March 27, 2008
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
University of Alabama gymnastics sophomore Ricki Lebegern has been named to the 2008 Southeastern Conference Community Service Team.
"Alabama Gymnastics is dedicated to performing at the highest level not only in the gym, but in the classroom as well," head coach Sarah Patterson said. "We are also dedicated to making the world around us a better place, which is what this award represents. It is an ideal that Ricki embodies and works tirelessly toward."
The conference sponsors a Community Service Team for each its 20 sports. The Gymnastics Community Service Team represents seven SEC gymnasts, one from each competing institution. The Community Service Team highlights athletes from each school who give back to their community in superior service efforts.
A member of FCA, Lebegern has been active in Alabama Gymnastics team's "Power of Pink" initiative, helping raise money and awareness in the fight against breast cancer. She and her teammates helped with the annual Tuscaloosa Toyota/DCH Foundation Golf Classic which helps raise money for the Alabama Gymnastics DCH Foundation Breast Cancer Fund. The Annandale, Va. Native has also been an integral part of the Tide's annual Christmas Party for the children of the Stalling's RISE Center.
As a member of the Tide's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, she has helped with such projects as the Halloween Extravaganza and Project Angel Tree as well as the Tide-Tiger Beat Hunger Food Drive.
Lebegern, who won the SEC Balance Beam Championship last year as a freshman, is the fourth Tide gymnast to earn the award since it was first given in 2004 joining Courtney Priess, 2007; Dana Pierce, 2005 and 2006; and Stephanie Kite, 2004.
After finishing out the season with back-to-back 197-plus scores, Lebegern and her Crimson Tide teammates will compete in the SEC Championships this Saturday at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. starting at 4 p.m. ET.
The other members of the 2008 SEC Gymnastics Community Service Team are: Emily Peacock, Arkansas, A.J. Mills, Auburn, Nicola Willis, Florida, Katie Heenan, Georgia, Crissy Cannon, Kentucky, Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, LSU.