GymTiders dominate at Auburn

AUBURN, ALA -- And a freshman shall lead them all. For the second week in a row, rookie gymnast Shannon Hrozek won the all-around against a conference opponent, leading Alabama to a 196.700-193.225 win at Auburn.

"We did a few things different tonight," Sarah Patterson said. "We used a lot of different people which I thought was important our goal over the next three weeks is to get to nine or 10 people on each event going into the championship season."

Hrozek scored 39.250 in the all-around, tying her career best. The Woodlands, Texas native also won the floor exercise while senior Andree' Pickens won the balance beam and vault, while senior Natalie Barrington won the uneven bars.

Pickens won the vault and balance beam.

"Everyone worked together great tonight," Patterson said. "Everyone carried their share and we came away with a good score."

Alabama finished up the meet on the balance beam with senior Raegan Tomasek getting the Tide off to a roaring start with a 9.875 and Pickens finishing things off with a meet high 9.925 to lead Alabama to a 49.150. Tiger freshman Lisa Clark posted a 9.75 to lead Auburn to a 47.900 balance beam.

"I thought we performed great on balance beam with a confidence that carried over from last week," Patterson said. "Raegan did a great job starting us off with a 9.875 and Andree' continues to amaze me, not just with her athleticism but with her mental toughness."

The Tide started the meet with a 49.275 on the uneven bars, led by a 9.900 from Barrington. Senior Alexa Martinez and Hrozek both posted career best marks on the uneven bars with 9.825s a mark matched by sophomore Jeana Rice. Pickens anchored the Tide's lineup with a 9.875 while Tomasek chipped in a 9.85. A 9.825 from Auburn freshman Courtney Puckett powered the Tigers to a 48.725 uneven bars score.

In the second rotation, Pickens anchored the Tide with a thunderous 9.975 vault. It marked the senior's fifth scored of 9.975 or better (she scored a 10.0 against LSU) in the past six outings. A 9.85 from sophomore Jeana Rice and a 9.775 from Brion paced the Tide to a 49.025 team score. Auburn scored a 48.525 on the vault powered by a pair of 9.8 routines from sophomore Kristi Boyte and sophomore Hannah Littrell.

Freshman Shannon Hrozek won the all-around.

Hrozek posted a 9.875 on the floor exercise to lead the Tide to a 49.275. Rice and sophomores Stephanie Kite and Lauren Holdefer both scored 9.825 while senior Natalie Barrington, in her first competitive floor routine since last year's Auburn meet, posted a 9.800. Boyte led Auburn to a 48.200 on the floor with a 9.875.

The win against Auburn puts the Crimson Tide another meet closer to its regular season showdown against the two-time defending NCAA Champion UCLA Bruins. The Bruins, led by a core group that includes five Olympians and defending NCAA all-around champion Onnie Willis, are posed to make a run at a third straight title.

Alabama, led by a resurgent Pickens, is on a roll of its own, scoring six 196.5-plus scores in its last six outings. The Bruins will return to Tuscaloosa April 18-20 for a shot at the national championships. The last time Tuscaloosa played host to the championships UCLA was second to Alabama.

Tickets for the Alabama-UCLA meet, and the NCAA Championships, are available through the Crimson Tide ticket office (205.348.2262), SouthTix (800.240.2300) or through www.rolltide.com.


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