Alabama Gymnasts Defeat Arkansas
"I think sometimes the biggest thing I have to worry about on a night like tonight is the excitement at the beginning of the meet and the emotions, and then having the ladies, as we say, flip-it mentally, to get on track and compete after going through that," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "They did a great job with that tonight. We weren't perfect but we improved in a lot of different areas. I can't be more proud of this team right now. We're certainly on pace to do what we need to do."
Senior Sarah DeMeo led the way for the Tide after scoring a 39.400 to take second in the all-around, less than a tenth of a point behind Arkansas' Katherine Grable, the nation's No. 1 ranked all-arounder.
The Tide finished the night off with a 49.225 on the floor exercise led by senior Kim Jacob's 9.900. The Tide also got matching 9.875s from freshman Aja Sims and sophomore Lauren Beers.
In addition to scoring just shy of her career best in the all-around, DeMeo got the Tide off to a strong start on the vault with a career-best 9.925. Along with a 9.875 from senior Diandra Milliner and a 9.850 from sophomore Lauren Beers, DeMeo paced Alabama to a 49.300 on the vault.
On the uneven bars senior Kim Jacob led the way to a 49.300 team score with a meet-best 9.900. DeMeo led the Tide off with a 9.85 on the uneven bars, which was followed by a 9.875 from freshman Katie Bailey.
The Tide scored a season-best 49.300 on the balance beam led by Jacob's 9.925 and a 9.9 from DeMeo as well as a great 9.875 leadoff routine from Milliner.
Prior to the meet, Alabama introduced 17 breast cancer survivors in the spot light along with the Tide gymnasts in what has become a Power of Pink tradition in Coleman Coliseum.
"This is definitely our favorite home meet every year because we feel like we're competing for something bigger than just us," DeMeo said. "Getting on a personal level with those survivors at the beginning really puts things into perspective."
Two checks were also presented prior to the meet to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund, one for $108,900 representing all the money raised this past year and one for $1.45 million, representing the total raised over the past decade.
Alabama is back on the road for its next meet, traveling to Baton Rouge, La., to take on LSU on Friday, Jan. 31. Tickets for the Tide's home meets and the SEC and NCAA Championships are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, and online at RollTide.com.
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