Gymnastics back to No. 1

The Alabama Gymnastics team is back to where they finished last season in the national rankings released today.

The defending NCAA Champions are ranked No. 1 after posting their fourth consecutive 197-plus score of the season defeating Michigan Friday night. Against the Wolverines, in the Tide's home opener and fifth meet of the season, Alabama posted a 197.200, tying its season best mark.

"The rankings are done according to average scoring and we have been very consistent to this point in the season, putting four scores in the 197s," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "It's a long season, but this shows that we are performing consistently at a high level right now."

While the Tide has been a constant fixture toward the top of the rankings over the last decade, it hasn't been ranked No. 1 during the regular season since February 8, 2000. The Tide was No. 1 during the 2000 season for three weeks. Since the beginning of 2000, a span of 38 weeks, Alabama has been ranked in the top-5 for all but five weeks, and has never been out of the top-10. That run includes 16 weeks at No. 2.

"The rankings are nice, and it shows that we are doing well, but our focus is always on the end of the season," Patterson said. "But I would much rather be 10th right now and have a healthy Ashley Miles. And for us, our goal is to be on the floor the last night of the national championships, with a chance to win it all. The rankings don't really affect that."

Miles' injured her right knee during practice last Wednesday. She is being examined by the Tide's team physicians and a prognosis will be made early this week.

Upcoming foes for the Tide include No. 5 Georgia, No. 7 Florida and No. 12 LSU. Alabama is also ranked No. 1 on the floor exercise, No. 4 on the balance beam and No. 5 on the uneven bars and vault.

Junior Jeana Rice is the nation's No. 2 ranked all-arounder, just behind UCLA Olympian Jamie Dantzscher. Rice has been ranked second three of the four weeks the rankings have been out and was third the only other week. Senior Kristin Sterner is ranked No. 11 in the all-around while sophomore Shannon Hrozek is No. 18.

Rice is also ranked second on the balance beam with an average of 9.950, which includes a 10.0 at Georgia in the season's second week. She is also ranked No. 5 on the uneven bars and No. 8 on the vault. Sterner is ranked 22nd on the beam

Freshman Ashley Miles is ranked No. 2 on the floor exercise, No. 7 on the vault and No. 25 on the uneven bars.

After one weekend at home, Alabama is back on the road this weekend to face No. 14 Denver Saturday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. MT. It will be the Tide's sixth road meet of the season.

    Team         Avg Score  Region

 1 Alabama        196.925     C
 2 Nebraska       196.837    SC
 3 UCLA           196.808     W
 4 Utah           196.775    NC
 5 Georgia        196.737    SE
 6 Arizona State  196.475    SC
 7 Florida        196.437    SE
 8 Stanford       195.862     W
 9 Oregon State   195.665     W
10 Arizona        195.581    SC
11 Michigan       195.395    NE
12 L.S.U.         195.331     C
13 Washington     195.267     W
14 Denver         195.206    NC
15 Oklahoma       194.850    SC
16 Auburn         194.795     C
17 Penn State     194.669    NE
18 Iowa           194.533    NC
19 Kent State     194.531     C
20 BYU            194.258    NC
21 Iowa State     194.256    NC
22 Missouri       194.037    SC
23 Cent. Michigan 193.912     C
24 Minnesota      193.894    NC
25 Ohio State     193.875     C

BamaMag Top Stories