Kentucky gymnastics falls at Auburn


Makenzie Wilson launches over the vault 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

Kentucky gymnastics (6-3) fell to the Auburn Tigers (8-1) by .775 points on Friday, finding itself down 197.925-197.150 by the end of the night.

The competition was part of a dual meet that was held at Auburn Arena in Auburn, Alabama.

The Wildcats started off the night on the bars, with Sophomore Hailey Davis recording a 9.800, before being followed up by a pair of 9.900s by UK freshman Jillian Procasky and senior Cally Nixon. The score was a career-high for Procasky.

Graduate student Josie Angeny and junior Raena Worley capped off UK’s impressive bars rotation, both scoring 9.925, with Angeny joining her teammate Procasky in setting a new career-high score.

The performances culminated in Kentucky scoring 49.450 after rotation one on the bars to start the night.

Auburn would start off its first rotation with the vault as Sophia Groth would give the Tigers a 9.825 on their home floor.

The next three scores would all be 9.875 for the trio of Drew Watson, Derrian Gobourne and Sara Hubbard, with the latter setting a new career-high score. 

Auburn would end its first rotation with a score of 49.275, trailing the Wildcats after its first rotation.

Next, Kentucky would look to continue its hot start on the vault, as Procasky started out with a 9.800, before being followed by a 9.850 from freshman Makenzie Wilson and a season best 9.875 from reigning WCGA Scholastic All-American Isabella Magnelli. 

The Cats would finish their second rotation strong with a 9.925 from senior Arianna Patterson and a 9.875 for Worley, for a combined score of 49.325.

Auburn would take the bars next for its second rotation, with Groth putting up a 9.875 to start.

Groth would be followed up by a 9.85 from Adeline Sabados and a 9.925 from Cassie Stevens. 

Aria Brusch would then put up a score of 9.950 for the Tigers, a career-high for her, before Gobourne would put up a rotation low 9.700, though it would be overshadowed by the strong 9.975 put up by Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee.

Kentucky would need to follow up Auburn’s bar rotation with a great floor rotation, though this would not initially look to be the case as Procasky would start with a 9.725. 

After the disappointing start, another record would be broken as junior Ashlyn Laclair would have a personal best of 9.875, and Magnelli would score a 9.775 just to be one-upped by her teammate Anna Haigis, who received a score of 9.925 from the judges.

Davis and Worley would both come half a tenth off perfect scores, putting up two 9.950s to give Kentucky a 49.250 for the overall rotation score. 

Davis’ score would break yet another record for the Wildcats on the night as she would beat her previous career-best score.

Auburn would start out its rotation on the beams with a 9.825 from Olivia Hollingsworth before a slip up by Piper Smith would give her a low 9.225. 

Cassie Stevens would rebound with a 9.700 before the bar was set by Groth who scored a 9.950. 

Gabby Mclaughlin would then score a shade lower than Groth with a 9.925, setting up her teammate Lee to finish out the rotation, with the latter putting up a perfect 10.000 to loud applause from the home crowd.

The performance would send the meet to the fourth and final rotation which saw the Cats and the Tigers deadlocked. 

UK would go first and come out very strong with a 9.950 from junior Shealyn Luksik, before San Diego native Carissa Clay stumbled and fell on her bar routine, resulting in a disappointing 9.125 that would be later thrown out.

The next three Cats would put up solid scores of 9.875, 9.850 and 9.950 coming from Magnelli, Patterson and Worley, respectively. 

The rotation would be finished by Angeny, who would be forced off the beam by her momentum before getting back up to finishing the routine. 

Luksik and Worley added their names to the long list of UK gymnasts to break personal records on Friday with Luksik setting a new career-high, while Worley set her season-high.

Auburn would take its turn on the floor, with the Tigers starting off the rotation with three career-highs from Hubbard, Watson and Stevens, recording scores of 9.900, 9.925 and 9.900 respectively.

The Tigers would only go up from there as Lee and Gobourne would top their teammates and put-up matching scores of 9.975 to close out the rotation and the meet, with Auburn’s final score going down as a new program record.

Looking to bounce back, the Wildcats next travel down to LSU to take on the No. 8 ranked Tigers next Friday, March 4. The meet will take place at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center and is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. EST.