Gymnastics Nearly Upsets #4 Bama

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The No. 17 University of Kentucky gymnasts competed in Tuscaloosa, Ala., Friday night against No. 4 Alabama. Kentucky took to the mats in Coleman Coliseum in front of a crowd of 9,178 Roll Tide fans.

UK was ahead of Alabama after three rotations, but faltered on beam with three falls, allowing the Tide to roll past the Wildcats 195.250-193.850. Michelle Gales took first in the all-around with a 39.050 second was UA's Dana Filetti with a 39.

"We were ahead once again and let victory slip out of our hands," UK head coach Mo Muhammad said. "We trained for this and now we have to go back home and find six girls who want to compete on beam. Six girls who have the heart and gumption to compete at meets like they do in practice."

Kentucky garnered a 48.675 on bars to start the meet. The Cats were led by junior Lucy Burgin who recorded a season-high 9.775, while senior co-captain Michelle Gales earned the same score. Sophomore Rachel Riley helped UK with a solid 9.725 and Sarai Sevier posted a 9.65.

Kentucky started the second rotation on vault down to the Tide 49.025-48.675. Junior Staci O'Keefe led the Cats with a second-place career-high 9.825. Lindsay Cameron and Burgin both recorded 9.775 marks while Cook recorded a 9.75. Gales' 9.725 helped UK to a 48.675 on the second apparatus.

UK's stronghold, floor was up next for the third rotation, as the team trailed ‘Bama 97.525-98.025. Gales led the Cats with a second-place 9.85 score on floor, followed by Riley's 9.825. Freshman Kristen O'Shields garnered a 9.75, while Krista Prestigiacomo, the Cats first performer on floor, recorded a mark of 9.7. Sophomore Krystle Cook made her first appearance of the season on floor earning a season-high mark of 9.7 to help the Cats take the lead 146.375-146.250. UA standout Ashley Miles marked an uncharacteristic 9.375 with a fall on the landing.

Kentucky moved to its final event, beam. Leading off for Kentucky was Cannon who earned a 9.65, followed by Gales' third-place 9.7. Three falls on beam hurt UK as Riley finished off the meet with a 9.675.

Kentucky returns to action Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Coliseum vs. No. 3 LSU. The meet is the Cats last SEC home match-up and will be pre-recorded by Fox Sports Network. The meet will be broadcast Feb. 26, at 4 p.m. ET on FSN.

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