March 7, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The No. 4 ranked Alabama gymnastics team had a night for the ages Friday in Coleman Coliseum, breaking its school record and posting the highest score in the nation this season to beat No. 10 Stanford, 198.250-196.300, in front of 11,138 fans in Coleman Coliseum.
"I think it was rewarding to beat Florida, who I think of as the most talented team in the country, last week but then to not settle for that and to continue to make ourselves better ... I think now as we get towards championship season this team now has the confidence in themselves to know that on any given night we can do this," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said.
The previous school mark of 198.075 was set in 1996 on the way to winning the NCAA Central Region Championship in Baton Rouge, La. The Crimson Tide's mark also bettered the Coleman Coliseum record of 196.025, also set in 1996 on the way to the Tide's third NCAA Championship.
Patterson's team started the meet with a scorching 49.625 on vault behind senior Diandra Milliner's perfect 10.0, the second of her career.
"Diandra has definitely deserved that 10 and she has worked really hard for it since her freshman year," senior Kim Jacob said. "Just to see her go out there and get that 10, it was amazing and to finish off the vault rotation like that was awesome. I'm just really proud of her."
Junior Kaitlyn Clark got the Tide's vault rotation and meet started with a 9.925, tying her career-best score, while sophomore Lauren Beers added a 9.95, tying her career best as well. The Tide's vault total tied the fifth highest in school history.
"When we got started on vault and Kaitlyn led us off and she stuck that vault, and then I think four of the six vaults were without movement, I thought we had a great opportunity," Patterson said.
Alabama finished the night with a huge 49.675 on the floor exercise, the second highest total in school history, led by six scores of 9.925 or better, including career-best 9.95s from Beers and freshman Amanda Jetter. Freshman Aja Sims and junior Lora Leigh Frost started the rotation with career-best 9.925s, which Jacob and Milliner matched with their routines.
For Frost, her second routine in the Tide's competitive lineup this season proved to be a breakthrough moment.
"You could tell by the way she ended her routine she knew it was the best she had ever done and I just felt like sometimes it's the mental hurdles you have to get over," Patterson said. "Now I think it will be easy for Laura Leigh to know she can get out there and do that week after week."
On the uneven bars Clark scored a career-best 9.95 to pace the Tide to a 49.525 team score, the seventh highest in school history. Jacob and Jetter added 9.925s while Sims posted a 9.875.
The Tide bounced back from a fall in the leadoff position on the balance beam, closing out with a season-best 49.425, led by another career-best 9.95 from Clark. Sims had a 9.9 on the balance beam while Jacob and freshman Katie Bailey both tallied 9.875s.
The Tide closes out the regular season next Friday at home against the Auburn Tigers. Tickets are available now through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at RollTide.com.
Fans can keep up with the Tide via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by following BamaGymnastics.