UK will make its 26th NCAA Championship appearance after the Wildcats finished fourth with a school-record regional score of 195.575 last season. Along with UK and No. 15 Penn State, which will host the regional, the regional field includes No. 1 Florida, No. 12 Oregon State, New Hampshire and Maryland.
“We are thrilled about our regional assignment,” UK head coach Tim Garrison said. “As with all of the regional sites, the competition will be tough, but we look forward to the challenge. This team has familiarity and a great history competing at Penn State, we set our school record score there last season. We are excited about the opportunity that the regional championship gives us to try and extend our season.”
Last year in State College, Pa., the Wildcats broke the school record team score with a 196.775 in the regular season finale March 16. UK also scored a program record 49.475 on beam at PSU’s Rec Hall.
In the season-opener this year, UK beat the Nittany Lions and two other teams at home with a 195.000. The Wildcats and top-ranked Gators have met twice this season, both times when UF was ranked No. 1. Florida claimed a win in Lexington Feb. 7 over Kentucky’s 195.450 before the Gators finished second and the Wildcats sixth with a 195.075 at the SEC Championship last weekend.
Kentucky is one of seven Southeastern Conference schools to earn an NCAA bid. Along with defending NCAA champion Florida, 2014 SEC Champion Alabama, Georgia and LSU all earned No. 1 seeds. Auburn and Arkansas are seeded third. The Wildcats are seeded fifth in their regional.
The top two teams in each of the six regionals will advance to the 2014 NCAA Finals. The finals will be held in Birmingham, Ala., April 18 - 20, at the BJCC Arena.
At last season’s regional, in Morgantown, W. Va., the Wildcats broke the school record regional score with a 195.575 to finish fourth, just 0.450 points shy of a second-place finish and a spot in their first NCAA Finals.
Follow Championship Central to go behind-the-scenes with the team, from last weekend’s SEC Championship to the NCAA Regionals.Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics.
Information provided by UK Athletics
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