Tide Freshman Tops Balance Beam Rank

University of Alabama freshman gymnast Sarah DeMeo is ranked No. 1 in the nation on the balance beam this week while senior Kayla Hoffman is ranked second in the all-around following the Crimson Tide season-opening 195.35-192.75 win over Penn State.

Hoffman, who won the all-around against PSU by tying her career best of 39.5, is also third on the balance beam, fourth on the vault, fifth on the floor exercise and 23rd on the uneven bars. DeMeo is 23rd on the uneven bars as well as standing atop the beam rankings.

Freshman Diandra Milliner, who joined the Tide on Dec. 26 after graduating from high school early, is fourth on the vault and 20th on the floor exercise. Sophomore Ashley Sledge is sixth on the vault and 13th on the uneven bars. Junior Geralen Stack-Eaton is 21st on the balance beam.

Alabama is ranked ninth as a team, one place ahead of this week's opponent, the Arkansas Razorbacks. Third on the vault and sixth on the floor exercise, the Tide is also 12th on the uneven bars and 18th on the balance beam.

Florida is the nation's top-ranked team, followed by Stanford at No. 2 and Utah and Michigan tied for third. UCLA rounds out the top five in the first ranking of the season which is tabulated by total season scoring average.

Alabama opens the road and Southeastern Conference portion of its schedule at Arkansas this Friday. The meet starts at 7 p.m. CT. The Tide returns home the following Friday to take on Boise State. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, or online at RollTide.com.

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