Alabama Gymnasts Take On Gymdogs

Could anyone ever have foreseen the say when there would be a chance that the Alabama gymnastics team might be looking past the Georgia Gymdogs? No. And it is not likely to happen this year, either, even though the situation invites the danger.

The situation is that Alabama is in fifth place in this week's national rankings. The Crimson Tide of Coach Sarah Patterson is in contention for its third consecutive national championship.

Moreover, Alabama is going to have a chance to knock off some of the teams ranked ahead of Bama.

The Tide retained its number five national ranking this week after beating Kentucky last Friday night in front of a sell-out crowd of 15,075, the largest attendance for a women's gymnastics meet in the NCAA this season.

Florida jumped to the top spot in this week's rankings. No problem, because Alabama will compete against the Gators later this year.

Florida is followed by Oklahoma, Michigan and UCLA. The Crimson Tide will close out the season's home schedule with meets against the Sooners and Bruins.

Alabama's next opponent, however, is longtime nemesis Georgia. While Alabama has been the "white hat" team of gymnastics, Georgia gained its considerable success with an equal dose of all-around notoriety, with the Tide and Dogs clearly the top squads in the SEC.

Now Georgia has falled on comparatively tough times. The Gymdogs are ranked "only" eighth in the nation.

Alabama will be at Stegeman Coliseum in Athens for the Tide's only Saturday event of the season.

Alabama is third on the uneven bars, sixth on the vault, eighth on the balance beam and ninth on the floor exercise.

Junior Kim Jacob is ranked 14th in the all-around, fifth on the floor exercise and 23rd on the balance beam after posting a career-best 9.925 on the floor exercise against Kentucky. Junior Diandra Milliner is seventh on the vault. Senior Ashley Priess checks in at seventh while junior Sarah DeMeo and senior Ashley Sledge are tied for 13th on the uneven bars.

The Tide is on the road for the next two weeks, taking on No. 8 Georgia in Athens this Saturday before traveling to Gainesville to take on No. 1 Florida on Feb. 8.

The following week sees Alabama back in Tuscaloosa, facing off against in-state rival Auburn on Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available now through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at

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