Gymnastics No. 5 in National Rankings

The Alabama Gymnastics team moved up to No. 5 in the latest gymnastics rankings, up four spots from last week.

The Crimson Tide wasn't the only team to jump this week. Arizona State, 16th a week ago, leapt to No. 3, behind top-ranked UCLA and No. 2 Georgia.

Nebraska, the Tide's opponent this Sunday, remains at No. 4. Utah drops three spots to No. 6 while three teams on the Tide's 2003 schedule, Florida, Denver and Michigan, hold down the Nos. 7, 8 and 9 positions respectively. Stanford rounds out the top-10.

Alabama's next opponent, Arkansas, is just out of the top-25, coming in at No. 26. The Tide faces the Lady Razorbacks, in their first year of competition, on Friday (Jan. 24) in Fayetteville before moving on to Lincoln, Neb. on Sunday.

Quick Notes

  • Alabama is ranked No. 5 in the nation this week (up four spots from last week).
  • Junior All-American Jeana Rice is ranked No. 1 in the nation in the balance beam and No. 3 in the all-around. She is the SEC's top ranked athlete on both of those events.
  • Alabama came within .025 of upsetting No. 2 ranked Georgia in Athens largely on the strength of a 49.500 on the balance beam spearheaded by junior Jeana Rice's 10.0.
  • The Tide's 49.550 on the balance beam against Georgia was the third highest in school history.
  • Three members of the Tide's beam lineup against UGA are new to the Tides' beam lineup this season, including two freshmen (Mari Bayer and Dana Pierce) and one sophomore (Michelle Reeser).
  • Rice's perfect mark is only the fifth for the Tide on that event and the first since 1999.
  • Alabama is on the road again this weekend, traveling to Fayetteville, Ark. to face No. 26 Arkansas on Friday.
  • On Sunday Alabama will take on No. 4 ranked Nebraska in Lincoln. The Cornhuskers are hosting the 2003 NCAA Championships.

Alabama jumped 24 spots in the balance beam rakings this week. Head Coach Sarah Patterson's ladies are ranked second nationally after posting a 49.550 last weekend at Georgia. The Tide is fifth o n the vault, sixth on the floor exercise and 10th on the uneven bars.

Junior Jeana Rice is ranked No. 1 on the balance beam after scoring a 10.0 at Georgia last Saturday. She is only the third Alabama gymnast in team history to earn a perfect mark on that event. The All-American is third in the all-around, just behind the UCLA duo of Onnie Willis and Jamie Dantzscher. Rice is fourth on the uneven bars and No. 8 on the vault.

Freshman Ashley Miles is second on the floor exercise and third on the vault. Rookie Dana Pierce is 12th on the balance beam.

And as much as the rankings changed this week, there will be drastic changes next week. For the first two weeks, the rankings are figured by high score, starting next week, the rankings will be figured by straight average.

Team Rankings

1 UCLA
2 Georgia
3 Arizona State
4 Nebraska
5 Alabama
6 Utah
7 Florida
8 Denver
9 Michigan
10 Stanford
11 Iowa State
12 Oklahoma
13 Oregon State &
L.S.U.
15 Auburn &
Arizona
17 Minnesota
18 Pittsburgh
19 Iowa
20 Illinois-Champaign
21 Kent State
22 Penn State
23 Kentucky
24 Missouri
25 Towson

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