Gymnastics Goes for Sixth National Championship on Saturday

ROLLTIDEDOTCOM Senior Ashley Priess is now a three-time balance beam All-American.
Senior Ashley Priess is now a three-time balance beam All-American.

April 21, 2012

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DULUTH, Ga. - The Alabama gymnastics team goes for its sixth NCAA Championship today in the Arena at Gwinnett Center in Duluth, Ga. starting at 4 p.m. EDT.

The Crimson Tide starts the Super Six Team Finals on a bye before going to the floor exercise. From there UA will progress to the vault and then its second bye before closing out the championship on the uneven bars and balance beam. It is the same rotation the Tide used to win the 2002 national title.

Alabama will face Southeastern Conference foes Florida and Arkansas as well as Pac 12 powers UCLA, Utah, and Stanford for the 2012 NCAA Championships.

While the team champion will be crowned tonight, individual titles go up for grabs on Sunday. To advance to individual event finals, gymnasts had to finish in the top four of their semi-final session on Friday.

Geralen Stack-Eaton is in the hunt for a second consecutive national championship on the floor exercise while she and fellow senior Ashley Priess will have a shot at the individual balance beam title as well. Junior Marissa Gutierrez and sophomore Diandra Millinerwill go for gold on the vault on Sunday.

All the gymnasts competing in individual finals earned first team All-American honors on those events. Stack-Eaton and Priess also earned All-American honors in the all-around after finishing fourth and seventh respectively on Friday, with Stack-Eaton taking first team and Priess second-team honors.

Sophomore Kim Jacob, Milliner and Gutierrez were named second team All-Americans on the floor exercise while Jacob, sophomore Sarah DeMeo and freshman Kayla Williams earned second-team honors on the balance beam. Junior Ashley Sledge, Stack-Eaton and Priess earned second team honors on the uneven bars.

All together, eight UA gymnasts earned 16 All-American honors, led by four from Stack-Eaton which brings her career total to 12. Priess earned three honors, bring her career total to eight.

A two-time All-American as a freshman, Jacob earned a pair of honors on Friday to bring her career total to four. Gutierrez and Milliner also earned two honors each this year, pushing their respective overall totals to three. Sledge and DeMeo have now both earned two All-American honors for their career while Williams earned her first nod as a rookie.

The individual finals get underway at 1 p.m. EDT.