No. 12 Kentucky gymnastics falls to No. 2 Florida


Samuel Colmar

Kentucky Wildcats senior Raena Worley performs her floor routine during the Kentucky vs. Eastern Michigan gymnastics meet on Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 197.125 to 193.575. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff

Sara Gibson, Reporter

Kentucky gymnastics (7-3) traveled to Gainesville, Florida, on Friday where it fell to the Gators 198.150 – 197.575.

Coming off a thrilling win last week when Kentucky set a new program record, posting a score of 197.85, the Wildcats looked to upset the No. 2 team in the country on Florida’s senior night, but came up short by less than a point.

To begin the night the Wildcats took the bars while the Gators started out on the vault.

Leading the way on the bars for Kentucky was senior Shealyn Luksik, who posted a 9.900.

Bailey Bunn was just .50 short of her career-best last week, scoring a 9.850 against the Gators and bringing Kentucky’s total to 49.200.

Meanwhile, on the vault for Florida, sophomore Leanne Wong scored a respectable 9.925 while fellow freshman Sloane Blakely also scored high with a 9.900, putting the Gators overall score at 49.300.

Kentucky Wildcats sophomore Makenzie Wilson practices her floor routine during the Kentucky vs. Arkansas gymnastics meet on Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, at Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 197.875-195.400. Photo by Samuel Colmar | Staff (Samuel Colmar)

Heading into the second rotation on vault, the Wildcats were down .10.

Three Wildcats scored at least a 9.900 or higher, starting with senior Arianna Patterson, who scored a 9.925. Raena Worley and Isabella Magnelli both scored a 9.950, helping the Wildcats put up their second highest score ever on the vault with a total score of 49.475.

Although Kentucky was performing well, Florida went on to put up record numbers on the uneven bars.

The Gators’ Riley McCusker set her career-best score with a 9.950, helping Florida break the program record with a 49.800 on bars.

Now down .425 going into the next rotation, Kentucky took the floor while Florida took on the beam.

No Wildcat scored less than a 9.825 on the floor with Raina Albores scoring a 9.850 in her floor debut.

The Gators’ performance on the beam was highlighted by Trinity Thomas, who scored a 9.990.

Going into the last rotation down .375, Kentucky was unable to overcome the deficit on beam, despite best efforts from Worley, who put up a 9.925, and Patterson, who notched a 9.900.

Florida rounded its night out with five different athletes scoring at least a 9.900 on the floor.

Kentucky will look to rebound against Auburn on Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. EST, for its final home meet of the season and senior night inside Memorial Coliseum.