Alabama Gymnast Is A Fast Learner

It didn't take Diandra Milliner long to learn how important it is for Alabama to beat Auburn...in anything. Milliner was graduated from high school in December and last Friday helped the Crimson Tide to a rout of the Tigers, Bama's 101st consecutive gymnastics victory over Auburn.



For her efforts, Alabama's Diandra Milliner was named the Southeastern Conference Freshman Gymnast of the Week the league office announced Tuesday.

"Diandra has come in and given this team an instant spark," Tide Coach Sarah Patterson said. "She competes like a veteran and gained the confidence of her teammates immediately."

Milliner, who joined the Crimson Tide on Dec. 26 after graduating early from high school, earned the award after winning the vault and finishing third on both the balance beam and floor exercise against the Auburn Tigers last Friday.

"Her vault against Auburn was a demonstration of power and precision on the landing and I think that was as good a balance beam routine as she's done all year," Patterson said. "Her floor routine continues to become a show as she becomes more comfortable with her choreography and learns to play to our crowd. It was just a tremendous meet for her and she is very deserving of this honor."

The Wichita, Kan., native has now scored 9.9 or better on four of her first six vaults, including a 9.925 last week. After posting a 9.875 against Auburn, she has now scored 9.85 or better on the floor exercise in all six meets.

For her efforts against Auburn, Milliner earned the Tide's "Performance of the Week" and her scores against the Tigers helped push the Crimson Tide to its highest total of the season, a 197.075, making the Tide one of only three teams to score better than 197 this season.

Milliner and her teammates return to Coleman Coliseum this Friday against Kentucky in the Tide's seventh annual Power of Pink meet. Tickets can be purchased online at RollTide.com and through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of the Coliseum.

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