2009 KENTUCKY WILDCATS GYMNASTICS
The University of Kentucky women's gymnastics program has been a consistent performer over the course of the past 27 years in the Southeastern Conference. However, this is one instance in which consistency is not necessarily a good thing. In the case of Kentucky women's gymnastics, the team has performed, for the better part of three decades, consistently below average, and has routinely been in the bottom half, if not at the very bottom, of the incredibly deep and immensely talented gymnastics field that is the Southeastern Conference.
Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.
It has been so bad for the Kentucky women's gymnastics program, that 27 years of hard competition have left them still without a single season in which the team finished the year with a better than .500 record. There have been flirtations with a winning record. There have been hot starts, years in which it seemed that the stars were aligned, and that record would finally be shattered. But when all is said and done, at the conclusion of each of the 27 seasons that have passed, the team always finds that it has amassed a larger number of losses than wins.
It has to be kept in mind, now, how dominant the Southeastern Conference has become in terms of gymnastics. With annual powers such as Georgia and Florida dominating play within the Southeastern Conference, it should come as no surprise that some of the 2nd and 3rd tier teams would have trouble getting wins. What is surprising is that, unlike most of the other teams in the SEC, Kentucky has never had a season in which lighting was caught in a bottle, things just jelled, and the team won.
The first two seasons under head coach Leah Little, in 1981 and 1982, resulted in underwhelming records of 4-14 in 1981, and 6-16 in 1982. However, an 11-12 mark in 1983 led many to think the program may potentially be coming around under Little. However, seasons of 5-11 in 1984 and 9-16 in 1985 led most to quickly dismiss the notion that the Wildcats may be poised to elevate themselves to the next level in the SEC.
Over the next 2 plus decades, one thing that has remained constant is that the Kentucky women's gymnastics team would struggle mightily for a stretch, then every few years, the team would elevate itself to a record just below .500, bringing with that raised level of success raised hopes and expectations that maybe, just maybe, this would be the time that the team would continue that momentum and elevate itself to the next level. Examples of these seasons are 1986, 1990, 1993, and 2006. However, as sure as the rise would come the subsequent fall, and once again, the team would find itself at the bottom looking up.
Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.
Kentucky women's gymnastics has had a few bright moments, at least relative to the general trend of losing seasons over the course of the past 27 years. 1993 marked a significant year for Kentucky women's gymnastics, as it was the first season in which the squad managed a .500 record, going 13-13 on the year. Kentucky women's gymnastics managed one other .500 season, this time in 2006 under the watch of new head coach Mo Mitchell. The team went 15-15 overall that year.
The team then went 8-22 in 2007.
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