Top scores posted vs. Tigers

TUSCALOOSA, ALA - Sometimes when the person who previously held your job watches you work, it can make you nervous. Such was not the case tonight as the 2003 Alabama Gymnastics team rolled to a season best score, beating Auburn 197.975-196.600, while 40-plus gymnastics alumni, among the 8,306 fans, looked on.

With their past looking on, Alabama's present posted season best scores on three of the four events and its overall score. It was the Tide's highest score since winning the 2001 NCAA Central Regional with a 198.000. For the Tigers it was the third highest score in school history.

"It was obviously a great night," head coach Sarah Patterson said of her 39th consecutive win over the Tigers. "But give Auburn credit, they are closing the gap. We're in the portion of our season where we are home for several weeks now and we have to opportunity to add more skills in and to continue to improve and tonight was a great step in that direction."

Junior Jeana Rice won the all-around with a 39.700 while senior Kristin Sterner tied her career best with a 39.675 for second place.

Alabama finished the night off with a with a season best 49.625 on the floor exercise keyed by a career best 9.975 by Sterner. Juniors Stephanie Kite, Rice and sophomore Michelle Reeser all scored 9.9s and sophomore Shannon Hrozek posted a 9.950. Auburn scored a 49.325 on the floor.

Alabama got off to a rocking start with a season best 49.625 on the vault keyed by three 9.9-plus scores. Rice started things off with a rock solid 9.95 which was followed by a 9.925 from freshman Dana Pierce.

It was freshman Ashley Miles, held out of the lineup for the past four meets with a strained knee, rocketed back into the lineup with a perfect 10.0 in the anchor position. It was the rookies first 10.0 and only the second for the Tide this season. The Tigers went 49.150 on the vault.

Alabama didn't let off when it went to the uneven bars, posting a season best 49.425. The Tide again got three 9.9 or better scores with sophomore Shannon Hrozek led the Tide off with a 9.9, Sterner scored a 9.9 in the fourth spot, and Rice finished the rotation off with a 9.925. It was Rice's eighth bars mark of 9.9 or better this season. Hrozek posted her season best and tied her career mark. Auburn scored a 48.975 on the bars.

Sophomore Michelle Reeser got things off to a strong start on the balance beam, with a 9.875 while Sterner and Rice finished the rotation off with a pair of 9.925s, leading to a 49.350 score. Auburn came away with a 49.150 beam mark.

Alabama is back in action next Saturday in Coleman Coliseum against Kentucky. It will be a rare 2 p.m. start for the Crimson Tide since Sarah Patterson has an appointment to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame that evening. Tickets for the meet are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) or online at www.rolltide.com


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