Gymnastics Rocks Out to Victory in Rupp Arena
LEXINGTON, Ky. – No. 5 Kentucky gymnastics (6-2, 4-1 SEC) partied like rockstars Friday evening with a win against No. 12 Missouri (6-2, 2-2 SEC) at Rupp Arena at Central Bank Center, 197.350 – 196.600.
Rockstar Night was a success as the Wildcats remained undefeated at home, once again making history. UK’s 49.750 on the floor exercise set a new program record while the No. 1-ranked vault team in the country tallied a 49.500 to tie its third-best score ever on the event.
Fifth-year senior Raena Worley recorded her 25th all-around title including her 21st victory on floor and 12th on beam and bars. Her all-around total for the night was 39.725, just shy of her season best.
Kentucky competed in Olympic order beginning with the vault. The top-ranked vault lineup was anchored by junior Makenzie Wilson who earned a 9.950 from the judges for her near-perfect front handspring pike half twist. Her impressive score brought her individual vault victory tally to six total. The 9.950 was her third of the season and second consecutive on the event. Sixth-year senior Arianna Patterson also executed a stunning vault worthy of a 9.925. Her front entry front pike half that ended in a stick kept the momentum high for the Cats in the opening event of the night. Back-to-back, Isabella Magnelli and Worley each scored a 9.900 while freshmen Delaynee Rodriguez and Cecily Rizo both earned 9.825.
Moving to the second rotation, Kentucky was ready to tackle the uneven bars. Worley was the top score on the event with a strong 9.950. Rodriguez, in a new position of the lineup this week, set Worley up for her big score with a 9.900 of her own. Hailey Davis made a leadoff debut on the apparatus earning a 9.850 while sophomore Claire Stippich made her Kentucky gymnastics debut in the two spot with a 9.800. Rizo also scored a 9.800 with Annie Riegert rounding out the rotation with a 9.750.
The lowest scoring event of the evening was the balance beam (48.800) where Kentucky sadly ended its streak of scoring at least 49.000 on every apparatus which dated back to March 2022. Once again, Worley was the highest score on the event with a 9.900. Leadoff Rodriguez earned a 9.850 while fellow freshman Creslyn Brose recorded a solid 9.800. However, Patterson (9.600) and Magnelli (9.650) struggled with balance but remained on the beam, Rizo was not as lucky as she took one fall off of the equipment for a 9.125.
Finally, it was time for the show stopping event of the night worthy of an encore performance. Kentucky took the stage setting a new floor record with almost all gymnasts earning 9.900+ from the judges. Worley was close to her third perfect 10.000 but fell short with Judge One as she earned an average score of 9.975. However, Brose impressed Judge One with her electric routine earning a 10.000 but falling short in the eyes of Judge Two scoring a combined 9.950. Davis fit the night’s theme with her rock and roll floor groove also earning a 9.950 to tie her career best for the seventh time. The third Wildcat to earn a 9.950 on the event was Magnelli who boogied her way to a new career and season best. Wilson made her 2024 home floor debut with an impressive 9.925 setting a new career and season best of her own. Keeping consistent in the leadoff position was Rodriguez who earned a 9.850 for the fourth consecutive meet.
Kentucky will return to Rupp Arena next Friday for a pajama party against BYU at 7 p.m. EST.