Alabama Gymnasts Fourth At NCAA

The Alabama gymnastics team finished fourth at the NCAA Championships held here in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center with a score of 197.550.



For the fourth year in a row, Alabama was in the hunt for a national title going into the last rotation, but uncharacteristic problems on the balance beam on Saturday's final rotation ended the Tide's quest for its third NCAA title in four years. With this year's finish, Alabama is the only team in the nation to finish in the top four each of the last six years.

The Tide was led by senior Sarah DeMeo who closed out her last Super Six with a career-best 39.650. DeMeo and her fellow seniors will leave Alabama with two NCAA Championships, four top-four national finishes, two SEC Championships and four NCAA Regional titles.

Oklahoma and Florida posted the first tie in NCAA Gymnastics Championship history and are co-champions for 2014, while LSU was third with a 197.600. Georgia and Nebraska rounded out the proceedings, taking fifth and sixth place, respectively.

Alabama started the meet with a 49.675 on the floor exercise, behind four 9.95s in a row from DeMeo, sophomore Lauren Beers and seniors Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner. It was the Tide's highest floor score ever at the national championships.

The Tide posted a 49.475 on the vault paced by junior Kaitlyn Clark's 9.925 and 9.9s from freshman Katie Bailey and sophomore Lauren Beers. Alabama went 49.550 on the uneven bars after DeMeo, Jacob and Clark all scored 9.95s.

Alabama closed out the night with a 48.850 on the balance beam, led by 9.9s from DeMeo and freshmen Katie Bailey and Aja Sims.

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