Missouri gymnastics outlasts Kentucky in close SEC match-up

Missouri prevailed against SEC foe Kentucky Wildcats in Friday’s “cat fight”.

No. 19 Missouri gymnastics (6-9 2-5) ended the week on a high note as they knocked-off the No. 13 Kentucky Wildcats (5-6 3-4) 149.250 - 149.000 in Columbia, Missouri on Friday, March 1. The Tigers floor routine scored high enough to tie for sixth best in program history. 1,112 were in attendance at the Hearnes Center to watch Missouri pick up its first home win of the season.

“The atmosphere around here was just crazy after every routine, it just gets you pumped up,” redshirt junior Morgan Porter said.

In their first rotation, the Tiger gymnasts vaulted their way to a score of 48.800. True freshman Frances Bidwill posted 9.850, good for her career best and second place in the event. Porter’s 9.800 tied for fourth in vault, and sophomore Gabrielle Gottula scored 9.775.

Redshirt senior Becca Schugel and Porter of Missouri collected a pair of 9.850s on the uneven parallel bars, and tied for first in the event. Junior Aspen Tucker also snuck into the top five by tying two Wildcats in the fourth position with a 9.800.

Missouri took the lead by 0.050 after posting a 49.100 team score on the balance beam. Senior Brooke Kelly led the Tigers with a 9.850, her season best. Gottula, junior Mary Nicholson and Senior Allison Bower all scored a 9.825, nabbing the fifth position in the event.

Heading into the final rotation, the Tigers held a slim lead over their Wildcat counterparts. Every member of the squad scored above 9.800 on the floor routine and they earned a total score of 49.400. The score was good to tie the team record at sixth all time. The last time the team scored as high was two years ago on March 10, 2017, also against Kentucky. Bower and Nicholson kicked off the event with two 9.850s Senior Michaelee Turner posted a 9.825 and Gottula, Tucker, and Porter added three 9.900s in a row, a season high for Porter, and a career best for Gottula.

The final tally ended with the Tigers outlasting the Wildcats 196.250 - 196.000. Missouri’s lone all-around gymnast, Porter, led the four Kentucky all-arounders with a score of 39.325.

This was the last SEC dual meet for Missouri before the conference championship on March 23. The Tigers next compete on March 10th in Cape Girardeau, Missouri at the State of Missouri Meet.

Edited by Emily Leiker | eleiker@themaneater.com

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