Jan. 29, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The road doesn't get any easier for the Alabama Gymnastics team. Competing in its third road meet in the first four weeks of the season, the No. 9 ranked Crimson Tide travels to ice-bound Arkansas to face the No. 8 ranked Razorbacks. The meet, which gets underway at 7 p.m., will be held in Barnhill Arena.
Temperatures that are hovering around freezing two days after an ice storm rocked the Fayetteville area haven't cooled down red-hot Arkansas.
"Arkansas is having an excellent season," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "They beat Florida last Friday when they were No. 1 and then on Monday they beat Oklahoma on the road with one of the highest scores in the country this season. There's no doubt that we have our work cut out for us."
The Razorbacks used a 196.375 to beat then No. 1 Florida last Friday and then traveled to Norman, Okla. and beat No. 7 Oklahoma with an Arkansas school record 196.9.
Alabama is coming off its best score of the season, a 196.275 at Georgia last Friday. The Tide scored season-high marks of 49.275 on the uneven bars and 49.250 on the balance beam in Athens. Alabama comes into the weekend as the nation's top-ranked team on the balance beam.
The meet will be shown by ESPN2 on a tape-delayed basis. Bart Connors and Kathy Johnson Clarke will be on hand to call the action and it will air Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. CT. It will be the Tide's second meet in a row on ESPN2. The network was on hand last Friday in Athens as well. That meet will air Feb. 2 at 2 p.m. CT.
Alabama is 12-1 all-time against the Razorbacks with its lone loss coming last season during a quad meet at UCLA where Arkansas finished first with a 196.425 , followed by Alabama (195.925), UCLA and Cal State Fullerton.
Fans who can't be in Athens Friday night will be able to follow all the action with the Crimson Tide's radio broadcast, featuring Allen Faul and Leesa Davis, as well as live stats and online commentary at www.rolltide.com and www.gymtide.com. The radio broadcast can be heard on WVUA 90.7-FM in Tuscaloosa and online at www.wvuafm.ua.edu.