Raena Worley’s Historic 39.750 Powers Kentucky to 197.450
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Gymnastics got a historically-great 39.750 performance in the all-around Saturday afternoon from junior Raena Worley as the Wildcats overpowered Missouri with a 197.450-196.875 win to pick up its first Southeastern Conference victory of the season.
Worley’s 39.750 is the highest individual all-around performance at Kentucky in a regular-season meet since 1996, and the fourth-best all-around performance in program history, only trailing Jenny Hansen’s three-best scores that ranged from 1993-96 (39.875, 39.800 and 39.775).
“We felt going into the meet that we were more of a complete team than we were the first two meets of the season” UK head coach Tim Garrison said. “We had to make some lineup adjustments, but the athletes that stepped in performed well on short notice and with very little drop off in score. It was valuable experience for the moving forward. Our mainstays in lineups continued their successful ways again and competed at a very high level. Start to finish, it was a strong performance for this team.:
Kentucky recorded season-high scores on vault (49.400), bars (49.425), beam (49.275) and floor (49.325) en route to the win over Missouri who scored a 196.875 in Saturday’s meet. The Wildcats counted 18 of 20 scores that were 9.8 or higher Saturday afternoon, recording above a 197 for the first time this season.
The Wildcats’ 49.400 on vault is tied for third all-time for a single meet at UK with the 49.435 on bars coming s third-best score in program history as well. Kentucky’s 98.825 through the opening two rotations is a tie for its best-ever vault/bars combination, per Drew Porche.
Worley, the two-time running SEC Gymnast of the Week, scored a 9.975 on floor with a 10.00 and a 9.95 from the pair of judges, 9.950 on bars, 9.925 on vault to start her night and a 9.900 on beam – where she picked up the pieces for UK after a fall by a teammate. The junior has now scored 9.9+ on 11 of 12 events this season as she continues to have one of the best starts in program history. She won the individual titles on all four apparatuses in addition to the all-around.
“Raena Worley had another amazing performance and is leading her team in the best way imaginable – by example.” Garrison said.
Kentucky started with a bang on vault, pumping out a 49.400 with Jillian Procasky leading things off scoring a 9.875. Makenzie Wilson and Cally Nixon followed with 9.850’s before Arianna Patterson hung up a 9.9 for the first 9.9 of the meet. Worley closed the rotation with a 9.925.
On bars, Kentucky stuck almost every landing for the first time this season, with all six Wildcats scoring above a 9.8 on the second event of the afternoon. Hailey Davis’ return to the lineup was met with a 9.875 followed by a 9.9 out of Cally Nixon who had a sensational night for Kentucky. Josie Angeny tallied a 9.850 before a strong close by Bailey Bunn (9.850) and Worley (9.950).
Kentucky unquestionably had its best beam rotation of the season, scoring a 49.275 Saturday inside Memorial Coliseum. Shealyn Luksik, Bunn and Isabella Magnelli each scored above a 9.8 before Worley and Angeny shut the door with a 9.9 and 9.775 for the Wildcats.
As the night concluded on floor, Bunn led off with a 9.825 and UK posted above a 9.75 across the board all afternoon before Magnelli floored a 9.875 and Davis nailed a 9.9, setting up Worley to close out the night. After a near-perfect performance, Worley earned a 10.0 from one judge and a 9.95 from the other, marking a 9.775, the highest score of any gymnast on any apparatus Saturday. It also bookmarked the first time a Kentucky gymnast has scored a 10.0 from any judge in an event this season.
Kentucky will compete next on Friday evening inside Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. ET as part of a quad meet with Georgia, Illinois and Central Michigan. The UK/Georgia head-to-head competition will count as an SEC result for both teams, with this serving as an official rescheduling opportunity from Excite Night, which was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols. Tickets are available at UKathletics.com/tickets.
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