Team & crowd dominates at Auburn

AUBURN, ALA -- From looking at one side of Beard-Eaves Coliseum tonight, it was hard to tell who was the home team for tonight's gymnastics meet between No. 1 Alabama and No. 16 Auburn Tigers.

Well over 2,000 Alabama fans were on hand among the announced crowd of 5,604, cheering on the Crimson Tide to its fifth 197-plus score of the season and a 197.075-196.325 win over the Tigers. Alabama's undefeated streak against the Tigers in gymnastics now stretches into its 25th year.

"I'm pleased to have scored 197 yet again and on the road," head coach Sarah Patterson said. "I think Auburn had nothing to lose tonight, everything to gain and they performed that way. Anytime you are ranked No. 1, and have defeated a team for 25 straight years, there is a little more pressure on you."

"We stuck to our game plan tonight," Patterson continued. "We inserted new routines and made steps forward in some areas. I continue to think that while we are staying on the balance beam, that is the event we need to elevate to a championship level, soon."

Senior Jeana Rice, the Tide's lone all-arounder won the uneven bars and the balance beam with matching 9.9s and the all-around with a 39.575. Sophomore Ashley Miles shared first on the uneven bars with Rice and took sole possession of first on the floor exercise with a 9.95. Junior Alexis Brion won the vault with a 9.925. A

labama got off to a solid 49.25 start on the uneven bars led by 9.9s from Miles and Rice. Junior Shannon Hrozek started the Tide off with a 9.85 on the bars. Junior Courtney Puckett led the Tigers to a 49.05 on the uneven bars with an Auburn best 9.875.

The Tide posted three scores of 9.9 or better to come away with a 49.425 vault score. Hrozek posted a career best 9.9 in the third spot, a score echoed by Miles in the anchor position. Brion led the Tide and tied for first in the meet with a 9.925. Auburn tied their 10th best vault score ever with a 49.0 led by a 9.925 from senior Kristi Boyte.

Rice scored a 9.925 and Miles posted a 9.95 to lead Alabama to a 49.35 on the floor exercise. Freshman Erin Rightley made her debut in the Tide's competitive lineup, scoring a 9.75 on the floor exercise in her first outing. Auburn posted a 49.275 on the floor exercise led by freshman Rachel Tarantino's 9.925.

Alabama finished things off with a 49.05 on the balance beam, keyed by a 9.925 anchor routine by Rice. The Tigers posted a 49.025 on the balance beam led by junior Kayce Stein's 9.875.

Alabama remains on the road next Friday, facing the Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington. The next weekend find the Tide back at home facing No. 2 ranked Georgia. Tickets for that meet are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, or online at www.rolltide.com.


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