March 18, 2014
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -
- A pair of Alabama gymnasts earned Southeastern Conference honors following the Crimson Tide's regular-season finale against Auburn last week the league office announced Tuesday. Junior Kaitlyn Clark earned SEC Specialist of the Week honors while Katie Bailey was named SEC Freshman of the Week for the fourth time this season.
Alabama has earned five SEC Freshman of the Week accolades overall this season with Bailey also earning the honor on Jan. 14, Feb. 4 and Feb. 25 while Aja Sims won the award on Feb. 18.
Clark is the third UA gymnast to earn SEC Specialist of the Week honors this season, following seniors Diandra Milliner (March 11) and Kim Jacob (Feb. 11). Jacob and Milliner have also been named the SEC Gymnast of the Week this season, with Jacob earning the award on Jan. 14 and Milliner earning it on Feb. 25.
Between the three categories, Alabama earned 10 total SEC honors during the 2014 regular season, which gives the Tide more than a quarter of the conference honors this season. With five honors this season, Alabama has had a freshman of the week half the season.
Clark scored a perfect 10.0 on the balance beam against Auburn to pace her team to a 49.650 event total, the second highest in school history. Her 10.0 is just the sixth in school history on the balance beam and the first since NCAA All-Around Champion Jeana Rice posted one in 2003. Clark's 10.0 followed a then career-best 9.95 on the balance beam the week before.
Bailey posted a career-best 39.400 against then No. 11 Auburn to help pace the Tide to a 197.925 team score, the seventh highest in school history and the second highest this season. She also tied her career-best of 9.875 on the floor exercise and was just .025 off her career best scores on the vault and balance beam.
Bailey heads into this Saturday's SEC Championships ranked 20th in the nation in the all-around and she leads the Tide in both all-around appearances and routines in the competitive lineup.
Tickets for the SEC and NCAA Championships, which will both be held at the BJCC in Birmingham, Ala., are on sale at www.gymnasticschamps.com. Fans can keep up with the Tide via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by following BamaGymnastics.