April 18, 2013
LOS ANGELES - The two-time defending NCAA Champion Alabama Gymnastics team extended its streak of NCAA Elite 89 Award winners to a perfect four-for-four Thursday night at the 2013 NCAA Championship Banquet held at Sony Studios in Los Angeles.
Kim Jacob, the two-time Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year, was presented with the award that goes to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the final site for each of the NCAA's 89 championships.
"Kim is the very epitome of what we look for in an Alabama gymnast," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "She works extremely hard in all aspects of the collegiate experience and as a result, she continues to reap the rewards that come from such dedication and drive."
With Jacob's honor, Alabama remains the only gymnastics program to win the award since its inception in 2010. The junior from Raleigh, N.C., joins Kassi Price, who earned the inaugural honor, and Rachel Terrywho won the award in 2011 and 2012.
"Our ladies strive to be the very best in everything they do and I think our continued success when it comes to the Elite 89 Award speaks to that fact," Patterson said. "To me, this is just another example of the fact that at the University of Alabama, you can truly have it all."
A four-time All-American and two-year Scholastic All-American, Jacob carries a perfect 4.0 grade point average in exercise science for her career. She was also named to the 2013 SEC Community Service Team for her efforts in the area of community outreach. A mainstay of Alabama's 2011 and 2012 NCAA Championship teams, Jacob has led the team in number of routines and in 9.9 or better scores this season and won the 2013 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional balance beam title earlier this month.
Jacob's trophy is the eighth Elite 89 honor garnered by Alabama over the last four years. Jacob, Terry and Price are joined by golfer Brooke Pancake who took home the trophy in the spring of 2010 and cross country runner Nathan Corder who earned the honor in the fall of 2010 as well as women's tennis player Mary Anne Macfarlane and men's golfer Cory Whitsett, who both won the award in the spring of 2012.
Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school. They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed.
Senior Ashley Priesswas also honored during banquet as one of six finalists for the AAI Senior Award. The 2013 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional All-Around Champion, Priess is a three-year Scholastic All-American and eight-time All-American.
Jacob, Priess and their teammates start competition at the NCAA Championships on Friday at 6 p.m. PDT in the New Pauley Pavilion on the UCLA campus.