Mollie Korth leads Wildcats with four routines of 9.800 or better
SALT LAKE CITY – No. 12 Kentucky opened the 2020 regular season with a 196.425-195.350 loss to No. 5 Utah on Friday at Jon M. Huntsman Center. The Wildcats were led by four routines of 9.800 or better from All-American senior Mollie Korth.
“We come away from this meet more experienced, healthy and hungry for improvement,” said UK head coach Tim Garrison. “Our team got a taste of competition tonight. I’m excited for the clarity that brings to training.”
Seven of Kentucky’s 24 competing routines marked career debuts on the corresponding events, while three Cats made their first collegiate appearances.
Kentucky began the night on bars, which ultimately proved to be its second-strongest rotation. Sophomore Josie Angeny led off with a 9.725, tying a career high set in last year’s season opener at Texas Woman’s. Sophomore Cally Nixon and freshman Raina Albores followed with 9.775 apiece before upperclassmen Ella Warren (9.800) and Korth (9.825) anchored Kentucky’s best scores on the apparatus for a total of 48.900.
After Korth led the team on vault with a score of 9.875 and on floor with a mark of 9.800, the Cats ended the night on balance beam with their best rotation. Junior Mackenzie Harman set the tone by tying a career-high 9.775, while senior Hailey Poland (9.800), Korth (9.875) and freshman Raena Worley (9.800) provided three straight performances at or above the 9.800 threshold to give UK a 48.975 finish.
Korth was named Kentucky’s Most Valuable Performer of the meet with an all-around sum of 39.375. Warren, a junior, completed her first career all-around showing at 39.025.
“Mollie Korth picked up right where she left off with four solid events tonight,” Garrison said. “She, along with her senior classmates, is determined to lead this talented group to great things in coming months.”
Kentucky began the 2019 season with three straight sub-196.000 finishes before ending the year with a program-best seven performances above 197.000. The Cats are set to make their 2020 home debut during their annual Excite Night meet at Rupp Arena, hosting No. 16 Missouri next Friday at 6 p.m. ET on SEC Network.