Sep 5, 2013
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
With the new school year underway, the Alabama gymnastics team continues to reap the rewards of another outstanding performance in the classroom during the 2012-13 academic year.
The Crimson Tide once again produced the highest team grade point average among Southeastern Conference gymnastics teams and was sixth among all NCAA Division I gymnastics programs the National Association of College Gymnastics Coaches announced recently.
Alabama was also the only team to advance to April's NCAA Super Six Team Final in Los Angeles and rank among the top-20 academically after posting a 3.58 team grade point average on the way to its 22nd top-3 national finish. It marked the eighth year in a row UA gymnasts have posted a team GPA of 3.4 or better.
"Our ladies enjoyed another spectacular year, both athletically and academically," UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. "To be in the mix for a national championship during the last rotation on the last night of the season the last three years and to produce the kind of academic excellence we have is nothing short of amazing."
A total of 13 UA gymnasts were named Scholastic All-American again this year, matching the Crimson Tide's total from 2012. Over the last three seasons, Alabama has won two NCAA titles and finished third while producing 37 Scholastic All-American honors.
To be a Scholastic All-American, a gymnast must have a 3.5 or better GPA either for the previous academic year, or for their career. Among UA's 2013 honorees, three - Lauren Beers, Ria Domier and Kim Jacob - carry a career GPA of 4.0.
Ashley Priess earned the honor for the fourth time in 2013, while completing work on her master's degree.
Becca Alexin earned Scholastic All-American honors for the fourth time while All-Americans Sarah DeMeo, Kim Jacob and Diandra Milliner along with Ria Domier and Lindsey Fowler all earned the accolade for the third time.
Jacob also won the 2013 NCAA Elite 89 Award, given annually to the student-athlete at each of the NCAA's national championships with the highest GPA. In the four-year history of the award, Alabama gymnastics is the only program in any sport to win all four honors.
All-Americans Kaitlyn Clark and Kayla Williams along with Lora Leigh Frost and Brooke Parker are all Scholastic All-Americans for the second time.
All-American Marissa Gutierrez closed out her career with a bang, earning a perfect 4.0 for her senior year and taking home the academic award for the first time, while All-American Lauren Beers got her career off to a shining start by posting a 4.0 of her own and being named Scholastic All-American for the first time.
"I couldn't be prouder of Marissa for reaching her goal of adding Scholastic All-American recognition to her All-American honors," Patterson said. "All of our ladies work extremely hard to perform at the highest level in all that they do and that effort is what feeds our tradition of excellence and legacy of champions."