2020 Kentucky Wildcats

KENTUCKY WILDCATS
Seniors
Mollie Korth
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Competed AA in all 14 meets in 2019
  • #1 returning score on all 4 events
  • NQS of 9.910 VT, 9.905 FX, 9.875 UB, 9.860 BB
  • Finished regular season ranked #16 AA
Alaina Kwan
VT
UB
BB
  • Compted VT, UB in all 14 meets in 2019
  • #2 returning score on VT (9.800)
  • #3 returning score on UB (9.845)
  • Competed BB in 9 meets in 2018
Katherine
Marianos
 
  • Did not compete in first two seasons
  • Skipped from sophomore to senior
Hailey Poland
BB
FX
  • Returned from injury mid-season to make final FX lineup, NQS 9.785
  • Showed 5 BBs with 4 hits
  • Competed weekly BB in 2018, NQS of 9.860
Juniors
Madison Averett
BB
  • Made competition debut in 2019 with 9.550 on BB
Mackenzie
Harman
BB
  • Made competition debut in 2019 with 2 BBs, avg 9.663
Megan Monfredi
FX
  • Competed 3 FXs in 2019, avg 9.667
Allison Snyder
 
  • Did not compete in first two seasons
Ella Warren
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Returned from injury to compete 11 FXs in 2019
  • #2 returning score on FX (9.845)
  • Competed weekly UB in 2018 season
Sophomores
Josie Angeny
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed BB in 12 of 14 meets in 2019
  • #2 returning routine on BB (9.830)
  • Showed 1 UB in 2019 for 9.725
Anna Haigis
 
  • Did not compete in first season
Cally Nixon
VT
UB
BB
  • Competed UB each week in 2019
  • #2 returning UB routine (9.870)
  • Showed 3 BBs (all 9.725), 1 VT (9.675)
Arianna Patterson
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Missed 2019 season with torn Achilles
  • 8th VT, 10th FX – 2018 JO Nationals
Freshmen
Raina Albores
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Perpetual Motion
  • 14th AA, 10th VT, 2018 JO Nationals
Kaitlin DeGuzman
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Metroplex
  • 12th AA, 2016 US Classic
  • International elite for Philippines
Kassidy Howell
 
  • In the Zone
  • 10th AA, 2019 Region 5s
Ashlyn LaClair
VT
  • Arena
  • 15th VT, 2019 JO Nationals
Shealyn Luksik
UB
  • X-Cel
  • 1st UB, 2018, 2017, 2016 Region 7s
  • 1st UB, 2016 JO Nationals
Elyssa Roberts
 
  • Tift
  • 4th VT, 2018 Georgia states
Raena Worley
VT
UB
BB
FX
  • Virginia Techniques
  • 2nd AA, 2019 JO Nationals
  • 5th AA, 2019 Nastia Cup

FINAL SEASON RANKING
2019 – 9th
2018 – 12th
2017 – 14th
2016 – 22nd
2015 – 24th
2014 – 21st
2013 – 21st
2012 – 25th
2011 – 25th
2010 – 21st

THE 2019 STORY
Kentucky ultimately fulfilled the prophecy of last year’s epic senior class, following 2018’s record 12th-place result with a new record 9th-place result, finishing the season ranked as the top team to miss out on advancing to nationals. Kentucky spent the serious part of the season ranked in the 9-12 zone, so the finish is largely an accurate representation of how the season went, even if it will have been disappointing to come that close to making nationals and then miss out despite the 197.600 (for 4th place) in the Georgia regional final.

DEPARTED 2019 ROUTINES
Sidney Dukes – VT, UB, BB, FX
Alex Hyland – VT, UB, BB, FX
Katie Stuart – VT, UB, BB, FX
Danaea Davis – VT
Aubree Rosa – VT, FX

What do you even say? Kentucky has lost a vitally important class, 13 of 24 regionals routines, and nearly every big (non-Korth) score in each lineup. It’s going to be a massive project to try to build this roster back up in 2020.

INCOMING GYMNASTS
The departure of such a large class must be met with the introduction of an equally large class, and Kentucky has brought in 7 freshmen in the effort to reconstruct these lineups for a new era. Look to see many routines and possible AA contributions from Raena Worley, Raina Albores, and Kaitlin DeGuzman in 2020.

2020 PROJECTION
The new and remaining Kentucky gymnasts have a lot to prove in 2020. Before the Dukes/Hyland/Stuart class, Kentucky was a 20-25 team that you never really expected to finish much better than that. Now, Kentucky is a nationals contender. But was it just the influence of that class? Or is this now who Kentucky is? Those still on the roster have to prove that contending is an every-year thing.

Because of those departures, expectations for Kentucky will not be very high entering the season in 2020. There’s so much we still have to see come to fruition. There will need to be a lot of playing around with new options, and we’re more a bit likely to see a team this season ranked in the teens—though we shouldn’t see a regression back to the 20s.

VAULT

2019 Event Ranking: 10

Lineup locks: Mollie Korth, Arianna Patterson, Raena Worley, Alaina Kwan
Lineup options: Raina Albores, Ella Warren, Josie Angeny, Cally Nixon, Kaitlin DeGuzman

Kentucky returns just two vaulters from the final lineup last season. Thankfully, one of them is Korth, whose 1.5 will be counted on for the team’s best score again. The most important new vault comes from Patterson, who missed last season with injury but has a handspring pike 1/2 that’s actually quite laid out and will be a necessary score that gives Kentucky a second 10.0 start this season.

Worley and Albores will look to bring new fulls into the lineup to help create a group of six, and a few other gymnasts who didn’t break into the vault lineup in the past like Warren and Angeny have fulls that will probably need to be used this time around. The nature of this replacement project is that we’ll see athletes in 2020 who didn’t make the lineup in 2019, which means we can expect a bit of a scoring dip. Still, Kentucky should have two strong 10.0 starts again this year and can fill out the rest of a lineup with fulls to try to keep things relatively steady.

BARS

2019 Event Ranking: 13

Lineup locks: Mollie Korth, Cally Nixon, Alaina Kwan
Lineup options: Josie Angeny, Kaitlin DeGuzman, Shealyn Luksik, Raina Albores, Raena Worley, Arianna Patterson, Ella Warren

The story of “well, it’s going to be hard to replace those scores” is just a given for each event, so I’m not going to say it every single time. On bars, Kentucky has one of its heartier supplies of replacement routines since there are four freshmen I could legitimately see getting into the lineup to go along with the three returning routines.

Korth and Nixon had the two highest NQSs in the lineup last year, with Kwan was not far behind them, and it’s a good bet that if you made a lineup last season, you’re going to make it again this year. Ideally, we’ll see DeGuzman join them since her form is so good and her potential is so high, and beyond that, we’ve seen some nice training video moments from Luksik, as well as Angeny who is looking to add bars this season. As of now, those look like the best-case routines, but Albores and Worley will both deliver options as well.

If there’s an event that’s best suited to keep up last year’s level, right now it looks like bars.

BEAM

2019 Event Ranking: 8

Lineup locks: Mollie Korth, Josie Angeny
Lineup options: Kaitlin DeGuzman, Raena Worley, Ella Warren, Hailey Poland, Alaina Kwan, Raina Albores, Arianna Patterson

Kentucky returns its first half the lineup from 2019—Korth, Angeny, and Warren—which should be the foundation to build upon, all of whom will have to take on more scoring duty in 2020 instead of being supporting 9.8s. Beam is a particular concern in that it’s the least likely place for Korth to swoop in and save the day with a 9.950. Others have to take on more on here. DeGuzman is a potential star and needs to be in this lineup, while Worley did exceptionally well on beam in the 2019 JO season, so I’d rank those two as the most likely newbies to break in.

Poland was a mainstay in the lineup in 2018 for strong scores, so I’d like to see her come back into the competition group here, which would amount to a theoretical six that’s quite talented (with people like Kwan and Patterson presenting other options) though very much still based on potential. Kentucky’s ability to score competitively and get 9.9s in 2020 seems so dependent on DeGuzman and Worley being the new Dukes and Hyland, and we don’t know how that will go yet.

FLOOR

2019 Event Ranking: 14

Lineup locks: Mollie Korth, Ella Warren, Raena Worley
Lineup options: Hailey Poland, Kaitlin DeGuzman, Arianna Patterson, Raina Albores, Megan Monfredi

Kentucky’s two big routines returning on floor belong to Korth and Warren, Korth with the power and Warren with the form to score almost equally well. Worley reigns as the freshman with the biggest power on floor and likely the one most relied upon to bring a new 9.9-able routine into the lineup.

Poland made the final lineup last year, and we should also be looking at Kaitlin DeGuzman here. Initially, it seemed bars and beam would be DeGuzman’s significant contributions to the team, but she has been working a front 2/1 that would certainly be welcome in this group. I’d love to see Patterson get into this lineup, and there will be a couple other choices from people like Albores, though floor doesn’t currently look like it enjoys quite the same depth as an event like bars.

The team returns only four gymnasts who do floor, and I have three additional freshmen marked as possibilities, along with Patterson coming back, so there’s enough people to make a lineup there but not a lot of leeway for injury or for too many (any?) of those prospective routines to end up being 9.7s instead of 9.8s.

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