Tide's Gymnastics Effort Not Rewarded

Diandra Milliner

When Alabama's football team had an outstanding game against LSU earlier this year, the result was the Crimson Tide winning the national championship. When the Bama gymnastics team went to Baton Rouge last week and had its highest road score of the year. The result was not so satisfying.



In addition to being a sport that is judged, and subject to the distinctions of judges across the country. gymnastics also has a ranking system that is based on these variant scores. Thus, Alabama had a very good score – 197.025 – in defeating LSU on the road, and yet the Crimson Tide – the nation's only undefeated, untied team – fell from third to fifth in the national rankings this week.

This week's rankings are the first determined by a team's regional qualifying score (RQS). The RQS is calculated by taking a team's top three road scores, its next three highest scores, home or away, dropping the high score and averaging the remaining five. After posting its highest road score of the season at LSU last Friday, with a 197.025, Alabama's RQS jumped two-tenths to 196.730.

Bama has a tough hurdle this week when the Crimson Tide goes to Norman to take on second ranked Oklahoma at 7 p.m. Friday.

Florida maintained its No. 1 ranking for the second consecutive week, while Oklahoma stayed at No. 2. UCLA jumped three spots to No. 3 while Georgia fell to No. 4. Following Alabama is No. 6 Nebraska, No. 7 Utah and No. 8 Arkansas. Oregon State fell one spot to No. 9 and LSU, coming off a loss to the Tide, moved to No. 10 this week.

The Tide dipped to No. 2 on the vault this week, and is ranked fifth on both the balance beam and the floor exercise. Alabama is ranked eighth on the uneven bars.

Senior Ashley Priess is seventh on the balance beam and 10th on the uneven bars this week. Joining Priess in the balance beam rankings is sophomore Kim Jacob at No. 19. In the vault rankings, junior Marissa Gutierrez is 11th, while sophomore Diandra Milliner and junior Ashley Sledge are tied for 14th.

After facing Oklahoma on the road this Friday, the Tide returns home Friday, March 9 when it takes on Missouri starting at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262), located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, or online at RollTide.com.

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