No. 3 Alabama Gymnastics Takes Second at Ozone Collegiate Classic
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – A week after posting its best opening score in school history, the No. 3 ranked Alabama gymnastics team experienced an off night at the Ozone Collegiate Classic in Knoxville, Tenn., finishing second to Nebraska by two tenth of a point and ahead of Southeastern Conference rival Kentucky. Alabama posted a 196.050 to Nebraska’s 196.250 while the Wildcats scored a 194.650.
Alabama was without All-American and NCAA vault champion Diandra Milliner, who was held out as a precaution after warm-ups.
After struggling in spots through its first three rotations, the Crimson Tide closed strong with a 49.425 on the vault led by sophomore Lauren Beer’s 9.95 in the anchor spot. Alabama scored a 49.000 on the uneven bars, led by a 9.875 from junior Kaitlyn Clark. On the balance beam, Alabama totaled a 48.850 led by a 9.825 from freshman Aja Sims. On the floor exercise, Sims again led the way, scoring 9.8 to pace the Tide to a 48.775 team score.
Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum next Friday for its 10th annual Power of Pink meet, when it will face Arkansas starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the Tide’s home meets and the SEC and NCAA Championships are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, and online at RollTide.com. Fans can keep up with the Tide via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by following BamaGymnastics.
Wildcats fall to Two Top-Six Teams in Knoxville
Knoxville, Tenn. – In its first road competition of the season, the No. 17 University of Kentucky gymnastics team fell to No. 6 Nebraska and No. 3 Alabama at the Ozone Collegiate Gymnastic Classic Saturday night in Knoxville, Tenn.
The Wildcats (3-2, 0-1 SEC) scored a 194.650, behind the Cornhuskers’ 196.250 and the Crimson Tide’s 196.050. Alabama notched the top scores on vault and uneven bars, while Nebraska tallied meet highs on balance beam and floor. The Wildcats scored a 48.875 on floor, the second-highest total at the meet, along with a 48.750 on vault, a 48.625 on beam and a 48.400 on bars.
In front of a full house of 3,100 that included youth gymnasts competing at the weekend-long event, UK tallied 12 individual season high scores. Sophomore Marissa Beucler registered a career-high-tying 9.725 on vault. Kentucky’s 48.750 on vault also was a season high.
Senior Audrey Harrison, a Knoxville native, came in third in the all-around with a season-high 39.175. Her total came behind two Nebraska gymnasts and just 0.250 out of second place. Junior Shelby Hilton also competed on all four events and posted a 38.600 to place sixth.
The Wildcats continue a three-week roadtrip at Missouri on Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m., ET. Kentucky is 1-0 in Southeastern Conference action against Mizzou, with a 194.250-194.125 home win last season in the Tigers’ first season in the SEC. The last time the Wildcats traveled to Columbia, Mo. was in 2004.
The Wildcats opened on vault with a 48.750, which bested last weekend’s season-debut score of 48.600. Senior Holly Cunningham led UK with a 9.775, while Harrison, junior Kenzie Hedges and Hilton scored a 9.750. Beucler tallied a 9.725 to tie a career best.
On bars, Kentucky scored a 48.400, led by Harrison’s season-high 9.750. Redshirt junior Kayla Hartley posted a 9.725 and sophomore Amy Roemmele and senior Kayla Sienkowski registered a 9.700. Hilton scored a 9.525 to round out UK’s scoring on the event.
Harrison led the Cats with a 9.825 on beam as UK recorded a team score of 48.625. Junior Shannon Mitchell and Sienkowski finished with a 9.725. Roemmele, in her collegiate debut on the event, notched a 9.675, along with Cunningham, who’s score was a season high.
Kentucky closed on floor, where a 48.875 was the second-best team score on the event. For the second meet in a row, Harrison and Hartley paced the Wildcats with a 9.850, both season highs. Hedges posted a 9.775, while Mitchell recorded a 9.750. Hilton rounded out her all-around performance with a 9.650.
For complete news and updates on the Kentucky Gymnastics program, go to UKathletics.com. Breaking news, behind-the-scenes updates, photos and more can be found on Twitter at @UKGymnastics and Facebook at Facebook.com/UKGymnastics.