'Fun' Continues for Gymnastics Cats on Friday
The 2024 Kentucky gymnastics team is accomplishing a number of things that the program has never done before. The Cats are breaking barriers, surging in the national rankings and setting new program standards.
Above all of those things, these Cats are having a lot of fun.
On Friday night at Rupp Arena, No. 5 Kentucky rallied to beat 12th-ranked Missouri 197.300-196.600. UK trailed heading into the final rotation, then scored a season-high 49.750 on the floor. The Cats counted five routines that ranged from 9.925 to 9.975 in that rotation.
After the meet, freshman Delaynee Rodriguez, who finished second to teammate Raena Worley in the all-around on Friday, told the SEC Network that this team is having quite a bit of fun.
“We just have a great time,” Rodriguez said. “We have so much fun out there. Team 50 is such an awesome team.”
When asked who leads the fun, Rodriguez turned to Worley, the fifth-year senior.
“Honestly, Worley is such an awesome leader,” Rodriguez said. “I feel like we just thrive off of each other and we just are so confident in everyone. We just try to have a good time. We try to be focused and confident in our routines.”
For a while on Friday night, it looked as if it might be Missouri that would end up having the most fun. Kentucky had an uncharacteristically tough time on the beam, with one fall and a couple of bobbles, to fall behind with one rotation to go.
That’s when the Cats went to the floor and the fun really started happening. Kentucky’s floor routines are all very high energy and, on Friday, they were all outstanding. Worley notched a 9.975, breaking her streak of two consecutive perfect 10s on the floor. Creslyn Brose, Hailey Davis and Isabella Magnelli each recorded a score of 9.950. And Makenzie Wilson had a 9.925. Rodriguez scored a solid 9.850, a score that the Cats did not have to count.
By the time Worley completed her routine, it was clear that the Cats would come out with the win, and that the fun of this season would continue.
Kentucky has already set a program record score with a 197.950 against Georgia this season. The Cats were ranked a program record high third in the national rankings earlier this season. And UK has scored three perfect 10s already this season (Wilson on vault and Worley twice on floor). Those are the first perfect scores by an Cat since the legendary Jenny Hansen did it in 1996.
All of that, along with a 6-2 record, including a 3-1 mark in the Southeastern Conference (which has the Cats in first place), is allowing this team to have a lot of fun.