Rice nation's 2nd-ranked gymnast

Alabama gymnast Jeana Rice rode a career best all-around score at the season opening Super Six Challenge to a No. 2 national ranking. <br><br>After opening the season last weekend at the Super Six Challenge hosted by Georgia, the Crimson Tide will face the Lady Dogs for the second weekend in a row this Saturday.

The junior from Longwood, Fla. is just a fraction of a point behind No. 1 ranked Jamie Dantzscher of UCLA. Rice is also ranked second on the uneven bars, fifth on the balance beam, seventh on the vault and 18th on the floor exercise.

As a team, the Crimson Tide is ranked ninth released today. UCLA holds the No. 1 spot in the rankings while Georgia, Utah, Nebraska and Florida round out the top-5. The Tide is ranked fourth on the floor exercise and vault, sixth on the uneven bars.

Freshman Ashley Miles is ranked second on the floor exercise and third on the vault while sophomore Shannon Hrozek is 15th on the uneven bars.

The rankings, administered by the gymnastics coaches association, are determined by high score for the first three weeks of the season and will change to average score after that.

The Tide will return to Athens, Georgia for this Saturday's (January 18th) dual meet, which will be held on the Georgia campus in Stegeman Coliseum starting at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Week 2, GymTide Notes

*Alabama scored a 196.000 at the Super Six Challenge last Saturday, going a quarter-point better than its opening meet in 2002. A veteran Alabama team scored a 195.725 at last year's Super Six Challenge to start the season.

*Three freshmen made their Crimson Tide debut at the Super Six Challenge, including Ashley Miles who won two events (vault and floor exercise) in her inaugural outing.

  1. Ashley Miles - Vault, Balance Beam and Floor Exercise
  2. Mari Bayer - Vault and Floor Exercise
  3. Dana Pierce - Uneven Bars and Balance Beam

*Of the Tide's 24 routines, eight came from the freshman class and 13 came from the freshman and sophomore classes.

*Junior Jeana Rice won the all-around at the Super Six Challenge with a career best 39.700. She also won the balance beam and uneven bars.

*Jeana Rice's all-around victory marks the third time in the four-year history of the meet that an Alabama gymnast has earned top honors in the all-around. Robin Hawkins won the inaugural Challenge in 2000 and Andreé Pickens won the event in 2001.

*After just competing in the floor exercise last season, sophomore Michelle Reeser went on three events at the Super Six Challenge - floor exercise, uneven bars and balance beam.

*Junior Stephanie Kite made her Crimson Tide debut on the balance beam at the Super Six Challenge. Kite went three events total for the Tide including leading off on the vault and floor exercise.

*Last Saturday's Super Six Challenge will be televised by ESPN on Thursday, Feb. 13 at 2:30 p.m. CT.


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