March 17, 2009
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
For the fifth time this season and the third week in a row, Alabama's Ashley Priess has been named Southeastern Conference Freshman Gymnast of the Week the league office announced today.
The Wheaton, Ill. native led Alabama to wins over No. 10 ranked Oklahoma and No. 26 North Carolina in last Friday's regular-season ending tri-meet. She won the uneven bars with a 9.9 and scored a 9.9 on the vault and a 9.925 on the floor exercise. It marked the second week in a row that Priess has helped close out a top-10 opponent with a 9.9-plus floor exercise routine.
"Ashley has had an outstanding season to this point," Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. "We have been in a position this season where we had to have this kind of contribution from Ashley and her classmates to be successful and they have certainly responded."
Nationally, Priess is ranked ninth on the floor exercise, 11th on the uneven bars and 13th on the balance beam.
With the regular season behind them, Priess and her teammates return to action this Saturday with the SEC Championships where the No. 5 Crimson Tide will face five other member of the nation's top 12, including No. 1 ranked Georgia, No. 4 LSU, No. 6 Florida, No. 9 Arkansas and No. 11 Auburn at the Sommett Center in Nashville, Tenn.