Thursday, January 02, 2003
The Alabama Gymnastics team will be on the road for the first four meets of 2003 season, including the season opening Super Six Challenge in Athens, Ga., but the hometown fans will get a chance to see the defending NCAA Champions before they hit the road.
Coaches Sarah and David Patterson, in their 25th year coaching the Crimson Tide, will host fans at a “Meet the Team” exhibition Sunday, January 5 at 2 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. Admission to the event is free. Fans will also be able to get the 2003 team poster and schedule cards. After the exhibition, the team will sign autographs on the concourse of the coliseum.
This is the first year since 2000 that Alabama has held the event, and even for veteran Tide fans, there will be quite a few gymnasts to meet. The 2003 squad, ranked third in the preseason coaches’ poll, boasts seven freshmen among the 14 athletes on the roster.
“We are a very young team with seven freshmen and three sophomores, so we need to get out of our comfort zone in the practice gym and into a more competitive environment in front of a crowd and see how we react,” Sarah Patterson said. “As young as we are, this team will go through a maturing process and that starts this weekend.”
The gymnasts will do routines and demonstrate skills on all four events, while Sarah Patterson, the 2002 National Coach of the Year, will take the crowd through the different routines and skills and explain how a collegiate gymnastics meet works.
After the Tide’s season opening four meets in three weeks, Alabama will open its home dual meet season against No. 6 ranked Michigan on Friday, January 31 at 7 p.m. Season tickets are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262).