SEATTLE - Two Wildcats qualified for the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships on Saturday evening, as UK placed third in the NCAA Seattle Regional meet with a score of 196.200 inside the Alaska Airlines Arena on the campus of the University of Washington.
"It was a tough end to a great season," head coach Tim Garrison said. "This 2017 team has raised the bar for our program and has accomplished many firsts. Tonight we fell just short of the accomplishment we really wanted."
Freshman Mollie Korth and Sophomore Alex Hyland qualified for the national championships in the all-around. Both Korth and Hyland finished with all-around scores of 39.300, tying for fourth place at the regional. Korth is the 15th different individual to qualify for the NCAA championships in program history, while Hyland qualified for the event last season as well. Korth led Kentucky with 19 event titles throughout the season. Hyland led on beam with 11 event titles, including the SEC beam title.
"We're looking forward to Alex and Mollie competing in the NCAA's," Garrison said. "They have earned the opportunity to compete on our biggest stage and they will represent their team well."
Korth's best finish was on the vault, where she posted a 9.875, good for a podium finish of sixth-place finish. The Cambridge, Wisconsin native finished seventh on beam with a 9.850 and also posted a 9.8 on the floor and a 9.775 on bars. Hyland's best event was on the beam once again, good for a tie for third place with a 9.9. Hyland finished with a 9.850 on the floor, a 9.8 on beam and a 9.75 on the vault.
All four Wildcat all-arounders scored above a 39 during the event. Sophomore Katie Stuart scored a 39.125 while sophomore Sidney Dukes scored a 39.050.
As a team, the Wildcats finished in third with a team score of 196.200, the program-high for Kentucky in a NCAA Regional. Oklahoma and Washington advanced as the two teams from the Seattle Regional with scores of 198.075 and 196.550, respectively. Stanford finished fourth with a score of 195.025, BYU fifth with a 195.025 and Utah State sixth with a 194.850.
The 2017 season marked multiple broken records for the Wildcats. UK earned its top four scores in program history this season, as well as its highest regional qualifying score of 196.845. Kentucky will wrap up 2017 with a team record of 16-10-1 and 3-4 in the Southeastern Conference.
Hyland and Korth will compete at the NCAA Gymnastics National Championships on April 14-15 in St. Louis, Missouri.