Alabama Gymnastics Gets Past Auburn

Sarah DeMeo

AUBURN – The No. 5 ranked Alabama gymnastics team pulled out a close win over No. 12 Auburn Friday night in Auburn Arena with a score of 197.500-197.100 in front of 7,123 fans, the second largest gymnastics crowd in Auburn Arena. Sarah Patterson's squad tied its season-best total set a week ago against Georgia.



The two teams were within .025 of each other through each of the first two rotations before Alabama started to pull away through the second half of the meet, and earning its 108th consecutive win over the Tigers. Auburn has come up short in every meet against Alabama since 1979, a streak of 35 years.

"This was a great environment for college gymnastics and we were thrilled to be a part of it and to have this great crowd in part because we're here," Bama Coach Sarah Patterson said. "We've got two great teams in the state of Alabama. I'm so proud of how our ladies responded - they handled the pressure on every event. We had people step up and do great things throughout the night."

Senior Sarah DeMeo led the Crimson Tide with a career-best 39.500 to win the all-around. Alabama also swept the individual titles, posting the highest score of the season on all four apparatus.

"Mentally Sarah DeMeo gets tougher every week," Patterson said.

As a team, the Tide tied its season-best score on vault and posted its season best on the balance beam as well as its second highest floor exercise total of the season.

Alabama closed out the meet with a huge balance beam rotation, posting a 49.325 behind career-best scores from freshmen Katie Bailey (9.9) and Aja Sims (9.925).

"Our balance beam performance in this kind of environment, knowing we had to hit to win the meet, I think that it said a lot about our team," Patterson said. "When we went over to the balance beam, I told the ladies, ‘I want you to compete with confidence and not hold back,' and that's exactly what they did."

The Tide started things off with a 49.250 on the uneven bars, led by freshman Amanda Jetter's 9.900. DeMeo led the Tide off on the vault with a huge 9.9 while sophomore Lauren Beers led the meet with a 9.925, pacing Alabama to a 49.425, matching the team's season high. Senior Kim Jacob posted her second 9.95 in a row on the floor exercise to lead the Tide to a 49.500 team score.

Alabama remains on the road for its next meet, traveling to Oklahoma City where it will face Oklahoma, Michigan and West Virginia in the Perfect 10 Challenge on Feb. 21. Alabama then returns home on Feb. 28 against No. 1 Florida for the first of three home meets in a row.

Tickets for the Tide's home meets and the SEC and NCAA Championships are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, and online at RollTide.com.

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