LEXINGTON, Ky. (4/6/13) – Kentucky enters Saturday’s NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championship on the back of one of the strongest seasons in school history as UK has set the school record team score twice in 2013.
Kentucky posted the three best all-time UK single-meet team scores this season, while also qualifying for Regionals with a program record regional qualifying score of 196.06.
The Wildcats will compete at the Morgantown regional at 6 p.m. on April 6 inside WVU Coliseum.
UK will make its ninth-consecutive and 25th overall NCAA Regional appearance.
Kentucky will join top-seeded Michigan, No. 2-seed Nebraska, No. 3-seed Illinois, as well as host West Virginia and North Carolina seeded fifth and sixth respectively.
Live video and live scoring will be available at WVUSports.com. The broadcast will feature two simultaneous live streams in split-screen format, with one stream showing vault and floor and the other displaying bars and beam. Both broadcasts will show meet introductions and post-meet awards.
Tickets are available through the West Virginia Ticket Office. All tickets are general admission. Tickets purchased in advance cost $12, while tickets purchased at the gate are $15. Additionally, for groups of 10 or more, tickets cost $9. Gates to WVU Coliseum open at 4 p.m.
Six teams, five all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and one individual event specialist per event [who has a minimum Regional Qualifying Score (RQS) of 9.4] were named to each of the six predetermined regional host sites.
The top-18 teams are seeded nationally, based on RQS. Teams 19-36 are organized into three pods (19 24, 25-30 and 31-36) and placed geographically at one of the six sites, beginning with teams 19-24 followed by teams 25-30 and then finally teams 31-36. Kentucky is ranked No. 19 nationally.
The top two finishers from each of the six regional sites around the country will advance to the 2013 NCAA Championships in Los Angeles, Calif.
Hosted by UCLA at Pauley Pavilion, the national championships will feature competition between the 12 best gymnastics team in the nation on April 19-21. Top all-around competitions and individual specialists advance as well.
The Wildcats scored 196.775 in the final regular season dual meet at Penn State to top the previous school-record, which they set two weeks earlier at Ball State.
Kentucky scored 196.5 at Ball State, breaking the previous school-record mark of 196.375 set 11 years before.
Competing in the nation’s top gymnastics conference, Kentucky finished the Southeastern Conference schedule with three wins, the most in school history, highlighted by a home-opening victory over then-No. 9 Arkansas. UK also beat then-No. 13 Auburn twice, and tied then-No. 6 Georgia at home.
Kentucky scored more than 196 four-consecutive weeks leading up to the SEC Championship. UK had never topped a 196 team score two meets in a row before this season.
Kayla Hartley and Alexis Gross were recently named to the All-SEC team for the first time in each of their careers. They are the first Wildcats to earn All-SEC honors since Michelle Gales in 2005.
Kentucky will begin Regionals on floor exercise. The Wildcats will rotate to vault, then take a bye before bars, and then wrap up the meet on balance beam.
UK’s best finish at a regional was third at the 1990 Gainesville Regional and at the 1996 Tuscaloosa Regional.
The Wildcats have finished as high as fourth at a regional three times, including 2001, 2005 and 2006. UK placed fifth at the 2012 Champaign, Ill. Regional.
Kentucky’s best-ever team score came during the 2011 season as UK posted a 195.175 at the Tuscaloosa Regional to finish fifth.
Information provided by Jacob Most
Photo provided by SurfKY Graphics
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