Jan. 5, 2014
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The 2014 Alabama gymnastics team gained two newcomers after the holidays when Aja Sims and Keely McNeer joined the team for the spring semester.
The Crimson Tide started the season with 15 gymnasts, including 11 veterans, went from a "Fab Four" freshman class to a "Super Six" when the two former members of the USA National Team, graduated from high school early to join the 2014 Alabama squad.
"We're very excited to have both Aja and Keely here with us as we get ready to open the season this Friday against Missouri," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "They'll give us a definite spark this season."
Sims comes to the Tide from Orlando, Fla. and was coached by Kelly Pitzen and Brandy Johnson at Brandy Johnson's Global Gymnastics. A member of the USA Junior Olympic team in 2011-12, she has an uneven bars skill, "The Sims," named for her. She is the 2012 JO National all-around, uneven bars and balance beam champion.
The daughter of Daisy and Clinton Sims, she attended William R. Boone High School where she graduated with a 4.7 cumulative grade point average and was accepted into the prestigious Law Magnet Program.
McNeer is a native of Brandon, Miss., and was coached by Mario and Cheryl Gonzalez at Courthouse Gymnastics Co. A 2010-11 member of the USA National Team, she finished 15th in the all-around at the 2010 Visa Championships.
The daughter of Cyndy and Mike McNeer, she graduated from the University of Nebraska Independent Study High School where she carried a 4.17 cumulative grade point average. A member of the National Society of High School Scholars, she was also honored with the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence.
Alabama has regularly added gymnasts after the first semester over the past decade, including senior All-American, Scholastic All-American and 2013 NCAA vault champion Diandra Milliner and junior Hunter Dennis, but Sims' and McNeer's early enrollment marks the first time that the Tide has added two gymnasts to its roster after the fall semester.
Alabama gets the 2014 season underway Friday at 7:30 p.m. against Missouri in Coleman Coliseum. Season and single meet tickets are available online at RollTide.com and through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum. For more on Tide gymnastics, follow the team on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube at BamaGymnastics.