Nov. 10, 2011
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Sarah Patterson, head coach of the defending NCAA Champion Alabama gymnastics team, announced the signing of Lauren Beers and Carley Sims to National Letters of Intent Thursday.
"We're very excited to have Lauren and Carley join the Alabama gymnastics family," Patterson said. "They are both exciting and dynamic athletes whose best gymnastics, we feel, is still ahead of them. More than that, they are great students and even better people. We can't wait to have them here on campus, wearing a Crimson Tide leotard."
A two-time U.S. National Championship qualifier, Lauren Beers is coached by Daile Van Patten and Michael Morse at Southern Tier Gymnastics Academy in Endwell, N.Y. She finished 15th in the all-around at the 2010 VISA National Championships where she was also ninth on the floor exercise.
"The atmosphere on campus was so enthusiastic," Beers said. "I loved the girls, and the coaching staff is so supportive. It really felt like they were interested in me as a person as well as a gymnast. It was an honor to be recruited by such an accomplished gymnastics team and I can't wait to compete in front of such a large crowd of supportive fans."
A native of Warren Center, Pa., Beers finished in the top-10 in all four events at the 2011 American Classic as well as taking sixth in the all-around. The daughter of Patricia and Rick Beers, she carries a 4.0 grade point average for her high school career.
"Lauren is from the same area that I grew up in and her coach, Daile Van Patten, coached me during summer camps in upstate New York," Patterson said. "We've followed her career for quite a while and we're very excited to have her join us."
A double-medalist at the 2011 U.S. Junior Olympic National Championships, Carley Sims is coached by former Alabama All-American Dara (Stewart) Lowery, John Lowery and David Hill at JamJev Gymnastics. A native of Birmingham, Ala., she finished second on the floor exercise and third on the vault at the 2011 J.O. Championships after posting three top-10 finishes at the same meet in 2010.
"It has always been a dream of mine to attend the University of Alabama," Sims said. "Alabama has a great academic program, the gymnastics team is the best program a gymnast could ever be a part of, and the people in Alabama are amazing and very supportive."
Sims won four events, including the all-around at the 2011 Region 8 Championships, and was second on the balance beam. Last spring, she won all four events and the all-around at the Alabama State Championships. The daughter of Pam and Carl Sims, she is a senior at Ramsay High School where she maintains a 3.5 grade point average.
"Carley grew up right down the road and she is coached by Dara Stewart Lowery, an All-American member of our 2000 SEC Championship team," Patterson said. "We're excited that one of the nation's top prospects is right here in the state of Alabama, and that is just one of the reasons we're very pleased to have Carley as a part of our program."
While the freshman class of 2013 is finishing their high school careers, the current Alabama Gymnastics team is preparing for the 2012 season, which gets underway Friday, Jan. 13 at home against arch-rival Georgia. Season tickets are on sale now at the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) and online at RollTide.com.