Alabama Gymnastics Team brings home its eighth SEC Title
It was déjà vu for the Crimson Tide when it competing against Florida as they were behind going into the final rotation. The only difference this time was that Alabama went to the bar exercise while the Gators headed to the floor, but it was the same result as before with the Tide taking the lead plus the SEC Championship Title.
Alabama was down .125 to Florida with LSU close behind in third place as the gymnasts marched to their final rotation. The Crimson Tide went on to score a 49.625 which tied a school record while the Gators finished with a 49.350 giving Alabama the overall score 197.875 to Florida’s 197.700. LSU finished third with a 197.325 followed by Georgia with a 197.150 then Auburn with a 195.550
“I think we kept building momentum,” Patterson said. “I think after the floor exercise, in the last three routines, we got that momentum going and we were lights out on vault. Once I knew we were in contention, I just felt like if the ladies would be aggressive, hit their handstands and stick their dismounts, I would be happy.”
Alabama started off the meet with a 49.275 on the balance beam with freshman Aja Sims and senior Kim Jacob both scoring 9.90. On the vault senior Diandra Milliner posted a 9.975 total with two of the judges giving her perfect 10.0s. There were three other Alabama gymnasts to post a 9.9 or getter on the vault to help give the Tide a total of 49.525 on the apparatus.
The Crimson Tide posted three 9.9s or better on the floor exercise with Diandra Milliner leading the way with a 9.95 and all on a sore foot after hurting herself on the beam during warm-ups. “It kind of feels like a cramp that won’t go away,” said Milliner. Alabama closed out the rotation with a total team score of 49.425.
Junior Kaitlyn Clark finished out the uneven bars with a 9.975 which helped to bolster the Crimson Tide to the winning score. Sara Patterson told the junior before she started her routine “Fight for every tenth….We really have nothing to lose.” She did just that, and so did each of the other five competitors on the bars with each of the six scoring a 9.9 or better to help take the SEC Title.
The SEC Championship was Alabama’s eighth and their first since 2011. The Crimson Tide has finished second in the previous two years, just behind the Florida Gators. But not this year!
“We’re going to enjoy this for a day or two,” Patterson said. Alabama will find out where they will compete for the NCAA Regional Championships on Monday. The University of Alabama is on spring break this next week but that probably doesn’t mean that the Gymnastics team will be at the beach any time soon as Sara Patterson said “we’re going to focus on the most important meet of the year. That’s the regional championship because that’s the one that’s going to get us back to Birmingham”.
SEC CHAMPS: Alabama Gymnastics Wins the 2014 SEC Championships with a 197.875
Alabama 49.525 49.625 49.275 49.425 197.875
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