NCAA Gymnastics Regional Saturday
"We had a good practice and everyone adjusted well to the equipment, which is what today is all about," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "It's been a great trip so far with some beautiful weather. Now we just have to come in tomorrow and do our job."
The Seattle Regional gets underway at 4 p.m. PDT (6 p.m. central time).
The top seed in Seattle, Alabama will compete against No. 2 seed Nebraska, No. 3 seed Boise State along with Washington, BYU and Denver. The top-two teams from each of the six regionals being held across the country Saturday will advance to the NCAA Championships in Birmingham, Ala. April 18-20.
The Crimson Tide is looking to add to its streak of 31-consecutive appearances at the NCAA final site in just its second trip to Seattle and the Washington campus. Alabama, which leads the nation in NCAA Regional Championships with 28, made its first trip to the Emerald City two years ago on the way to its 27th NCAA regional title and ultimately the 2012 NCAA Championship.
The Tide is coming of its eighth Southeastern Conference Championship, including its third in the last six years and is led by All-American seniors Kim Jacob, Diandra Milliner and Sarah DeMeo. Milliner won both the vault and floor exercise at the recent SEC Championships while Jacob, the Tide's top all-arounder, once again earned All-SEC honors.
Also leading the way for the Tide is All-American junior Kaitlyn Clark who has been on fire this season, scoring a 10.0 on the balance beam in the Tide's regular-season finale against Auburn and a 9.975 on the uneven bars to clinch Alabama's latest SEC title, as well as sophomore All-American Lauren Beers, who has been cranking out 9.9 or better scores on the vault and floor exercise through throughout the second half of the season.
In addition to its upperclassmen, the Tide has also gotten big contributions from a rookie class that includes SEC All-Freshman team members Aja Sims, Katie Bailey and Amanda Jetter. The team arrived in Seattle late Wednesday and spent Thursday seeing the sights, including the world-famous Space Needle, and getting acclimated.
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