Performances Reward UA Gymnastics Fans

Heading into its regular-season finale against North Carolina this Friday, the Alabama gymnastics team once again finds itself among the national leaders when it comes to women's collegiate athletics attendance. An obvious reason is that the Crimson Tide has a quality program on the court.



The Southeastern Conference gymnast of the week for last week will be making her final Coleman Coliseum appearance, and even though it is spring break on The University campus, history says there will be a good crowd on hand.

Alabama, which has averaged 13,742 fans per meet this season, is once again among the top three when it comes to women's attendance, standing alongside Tennessee basketball and Utah gymnastics as the only programs to draw more than 11,000 per event this season.

The Tide's mark includes two meets that drew more than 14,000 fans and two others that were over 12,000. This season marks the third year in a row that the gymnastics team has drawn four or more crowds over 12,000 fans.

Tickets for Friday's regular-season finale against the North Carolina Tar Heels, which gets underway at 7:30 p.m. CDT, are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at RollTide.com.

For the second time this season, Alabama senior Geralen Stack-Eaton is the SEC Gymnast of the Week.

The Horsham, Pa., native earned the honor after leading the Crimson Tide to a 197-175-195.375 win over future SEC school Missouri last Friday. Stack-Eaton won four individual titles, including the all-around with a season-best score of 39.550. She also won the balance beam with a season-best 9.925 as well as taking first place on the uneven bars with a 9.9, tying her season best, and the floor exercise with a 9.9.

"Geralen had her best performance of the season against Missouri," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "She has gotten better and better as the season has progressed and she is peaking at the right time as we prepare for the championship season."

Stack-Eaton also earned SEC Gymnast of the Week honors after opening her senior season with her first career 10.0 on the vault against Georgia. She has now earned the honor four times in her career after earning it twice this season and once each during her sophomore and junior years.

Patterson takes a great deal of pride not just in the number of fans her program draws year-in and year-out, but the type of fans who come to see her gymnasts compete.

"Our fans are truly amazing," Patterson said. "They are so enthusiastic, knowledgeable and supportive; they are constantly lifting our ladies to new heights. They are without a doubt the best fans in the country."

The Tide had a capacity turnout of 15,075 for its Power of Pink meet against Arkansas and 14,501 for its season opener against Georgia. A total of 12,457 fans braved stormy weather to see Alabama take on the Florida Gators while the Tide drew 12,936 fans for last Friday's Tornado Relief meet against Missouri.

Alabama's meet against Arkansas marked the Tide's ninth sellout since 1997 and eighth time in the last seven years for Bama gymnastics to fill every seat.

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