Sarah Patterson and the Crimson Tide have joined with RISE for a Christmas party for more than 20 years and have hosted the party in the UA practice facility since it opened in 1996
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The defending NCAA Champion Alabama Gymnastics team took time out from its normal practice routine to host nearly 100 children from the Stallings RISE Center for its annual Christmas party in the Frances Smith Practice Facility Friday afternoon.
“You can’t help but smile and have your spirits lifted when these children hit the gym running,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. “They have such incredible energy and have so much fun. It is definitely one of the highlights of the year for our ladies.”
Patterson and the Crimson Tide have joined with RISE for a Christmas party for more than 20 years and have hosted the party in the UA practice facility since it opened in 1996. As always, the gymnasts and RISE students were joined by a very special guest when Santa Claus made his way to Coleman Coliseum and the practice gym.
The gymnasts start exams next week and will train for a few days after exams are over before heading home for Christmas break. The 2012 season gets underway Friday, Jan. 13 at home against arch rival Georgia. Season tickets can be purchased online at RollTide.com and through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262).
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – At a ceremony held in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, eight freshmen from last year’s Alabama gymnastics team were honored with their letter jacket’s Wednesday night. Cecil Ingram, III, a member of the Crimson Tide’s 1979 Southeastern Conference champion golf team, spoke during the event.
“Cecil did a great job of recognizing the student-athletes for their experience and what it means to be a letterwinner at Alabama,” UA head gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson said. “It was a nice night for our ladies as they received a memento of their wonderful freshman year that they will hold dear for years to come.”
Coaches Sarah and David Patterson were on hand to present last year’s freshmen with their jackets. Olivia Carisella, Sarah DeMeo, Ria Domier, Lindsey Fowler, Kim Jacob, Diandra Milliner, Jordan Moore and Hannah Toussaint all earned a varsity letter last season. Jacob and Domier weren’t able to attend Wednesday’s ceremony due to class conflicts.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Alabama gymnasts along with other University of Alabama student-athletes welcomed local children to Coleman Coliseum Tuesday evening for the Athletics Department and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee annual Project AngelTree event.
The student-athletes donated money, shopped for and wrapped up Christmas gifts for more than 50 local children, with all the Crimson Tide’s teams participating in the outreach project.
“It means a lot to us to be able to do this for children in the Tuscaloosa community,” senior Ashley Priess, a member of SAAC’s executive committee said. “Tonight is about helping someone have a better Christmas.”
Tuesday’s event marked the 20th consecutive year that Alabama Athletics has participated in Project AngelTree, making it one of the longest tenured groups in the state.
ATLANTA, Ga – Kayla Hoffman, captain of Alabama’s 2011 NCAA Gymnastics Championship team, was honored as the Southeastern Conference Female Athlete of the Year during the SEC Legends Dinner Friday night in Atlanta.
Hoffman, who was also recently announced as a 2012 NCAA Today’s Top VIII award winner, was joined at the banquet by her coach, Sarah Patterson, Alabama Director of Athletics Mal Moore, Deputy Athletics Director Shane Lyons and Associate Athletics Director/Senior Woman Administrator Marie Robbins.
“When Kayla first came to Alabama she was a young girl,” Patterson said. “Watching her up on that podium tonight as she addressed the leaders of this conference, I was filled with such amazing pride at the strong, confident, accomplished woman she has become.”
The Union, N.J., native is the sixth Alabama athlete and fifth UA gymnast to be named SEC Female Athlete of the Year, joining gymnasts Penney Hauschild (1985), Dee Foster (1990), Andreé Pickens (2002), Jeana Rice (2004) and track star Lillie Leatherwood (1987). Alabama’s six honorees ties the Tide with Tennessee for the most in the SEC while the Tide gymnastics total of five is the most for a single program.
Hoffman earned the award after leading the Crimson Tide to the 2011 NCAA, NCAA Regional and Southeastern Conference Championships, giving Alabama its first “triple crown” since 1988. She was honored with the Honda Award, given annually to the nation’s top gymnast, in April.
“I cannot emphasize enough that this moment isn’t mine alone,” Hoffman said during her acceptance speech. “It also belongs to each of my teammates; I am here because of them. Together, through the tears and the victories, the toughest practices and the brightest times in the spotlight, we became champions. I share this moment with all of them.”
Hoffman, who was named the 2011 Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American of the Year, clinched the Tide’s fifth NCAA Championship in mid-April with a 9.95 on the floor exercise and was the NCAA runner-up in the all-around and balance beam. She earned All-American accolades in the all-around, vault and balance beam this season, finishing her career with five first-team honors.
As senior, Hoffman became the first in league history to win both SEC Gymnast of the Year and the SEC Gymnastics Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors in the same season after clinching Alabama’s 2011 SEC title by winning the vault with a 9.95. She also earned NCAA and SEC Postgraduate Scholarships and carries a career 4.0 grade point average in human development and family studies.
Nomination deadline: January 16, 2012
As Coach Patterson has said, the Alabama Gymnastics program, “is dedicated to nurturing the whole person. We are going to compete for championships at Alabama, we are going to excel in the classroom, and we are going to do our very best to make a positive impact in the world around us…Alabama is about far more than the four years that our ladies compete for the Crimson Tide. It is about building relationships that last a lifetime. As the years have passed, it has been especially gratifying to watch as our ladies have gone on to lead lives of distinction filled with success.”
The Sarah Patterson Distinguished Alumni Award was conceived and created by the Medalist Club to honor those who best personify these sentiments.
The intent and purpose of the Medalist Club in presenting this award is not only to recognized those who helped create and continue the success of the program while attending the university, but more specifically to cite and honor those members of the Alabama Gymnastics family who have gone on to be leaders in their everyday lives, in their professions, and in their communities. Prior recipients, such as Barbara Mack Harding, Patti Rice Eggers, and Marie Robbins, exemplify the criteria for this award.
All Medalist Club members are eligible to nominate a candidate for this award. In addition, if you are a former Alabama gymnast, coach, or staff member you are also designated by the Medalist Club as an eligible nominator. Click here for additional details.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The defending national champion Alabama gymnastics team is ranked second in the 2012 preseason coaches’ poll that was released today. The Crimson Tide, which won its fifth NCAA title last April, received 17 first-place votes and 926 points.
The top-five spots in the 2012 rankings mirror last year’s preseason poll, with UCLA once again starting the year at No. 1 with eight first-place votes and 932 points while Southeastern Conference rival Florida is No. 3 with eight first-place votes and 903 points.
“My vote was very similar to what actually came out, although I had Florida at No. 1 and Georgia in the top five,” UA head coach Sarah Patterson said. “I think the Gators are the most talented team in the nation coming into the season. There are so many great teams this year; I can’t wait to get the season underway.”
Oklahoma and Utah are again fourth and fifth, respectively, with the Sooners picking up two first-place votes and the Utes one. No. 7 Oregon State, No. 8 Stanford and No. 10 Michigan all received first-place votes this season while Nebraska, at No. 6, and Georgia, at No. 9, round out this top-10.
“I think the voting shows that everyone expects this season to be very competitive,” Patterson said. “There are a lot of teams out there that people think will have a chance to win the national championship. It’s definitely a very exciting time to be a part of this sport.”
In addition to the three SEC teams that are the top 10, Arkansas, LSU, Auburn and Kentucky all figure in the top 25, coming in at 11th, 12th, 17th and 23rd respectively.
“With five teams in the top 12 and all seven teams in the top 25, I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Southeastern Conference continues to be the nation’s premiere gymnastics conference,” Patterson said.
Alabama opens the season at home against No. 9 Georgia on Jan. 13 in the first of five Fun, Family Fridays in Coleman Coliseum.
“Even though we only lost four routines to graduation from last year’s NCAA Championships, this team will be very different from last year’s in terms of its personality and chemistry,” Patterson said. “As coaches, we’re very excited to introduce this newest edition of the Crimson Tide to the best fans in the world.”
Alabama will face six of the nation’s top-13 teams during the regular season and eight teams that are ranked in the top-25.
“Our schedule is once again among the toughest in the nation,” Patterson said. “We won’t be looking back over our shoulders once we get to the postseason because we will have already been tested against some great teams.”
Season tickets are on sale now through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum or online at RollTide.com.
Follow Alabama gymnastics on Twitter @BamaGymnastics and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BamaGymnastics.
The Alabama Gymnastics Team has been officially practicing for approximately eight weeks and will soon move into the final phase of the fall preseason, namely fine-tuning routines and establishing line-ups through intrasquad competitions over the next two weeks leading into final exams and the Christmas holiday break. Here are some observations from recent practices and intrasquad performances on balance beam and uneven bars.
Injury Report: Freshman Kaitlyn Clark is doing very well with her rehab from clean-up surgery back in September and is expected to compete this season. She participated in the intrasquad last week on the uneven bars and has about half of her balance beam routine back. Sophomore Olivia Carisella is rehabbing from an achilles injury and will red-shirt in 2012. Sophomore Ria Domier was working out on vault and floor without a brace or any other noticeable bandage/supports and looks to be fully recovered from an ACL injury suffered in December 2010. Senior Rachel Terry was working on the uneven bars but did not participate in the intrasquad, as she is still rehabbing from off-season clean up surgery.
Kayla Williams will likely be active in the all-around for the Crimson Tide in 2012. She exhibited a complete and confident routine at the Ghosts vs Goblins on balance beam on 10/23 and will vault a Yurchenko 1.5. Her elements on beam include: leap onto the beam to immediate switch side straddle leap, bhs to loso, punch front (tuck) to flutter jump, flutter jump to straddle 1/1, dismount of a round off to 1 1/2 twist. On uneven bars her elements include a toe on-toe off on the high bar to pak salto, toe-shoot straddle from low to high bar, full turn to Tkatchev, double layout dismount. On floor exercise Kayla will open with a double layout and close with a double pike. During the beam intrasquad on 11/20 she led off and once again nailed her routine with only a small hop on the dismount landing. It was impressive that Kayla, despite being under the weather, still went through all of her reps on this date. Her ailment seemed to catch up with her during her workout on the uneven bars, as she struggled with reaching vertical on her handstands that came at the end of her routine reps.
Brooke Parker is affectionately nick-named “Flea” by her coaches and teammates. She vaults a Yurchenko 1/1 and throws a double front Arabian on floor to immediate stag leap out, a round off to 1 1/2 twist to front tuck as well as a double pike. On the balance beam she is throwing a front aerial to back tuck, switch split to pike jump, bhs to loso flight series and a double pike dismount. Brooke was also working a pike Jaeger on the uneven bars and two different dismounts – a tuck full in and a double pike.
Kaitlyn Clark was able to throw a very solid uneven bars routine during the 11/20 intrasquad, which included a toe on-toe off to Shaposhnikova back to handstand on the low bar and a double layout dismount (full twisting double layout reps were also thrown earlier during extended warm-ups). She is also working Tkatchev and Hindorff release moves. On vault she will throw a Yurchenko 1/1 or 1.5 and on floor she opens with a double front Arabian and will close with a double pike. On balance beam she has really nice leaps (switch split leap had excellent amplitude and stretch) along with a front aerial kick out to flutter jump, bhs to loso, switch split leap to side straddle jump as well.
Lora “Leigh” Frost has caught the coaches’ eyes with her strong work ethic in the gym and the fact that she tumbles a very confident double layout on floor along with a punch front 1/1 to front layout, a double pike and double tuck. Choreo and music have already been blocked out by Dana Duckworth and word up is that Leigh has a strong chance to be in the floor line-up at the beginning of the season if she keeps progressing. Vault will be a Yurchenko 1/1 (still needs polishing on the form and foot position along with amplitude and landing). Balance beam is still a work in progress as well but Frost is showing some nice elements on this event - bhs to loso, front aerial kick out to flutter jump, switch split leap to straddle jump, flutter jump to tuck 1/1, gainer full twist off the side of the beam.
Kimberly Jacob is once again in fantastic shape heading into the final weeks of the fall pre-season training and is arguably the most consistent balance beam worker the Tide has ever had on its roster. Her practice reps are like a walk in the park. Kim’s All-American beam routine remains the same for 2012. She appears to have improved her blocking and twisting technique on vault, resulting in better form and amplitude (Yurchenko 1/1). Kim also looks very solid on floor with the pike full-in reps that we observed and she has new music for 2012 that the crowd should find very appealing. Kim will dismount floor with a double pike. On uneven bars, Kim is working a Hindorff release and handstands are more fluid and vertical. Dismount will be a double layout.
Sarah DeMeo was overall pretty solid on balance beam but had one form break on a full turn. She also has some new choreo on beam but the rest of her routine remains the same, including the double pike dismount. On uneven bars, her pike Jaeger in warm-up reps was looking excellent but she hit her heels during the intrasquad competition; she kept going and finished the routine. Sarah is working a double front Arabian on floor, 2 1/2 twist to possibly a front tuck or layout and a double pike. Her vault will continue to be the Yurchenko 1/1.
Diandra Milliner has a new mount onto the balance beam but will keep her same tumbling and leap elements from 2011. On the uneven bars she is now dismounting with a double front and did a terrific routine during the 11/20 intrasquad, which included a super landing on her final element. The talented sophomore will once again help anchor the vault rotation with a Yurchenko 1.5 (looked consistently solid during this extended practice) and will have some new choreo on floor with a few variations in her music for 2012 as well.
Hannah Toussaint threw pretty consistent reps on the balance beam and floor. She has the same elements in her beam routine and will keep the same music on floor but will add a double pike to her tumbling runs. Toussaint has an excellent chance to factor in the beam and floor rotations early on if she can build consistency in performing under pressure.
Lindsay Fowler was working her floor routine to a techno and Latino beat. She will tumble a Rudi through to a layout stepout, a front-front to front 1/1 and will close with a Rudi. Fowler also competed in the intrasquad on balance beam and had a couple of glitches that will require more reps to build her confidence (fell on the second element of her front aerial to back loso). On uneven bars, Lindsay is working a Jaeger release and a double front dismount.
Ria Domier had several nice vault runs (very fast, fluid pace) with her front pike 1/2. On floor she is still working on choreo and building up her tumbling passes to a level that will score well for the Tide.
Marissa Gutierrez did most of her reps on balance beam and vault and polished up her floor choreo and tumbling during the 11/20 intrasquad and practice (will keep the same music but has a few new dance elements). Guti was showing better amplitude on her front aerial to pike jump combination and better stretch on the switch split leap to side straddle jump combo as well.
Ashley Sledge is serving notice early that she wants to compete in the all-around for the Tide in 2012. This means she has to present consistent balance beam reps to the coaches, especially during intrasquads! And she delivered with a pretty solid routine on this date. She has worked hard in the preseason on her switch split leap to side straddle jump and switch split to pike jump combinations. She will dismount with a round off to full twist off the side of the beam. On floor Ashley is training a double layout to open and a double pike to close. She will vault the Yurchenko 1/1 again in 2012.
Becca Alexin completed a solid uneven bars routine during this intrasquad (working on a double layout dismount) and was also completing her reps on balance beam and floor exercise. Tumbling consistency on these latter events remains her biggest challenge to break into the line-up, as Becca has the lines and toe-point/extension and form that the judges love to reward.
Ashley Priess did her full routine on balance beam, including the return of the full twisting back handspring swing down and she also threw a new dismount – a side aerial to immediate full twist combination. On uneven bars her routine during the intrasquad included a toe on toe off, Tkatchev to pak salto combination and a double layout dismount (small hop on landing). Ashley is training all four events with the expectation of returning to the all around in 2012.
Geralen Stack-Eaton looked in excellent pre-season form on bars, beam and vault during the 11/20 intrasquad. Her Arabian double front was a little scary to behold at the end of her bar routine (rotated back towards the bar a bit) but she landed it with a step to the side under the watchful eye of Coach Raschilla. The Ray release to pak salto combination looked really nice. Her beam routine remains the same for 2012.
Additional reports will come between December 5th and January 8th, 2012. Roll Tide!