Alabama Gymnasts Set Academic Mark

The 2011 NCAA Champion Alabama gymnastics team posted a 3.71 team grade point average last season, setting a new school record to go with its fifth national team championship.

"As a staff we are extremely proud that in the same year we won the championship ‘triple-crown', we also had the highest team GPA and had the most Scholastic All-Americans in program history," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "It just goes to show that at the University of Alabama, everything is within your grasp."

The Crimson Tide, which won the NCAA, NCAA Regional and Southeastern Conference team titles last season, ranked fourth among all gymnastics programs and was one of just two teams, Utah being the other, that made it to April's NCAA Championships in Cleveland, Ohio, and was ranked among the top-20 academically. Additionally, Alabama was the top-ranked SEC team, followed by Florida, which was 43rd with a 3.27 team GPA.

The Tide also set a new school mark with 14 gymnasts earning Scholastic All-American honors in the same season. To earn the honor, a gymnast must have a 3.5 or better grade point average either for the previous academic year, or for their career. Among this year's 14 honorees, five, senior Kayla Hoffman, junior Rachel Terry and freshmen Kim Jacob, Lindsey Fowler and Ria Domier, hold a career GPA of 4.0, while all 17 members of the 2011 squad carry a 3.2 or better cumulative GPA.

"To see the success we enjoyed in the gym this season and combine it with what we accomplished in the classroom, it is truly amazing," Patterson said. "A large part of our success academically can be attributed to the support system we have for our student-athletes at Alabama, which is second to none. Jon Dever, Fern Hampton and the entire staff at our state-of-the-art academic center, do an outstanding job making sure the ladies have everything they need to be successful."

The Tide's entire senior class, All-American and Honda Award winner Kayla Hoffman along with Megan Mashburn and Alyssa Chapman, earned the award. For Hoffman and Mashburn it was the fourth year in a row to earn the honor while Chapman, Alabama's first fifth-year senior, earned her fifth honor.

Junior NCAA Floor Exercise Champion Geralen Stack-Eaton was joined by All-American classmates Ashley Priess and Rachel Terry on this year's list. It was Terry's third honor and Priess' second. Sophomore Becca Alexin also earned her second honor this season.

Seven freshmen - All-American Sarah DeMeo, Ria Domier, Lindsey Fowler, All-American Kim Jacob, All-American Diandra Milliner, Jordan Moore and Hannah Toussaint - earned the honor as well.

"We hope to build on this success in the coming years, both athletically and academically," Patterson said.

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