March 27, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
Four Alabama gymnasts were honored by the Southeastern Conference following the recent SEC Championships.
Seniors Ashley Priess and Geralen Stack-Eaton earned second team All-SEC honors while sophomore Kim Jacob was named the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year and sophomore Ria Domier was named to the SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team.
"The overall success of our program is built on excellence in the gym and the classroom and in making a difference in the community around us," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "To have our ladies honored by the Southeastern Conference in all three areas is a point of great pride for our team."
Stack-Eaton earned All-SEC honors for the fourth year in a row, while Priess, who was sidelined last year after surgery on both ankles, was named All-SEC for the third time.
"Because of the criteria - you basically have to finish in the top two individually at the SEC Championships - and the extremely high level of competition in this conference, it is often harder to earn All-SEC honors than it is to be an All-American," Patterson said. "To earn a place on an All-SEC team every year they have competed at the SEC Championships, as Geralen and Ashley have, is a tremendous accomplishment."
By a vote of the league's coaches, Jacob became the second consecutive Alabama gymnast to be named the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, following in the footsteps of 2011 senior Kayla Hoffman. A Scholastic All-American and two-time All-American, Jacob carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average for her career.
"I'm very proud of everything Kim has accomplished and the kind of person she is," Patterson said. "She works extremely hard in all areas and I feel that this honor reflects her overall commitment to excellence. She was the only gymnast on the ballot with a perfect 4.0 grade point average."
A Scholastic All-American who has dedicated countless hours to community service, especially in the days that followed last April's devastating tornado, Domier was a fitting addition to the SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team.
"Service to the community has always been one of the hallmarks of Alabama gymnastics and I'm extremely proud of the way Ria has embraced that aspect of our program," Patterson said. "She is a dedicated athlete who is in the midst of an extremely challenging major, but she has always made time to make the world around her a better place."
After finishing second at the SEC Championships in Duluth, Ga. last Saturday, Alabama is gearing up for its NCAA Regional Championships trip to Seattle, Wash. next week and a chance to advance to its 30th consecutive NCAA Championships final site, which will be held back in Duluth, Ga., in the Arena at Gwinnett Place.