Seniors Lead Good Day For Gymnasts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Four Alabama gymnasts earned their way onto the podium in the NCAA Individual Event Finals, each tallying a top-eight finish, including senior Morgan Dennis who finished fifth on the floor exercise.

"I'm very proud that Morgan did a great floor routine and that Kassi (Price) did a great bar routine," Alabama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "As seniors that how you want to see them end."

Dennis, who went first on the floor exercise, scored a 9.8875 in her final collegiate routine and came away with fifth place. In individual event finals, there is a six-judge panel instead of the customary four and the high and low score is dropped and the middle four are averaged.

Geralen Stack-Eaton, who finished fourth in the all-around competition which was decided on Thursday, was sixth on the balance beam after scoring a 9.850. On the vault, the sophomore was 14th after averaging 9.6625 between her two vaults. The two-vault requirement is different from any other point in the season when a gymnast only has to do one vault.

Senior Kassi Price and junior Kayla Hoffman finished tied for eighth on the uneven bars after posting matching 9.8625s.

Sophomore Ashley Priess, who was nursing a sore left ankle after crunching it her vault landing during Friday's team finals, missed her mount in event finals, scoring an 8.825. During team finals, Priess was able to shake off the affects of the ankle, anchoring the Tide on the balance beam with a meet-best 9.95.

As a team, Alabama finished third on Friday night, marking its 23rd final-four finish in 28 NCAA Championship appearances.

Earlier in the day, Dennis, Hoffman, senior Ricki Lebegern, Price, Priess and Stack-Eaton were all honored as All-Americas during the NCAA Championship Awards Brunch. Price was also recognized as the inaugural winner of the NCAA Elite 88 award, the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.

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