a score of 39.550 and currently sits at No. 2 in the nation in average beam score with an average of 9.900.

“We had a great start on the vault. We stuck two landings, and that kept our momentum going,” Garrison said. “And if you can start off and do well in the first rotation and take that momentum to each rotation, then you are going to have a good day, and we had a good day.” 

The Cats had a good day in Memorial Coliseum, as fans watched UK defeat Alabama and set a new school record. This was a night to remember as UK gymnastics made a statement in the victory and continue to improve.