Snow No Problem For Tide Vs. Gators

What a surprise. As Alabama and Florida looked forward to Friday night's gymnastics meet in Coleman Coliseum, a funny thing happened. It snowed in Tuscaloosa. It wasn't much snow and it didn't stick to streets and sidewalks, and as a result the meet is still on.

The University of Alabama did issue a precautionary note. The snowfall was expected to end by 3 p.m. CST, long before the scheduled 7:30 p.m. meet between the No. 2 ranked Crimson Tide and the No. 6 Florida Gators. UofA said, "Fans planning to attend the event are strongly encouraged to monitor and heed weather and travel advisories and can check or the Crimson Tide's weather/event hotline at 205.348.7486 for any changes in the athletics department schedule."

The Gators arrived in Tuscaloosa on Thursday and their travel was not impacted by the weather. Alabama was just glad to be home after two straight weeks on the road. The Tide had risen to number one in the nation before falling at LSU in its last meet.

"I've said all along I think Florida might be the most talented team in the country," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "We're excited to have them here and excited to be back at home in front of our great crowd after two weeks on the road."

Alabama, 5-1 overall and 3-1 in Southeastern Conference competition, is coming off its first loss of the season at No. 11 LSU last Friday. Florida, 4-1 overall with a 3-0 mark in the SEC, was also on the road last weekend, picking up a win at North Carolina State.

Two of the nation's perennial powers, both teams finished in the top-5 nationally last season with the Crimson Tide posting its 11th top-2 NCAA finish and the Gators taking fourth, marking its fifth top-5 finish in the past seven years.

One of the Crimson Tide's earliest rivals, the two teams have turned up the intensity of the competition over the past several years. Dating back to the 2003 season, the two teams have traded wins during the regular season with the home team coming out on top each time. On the conference level, Alabama won its sixth SEC Championship last season while the Gators won their sixth in 2007 and the two team tied for second place at SECs in 2008.

Alabama is led by seniors Morgan Dennis, Ricki Lebegern and Kassi Price along with sophomores Ashley Priess and Geralen Stack-Eaton. Dennis and Priess are ranked in the nation's top-10 in the all-around this week, standing fifth and eighth respectively.

Florida is led by freshman phenom Ashanée Dickerson who has been ranked as high as second nationally in the all-around and currently checks in at No. 13.

Friday will also be Alumni Night with more than 50 members of the Alabama Gymnastics family making their way back to Coleman Coliseum, including several NCAA Champions, All-Americans and Scholastic All-Americans.

The meet will be the third of Tuscaloosa Toyota's Fun Family Fridays and there will be several giveaways during the night, including a 42-inch television, a Nintendo Wii and several gift cards. Tickets for the meet are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at

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