Sunday, April 07, 2002
TUSCALOOSA, ALA -- With a commanding victory at the NCAA Southeast Regional Saturday night that included an NCAA record on the balance beam, the Alabama Gymnastics was guaranteed a place at the Tuscaloosa based NCAA Championships. Sunday the NCAA determined when and with whom the Tide would dance.
The NCAA Championships, to be held in Coleman Coliseum on the University of Alabama campus, run April 18-20.
“We’re happy to be in our 19th consecutive championship with a chance to win our fourth NCAA Championship,” Alabama head coach Sarah Patterson said. “Obviously we’ve had some success with the rotation we drew, so that’s not a concern for us.”
Alabama will compete against two-time defending champion UCLA, Florida, Stanford, Oregon State and Minnesota in the 7 p.m. session on Thursday, April 18. Earlier in the day Georgia, Michigan, LSU, Arizona, Utah and Nebraska will compete starting at 1 p.m. in afternoon session. The top three teams from each session will advance to the team finals, the NCAA Super Six which will get under way 7 p.m. Friday, April 19.
Alabama will start competition on a bye and then proceed to the floor exercise and then the vault. After another bye, the Tide will close out the session on the uneven bars and the balance beam. It is the same order Alabama competed on at the regional. The Tide also started competition on the floor exercise at the Southeastern Conference Championships two weeks ago.
Each team in both Thursday sessions will have an individual all-arounder rotating with them and competing at the end of the team’s set. Senior Mariana Goncalves of Oklahoma will rotate with the Crimson Tide. Goncalves finished third in the all-around at the West Regional.
Ticket for the three-day, four-session championships are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262), SouthTix (800.240.2300) or online at www.rolltide.com.