Gymnasts Come Up Short

BIRMINGHAM, ALA – Friday night, everyone held their breath when Alabama senior Ashley Miles went on the floor exercise here are at the SEC Championships. And she delivered her usual brand of high flying excitement, scoring a 9.95 on the last routine of the night becoming the first gymnast in SEC history to win the same event all four years of her career in the process. Her routine put a cap on Alabama's best performance of the season and a second place team finish.

Alabama, posted a 196.975 to finish just behind Georgia's 197.275. Florida finished third with a 196.275, followed by LSU's 195.800. Auburn (194.975) was fifth, Arkansas (194.650) was sixth and Kentucky (191.150) rounded out the meet.

Miles shared the floor exercise title with Tide freshman Brittany Magee and Georgia's Kelsey Ericksen. Miles finished second in the all-around and the vault. Tide Freshman Melanie Banville won the uneven bars, tying with Georgia's Ericksen and Courtney Kupets. Ericksen won the all-around and LSU's April Burkholder won the balance beam.

Alabama finished the night with a 49.500 on the floor exercise, its best score since last year's NCAA Super Six Team final. In addition to Miles and Magee's 9.950, Banville scored a 9.900 and junior Erin Rightley scored a 9.875.

Alabama exploded on the uneven bars, scoring a season best 49.325 behind season best scores by Banville, senior Mari Bayer and Miles. The Tide's previous best this season was a 49.175 the second week of the season. Miles started the rotation off with a acrobatic 9.875, followed by matching 9.85s from freshman Cassie Martin and Bayer. Banville then produced a 9.900, followed by a 9.8 from senior Dana Filetti and a 9.85 in the anchor spot by sophomore Terin Humphrey.

Alabama came right back on the balance beam, earning another season best. Counting nothing less than a 9.8 in its final score, the Tide scored a 49.175 on the beam, paced by Miles' season best 9.875 and a 9.850 from Banville. Humphrey and Rightley both posted 9.825s and Magee led the Tide off with a 9.8.

Alabama started the night off the vault where the Tide scored a 48.925 behind Miles' 9.9. Banville started the Tide off on the vault with a 9.8 while Filetti and Magee both turned in 9.775s.

Alabama has next weekend off before heading out to the NCAA Regional Championships. As one of the nation's top-18 teams, the Tide will be seeded into one of six regional sites around the nation. The top two teams in each regional advance to the NCAA Championships final site of Corvallis, Oregon, April 20-22.


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