Alabama Gymnasts Shipped To Auburn

After jetting across the country to Seattle, Wash., two of the last three years for regionals, the Alabama gymnastics team will stick a little closer to home this year as the No. 1 seed at the NCAA Auburn Regional Championships the NCAA announced Monday.

“We are very excited to get to stay close to home and to be at a regional where our fans can come and cheer us on,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said. “Most importantly, we are focused on doing our job as a team and advancing to the NCAA Championships final site.”

The Crimson Tide goes into the Auburn Regional, which will be held on Saturday, April 4 at 6 p.m. CT, having won an NCAA-best 29 regional titles. Alabama has also advanced to the NCAA Championships 32 years in a row. The top two teams from each of the six regionals across the country will move on to the NCAA Championships, which will be held April 17-19 in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Ticket information for the Auburn Regional can be found at http://www.auburntigers.com/ncaa/gym/.

Alabama, which won its ninth SEC Championship last Saturday, will be joined by No. 2 seed and host-school Auburn, No. 3 seed Minnesota as well as Iowa, Maryland and George Washington. The top-18 teams in the nation by regional qualifying score are seeded into the six regional sites. The remaining three teams come from within the region.

"Saturday at SECs, it was all about the ring, all about the win, at regionals it's all about advancing," Duckworth said.

Alabama has already faced Auburn three times this year, twice in the regular season and once at Saturday’s SEC Championships. The Tide will also see a familiar face on the Minnesota staff. First-year Gopher assistant coach Geralen Stack-Eaton was a member of the Tide’s 2011 and 2012 NCAA Championship squads.

It will only be Alabama's second trip to Auburn for a regional championship and first since 1991, when the Tide won the regional and went on to win the NCAA Championship. Duckworth, then Dana Dobransky, was a sophomore on the Tide’s 1991 squad.

The Tide will start the regional on the uneven bars. From there, Alabama will move to the balance beam before going to the first of two byes. The Tide then goes to the floor exercise and vault before finishing on its second bye.

Each regional team will have an individual gymnast from a school that did not advance rotating with it. Morgan Lane of North Carolina will rotate with the Crimson Tide. The top two all-arounders from each regional from a team that is not advancing will also earn a bid to Ft. Worth.

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