MINNEAPOLIS – After finishing the season with a regional qualifying score of 196.800, the Kentucky gymnastics team is set for the NCAA Minneapolis Regional this weekend. UK will compete on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET at the Maturi Pavilion on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The Wildcats are making their 14th-straight trip to an NCAA Regional and UK is a two seed in the event for the second time in school history.
Kentucky will face No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 3 Denver, Iowa, Iowa State and host Minnesota. All-around individual competitors will be Lisa O’Donnell (UW-Whitewater), Tori Erickson (UW-Eau Claire), Brooke Terry (UW-Stout) and Samantha Wiekamp (UW-La Crosse).
Individual event specialists will be Utah State’s Mikaela Meyer and Madison Ward on vault. Beam will see Autumn Deharde and Emily Briones from Utah State. Bars will have Utah State’s Brittany Jeppesen and Air Force’s Anna Salamone. Ward and Deharde will also be representing USU on floor.
The top two teams from the regional, along with the top All-Around gymnasts from the non-advancing teams will receive an automatic berth to the NCAA Championships which are in St. Louis on April 20-21. Additionally, event winners will advance to the Championships on their respective events if they are not a part of a qualifying team or an All-Around qualifier.
The Wildcats will start on the beam and have a bye in the second rotation. UK will head to floor and vault before another bye and will wrap up the meet on the bars. Tori Erickson from Wisconsin Eau Claire will join Kentucky in the meet.
Regular Season All-America
Mollie Korth was named a 2018 regular season All-American for the second-straight year after finishing the regular season with an all-around 39.475 regional qualifying score, good for 14th in the country. Korth averaged a 39.225 in the all-around, and competed in all four events at every meet but one this season. Her high of 39.625 this season tied her career best and is the second highest all-around score from a Wildcat behind eight-time NCAA National Champion Jenny Hansen.
The Cambridge, Wisconsin native finished 15th in the nation on the vault, earning her All-America distinction. Korth scored a season-high 9.95 in the event and had an RQS of 9.9.
Junior Sidney Dukes took home a share of the SEC floor championship after a 9.9 at the SEC Championships on Saturday night. As a team, UK finished fourth with a score of 196.550.
Three Wildcats were named All-SEC for their performance at the SEC Championships. The top-two scores from each session earn All-SEC honors, and Dukes, junior Alex Hyland and sophomore Mollie Korth won the award.
Dukes, was named All-SEC for her SEC Championship performance on the floor with a 9.9. Dukes placed 13th on the vault with a 9.875 and also competed on beam but did not score.
Hyland earned All-SEC after tying for the second-best second-session score on the vault with a 9.9. That score was good enough for a fourth-place finish. Hyland competed in every event, going 39.1 in the all-around. She scored on the beam with a 9.8, and went 9.725 on the bars and 9.675 on the floor.
Korth tied Hyland with a vault score of 9.9, handing her All-SEC honors. Korth’s 39.325 in the all-around placed her seventh overall. Korth scored in every event for UK after putting up a 9.850 on the bars, a 9.825 on the floor and a 9.750 on beam.
Kentucky in the National Rankings
Kentucky will finish the regular season ranked No. 12 in the nation with an RQS of 196.800. UK finished with the fifth-best RQS in the SEC.