Potential Lineups: Kentucky

By Caroline Medley


SEC up-and-comers, the Kentucky Wildcats, used mostly freshmen and sophomores in their lineups last season, but they’ll still miss seniors Marissa Beucler, Tiara Phipps, Amy Roemmele and Montana Whittle on all four events. They’ll also gain some very solid former J.O. and elite athletes in their freshman class that should be more than capable of filling in those holes.

Beucler regularly contributed to the vault lineup, but her full-twisting Yurchenko can be readily replaced. Incoming freshmen Erynne Allen and Alaina Kwan both compete excellent Yurchenko fulls, and Allen has trained both the 1.5 and the double-twisting Yurchenko into the pit. Another incoming freshman, Marisa Varrone, is still coming back from a surgery last year but has been training a

Yurchenko full again. In addition, the Wildcats return Katrina Coca, Alex Hyland, Aubree Rosa, Katie Stuart and Sydney Waltz performing Yurchenko fulls. There are some more creative vaults returning to the lineup, like Sidney Dukes’s Yurchenko arabian. Danaea Davis also performs a vault where she does a front handspring onto the board, another onto the table then a front tuck off of the table. Her

landings are pretty deep most of the time, but she’s scored as high as a 9.825. She may very well make some lineups again this year.

On bars, the Wildcats lose routines from Beucler and Whittle but again will gain some key freshmen routines. Newcomer Hailey Poland may have some messy legs on her Geinger but her double layout dismount is excellent. Kentucky’s only elite freshman, Kwan, represented Belarus at worlds last year, and though she had some issues with her swing, she has some pretty great form on her releases. Varrone is also training bars again, including a Geinger, which is the skill that she injured herself on in the first place. Kentucky will also return standouts Coca, Dukes, Hyland, Stuart and Waltz as well as Katie Carlisle and Cori Rechenmacher.

​Both Roemmele and Whittle regularly contributed solid scores to Kentucky’s beam rotation, so it’s going to need some strong routines coming in to fill those gaps. Though the Wildcats will return enough routines used in last season’s lineups — Dukes, Hyland, Rechenmacher, Rosa, Stuart and Waltz — to field a full six routines, Kwan and Poland can certainly

contribute as well. Kwan’s variety of elite skills will give her a wide range to choose from when piecing together her cleanest routine possible. And Poland’s confidence and beam choreography should put her right at home in an NCAA beam lineup.

On floor, Kentucky loses both Phipps and Roemmele, who performed on floor in most meets last season. Floor is perhaps where the Wildcats show the least difficulty, as many of their girls that could return to the lineup this season have chosen to only do two passes rather than three, including Hyland, Rosa and Taylor Puryear. This year, the incoming freshmen will be looking to step it up. Allen has already training her stellar double layout in the Wildcat gym. In addition, Kwan performed a routine with three D passes at worlds last year — a double pike, 2.5 twist and double tuck. She could definitely be a contender for the lineup as well. In addition to the veterans, Kentucky will also see Dukes and Stuart back in the running for floor, as well as possibly Sydney Waltz. Having torn her ACL at nationals in 2015, she was able to come back toward the end of last season and competed vault, bars and beam at regionals. In 2015, though, she was Kentucky’s strongest all arounder and qualified to NCAAs as an individual, becoming only the 12th Wildcat in program history to do so.

As far as the all around goes, last year’s duo of Dukes and Hyland, which qualified to nationals, should almost certainly be back. Stuart also competed all four events for over half of Kentucky’s meets last year, so she will mostly likely join them. Waltz, too, could also challenge for an all-around spot if she’s back at full strength and ready to do floor.

Stay tuned for part seven of SEC’s potential lineup analysis as we cover last year’s runners-up, the LSU Tigers! For more lineup information, see our potential lineups page here, or check out our previous articles in the SEC series:

Alabama | Arkansas | Auburn | Florida | Georgia

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