Feb. 11, 2010
AUBURN- The No. 14 Auburn gymnastics team (1-4, 1-3) take to the road for the second time in as many weeks, traveling to Lexington, Ky., to take on the No. 12 Wildcats (3-4,1-3) Friday from Kentucky's Memorial Coliseum in Lexington.
"We're excited to be headed to Lexington," said head coach Jeff Thompson. "The girls had a good week of practice this week, even though we trained Sunday, Monday, Wednesday this week which is a little different for us. We had a great week of practice. Kentucky is a great team and it should be a close meet, and we're looking forward to another good performance on the road."
Friday's meet marks the 56th all-time meeting between the Tigers and Wildcats, with Auburn holding a 29-26 advantage. Auburn has defeated Kentucky three-consecutive times dating back to the 2008 SEC Championships. Last season, Auburn downed the Wildcats 196.475-192.550 at Beard-Eaves-Memorial Coliseum on Feb. 20 and followed with a 196.350-195.000 win at the SEC Championships.
The last time the Wildcats defeated the Tigers was the first meet of the 2008 season, as Kentucky scored a 193.450 to Auburn's 191.950. Over the past four seasons, Auburn holds a 6-2 advantage over Kentucky.
Like Auburn, Kentucky is coming off of a season-high score in defeat, falling to Georgia 197.200-195.550 on Feb. 5. Kentucky scored season-high event-by-event scores with a 48.650 on beam and tied a season-best on bars (48.925).
The Wildcats rank 11th on vault (49.035), 16th on bars (48.775), 17th on beam (48.500) and ninth on floor (49.010) in event-by-event national rankings.
On vault, Whitney Rose ranks 34th in the nation with an average score of 9.835. Jamie Reimann is the top bars gymnast, as she is 55th with a 9.781 average. Emily Green leads the way on beam as she is 71st with a 9.730. Kentucky's floor exercise is their strongest event, as the unit has been ranked as high as No. 3 in the country this year. The Wildcats feature three gymnasts in the top-50 in Hilary Ferguson (25th, 9.840), Jasmine Minion (40th, 9.810) and Green (45th, 9.805).
The meet will also serve as a homecoming for head coach Jeff Thompson
, who started his coaching career at Kentucky in 1986 as a graduate assistant. He is a native of Highland Heights, Ky., and played rugby for the Wildcats before graduating with a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1986. He also earned a master's degree from UK in biomechanics in 1995.
The meet begins at 6 p.m, CT from Memorial Coliseum in Lexington. Live stats can be accessed via AuburnTigers.com or UKathletics.com. Additionally, the meet action can be followed through AU_Gymnastics on Twitter.