Tag Archives: Sarah Patterson

The Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza dedicated today

Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza

Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza

Alabama will dedicate the Sarah Patterson Champions Plaza at 4 p.m. today. UA President Judy Bonner and AD Bill Battle will both speak at the event along with the Crimson Tide’s NCAA Champion coaches Mic Potter (women’s golf), Patrick Murphy (softball) and Jay Seawell (men’s golf).

Gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson, the plaza’s namesake and winner of six national team titles, will deliver the keynote address. There will also be a ribbon cutting during the event to officially open the plaza which is located in front of Coleman Coliseum and the Mal M. Moore Athletic Complex.

The plaza honors the Crimson Tide’s national champion coaches for all sports outside of football. It also features marble slabs highlighting all of the Tide’s varsity sports besides football, including a listing of all the Tide’s NCAA and SEC titles.

The plaza fulfills the vision of former AD Mal Moore, who passed away last spring.

“This plaza will be a way of recognizing the success of every sport, both SEC and national championships. It will really add to the setting of the Coleman Coliseum,” Moore said in June 2012 when the plans for the plaza were approved by the UA Board of Trustees.

It was also during that that time in 2012 that the Trustees voted unanimously to name the plaza after Patterson, who along with her husband and assistant coach David Patterson, have won six NCAA titles during their 35-year career at the University.

In addition to six national titles, the Pattersons have led the Tide to seven Southeastern Conference Championships and an NCAA-best 28 regional titles. They have also led Alabama to the NCAA Championships for the last 31 years in a row.

Patterson, Potter, Murphy and Seawell all won national titles during a two-year period that saw Alabama claim two BCS National Football Championships, two NCAA Gymnastics titles and the Tide’s first NCAA Championships in women’s golf, softball and men’s golf.

Alabama gymnastics blows away NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, punches ticket to NCAA Championships

Ashley Priess in the process of scoring a 9.9 on the uneven bars on the way to winning the all-around title.

Ashley Priess in the process of scoring a 9.9 on the uneven bars on the way to winning the all-around title.

Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson admits, openly, she held redshirt senior Ashley Priess back. For a while.

“She’s been wanting to go all-around all year,” Patterson said. “Part of it was she wanted to go and her coach said no.”

And while we’re being honest, it was a tough pill to swallow for Priess.

“There have been times where I was a little frustrated because I felt like I was ready,” she said.

The time finally came in the NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional, where Priess stepped up and delievered 9.9s in all four events, taking the all-around crown with a 39.6 and helping Alabama win its 28th-straight Regional title with a team score of 197.400.

Utah is the other qualifier out of the Tuscaloosa Regional, earning second place with a 196.400.

“I just felt like, at this point in time, we’re at the end, she’s ready to go,” Patterson said. “To me, Ashley is the epitome of Alabama gymnastics, because she always peaks at the right time.”

Junior Kim Jacob added, “Ashley had an amazing night. We all knew she could do it, but this is the time we really needed her. We had no doubts she had it in her.”

Alabama had to work through some bumps to get the high score and the win, twice in high-pressure situations after falls. Kaitlyn Clark’s fall on the balance beam put the lineup in a tight bind to keep from counting a fall, as did Sarah DeMeo’s fall on the uneven bars.

Jacob responded on beam with a 9.95 and Priess’ well-timed 9.9 on the uneven bars kept the Tide up as it counted just one score below a 9.8.

“I thought they did great,” Patterson said of those who followed the falls. “Kaitlyn Clark, she hasn’t fallen all year, and I just said to Kaitlyn, ‘You’ve been here for us all year. We’ve got your back.’”

Now Alabama can look with full focus towards the NCAA Semifinals on April 19th, and if Alabama is one of the top 12 there, it will advance to the finals to go for back-to-back-to-back national titles.

“I think now we can go to UCLA and compete the way we competed at SECs: we were fearless. Tonight was all about advancing,” Patterson said.

No. 4 Alabama gymnastics ends No. 1 Oklahoma’s perfect season emotional Senior Night in Tuscaloosa

Freshman Lauren Beers scored a 9.9 on the floor exercise in Alabama's regular season finale win over Oklahoma. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Freshman Lauren Beers scored a 9.9 on the floor exercise in Alabama’s regular season finale win over Oklahoma. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Earlier in the week, Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson had a strong theme of emotion management going into Senior Night against No. 1 Oklahoma, trying to let her seniors enjoy the moment while keeping them focused on the task.

Patterson got the focus she wanted, as the senior class finished without a home loss after toppling the previously 19-0 Sooners 197.525-196.900, but could not keep the tears from streaming down senior Ashley Sledge’s face before the meet.

“When we went and got introduced, it was pretty emotional,” Sledge said, slyly adding, “for some of us,” with a light chuckle knowing she hadn’t fooled anyone.

The night had a perfect ending for Sledge, walking off the floor exercise having just earned a 9.875 with waves and blown kisses for the fans in attendance. And it was nearly taken away by one outstretched arm a few hours before.

“Sledge almost had to talk me into putting her out there, because (assistant coach) Bryan (Raschilla) kind of had to turn her over on one of her tumbling passes,” Patterson said.

At the end of the night, Priess, like the rest of her teammates, left the gym with a supreme level of confidence as the Tide moves into postseason competition next week with the SEC Championship in Little Rock, Ark.

“I think tonight’s meet was a real confidence-booster,” redshirt senior Ashley Priess said. “We had some real standout moments on all four events, really. I wouldn’t say we’re at our best in every event, but there are easy areas where we can improve in practice and I don’t think this team can be any more confident going into postseason.”

Few athletes have progressed as far as freshman Lauren Beers, who competed in three events and scored a 9.9 or higher on two of them, including a 9.95 on vault.

“I am absolutely thrilled with Lauren,” Sledge said. “Just going from not competing to competing events and exhibitioning (balance) beam tonight, she did a fantastic job. We’re searching for that bar spot, and I think she definitely did her job in her spot.

“Gosh, she has just come such a long way.”

Patterson labeled Beers as a key component for the team’s advancement since Marissa Gutierrez’s ankle injury that has sidelined her for the last three weeks.

“I think if you look at why our team has progressed, I think if Lauren hadn’t stepped up in the capacity she’s in and we don’t have Marissa in there, we’re not scoring what we’re scoring,” Patterson said.

Recap of Alabama’s Friday night action

The No. 4 Alabama gymnastics team swept the home-and-home with the LSU Tigers this season, completing the sweep with a 197.725-197.750 win over the No. 4 Tigers in Baton Rouge. The 197.725 is not only Alabama’s best score this season, but also the best score by any road team in the nation in 2013.

The Crimson Tide got the win despite a perfect 10 from LSU’s final performer on the final event, Lloimincia Hall on the floor exercise.

“It was just an extraordinary night of college gymnastics,” Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said. “It was loud, it was rocking and both teams put up great performances.”

Alabama set a new season-high on the vault with a 49.525m led by sophomore Kayla Williams with a career-best 9.975. Alabama had two freshmen, Carley Sims and Lauren Beers, set new career-highs on the vault with a 9.875 and a 9.925, respectively.

Alabama will face No. 1 Oklahoma in its final regular season meet of the season at home on March 15th.

(The above tweet is from Alabama Director of Baseball Operations Ken Brown)

Alabama baseball lost a hard-fought extra-innings contest on the road with No. 5 Louisville 4-3 in 14 innings. Alabama reliever Jay Shaw walked in Louisville’s game-winning run with one out in the bottom of the 14th.

Alabama’s offensive effort were highlighted by senior third baseman Kenny Roberts, who was 3-for-6 from the plate.

Alabama got strong performances from releivers Ray Castillo, Mitch Greer and Justin Kamplain. The trio came in to pitch six innings and give up just two hits and two walks while striking out five batters.

The Tide (8-5) meets the Cardinals (10-2) again Saturday and Sunday to complete the three-game series.

Like the baseball squad, Alabama softball lost in heartbreaking fashion, as the No. 8 Tennessee Volunteers got a game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the seventh to win 4-3.

Alabama starting pitcher Jackie Traina fell to 10-2 on the season,

Freshman outfielder Andrea Hawkins was one of two key offensive performers for the Crimson Tide in the series-opening loss to Tennessee. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

Freshman outfielder Andrea Hawkins was one of two key offensive performers for the Crimson Tide in the series-opening loss to Tennessee. (Photo courtesy of UA Athletics)

pitching 6.1 innings and allowing seven hits and four runs, all earned, while walking five batters and striking out four.

Offensively, Alabama was highlighted by the No. 1 and 9 hitters. Kayla Braud led off for the Tide and was 2-4 with a run scored, while Andrea Hawkins was 2-3 with two RBI in the No. 9 hole.

Alabama (22-2, 0-1 SEC) will face Tennessee (20-3, 1-0 SEC) again Saturday and Sunday to complete its first weekend series of SEC play.

Former Alabama gymnast Geralen Stack-Eaton amazes teammates with rendition of national anthem

Geralen Stack-Eaton was the NCAA balance beam champion in 2012 for the Crimson Tide as the team won its sixth national championship in program history. (Photo courtesy of UA athletics)

Geralen Stack-Eaton was the NCAA balance beam champion in 2012 for the Crimson Tide as the team won its sixth national championship in program history. (Photo courtesy of UA athletics)

Singing outside of an empty dormitory bathroom used to be a punishment for former Alabama gymnast Geralen Stack-Eaton. In fact, the two-time NCAA champion and two-time individual NCAA champion was discovered through a punishment.

We have a rule: if you leave something in the gym, and I find it, you have to sing,” Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said. “Geralen left something in the gym last year and didn’t want to sing and I said, ‘You’re a team leader. You have to sing.’”

The next day, Stack-Eaton faced her punishment, but with one slight alteration.

“She made us close our eyes, we couldn’t look at her,” Patterson.

Patterson said Stack-Eaton sang the national anthem for her punishment, and Patterson remembers, “There was not a dry eye in the gym, because none of us knew that she could do that.”

Stack-Eaton liked keeping her hidden talent away from the her teammates, much less the spotlight she was under singing in front of over 11,000 people in Coleman Coliseum for the Tide’s win over UCLA.

“I roomed with her freshman year, and the only time I heard her sing was when she didn’t know I was there and she was singing in the shower,” senior Ashley Priess said. “Sometimes I would sneak up and walk in her room and scare her so I could hear her sing.

“The fact that she’s made a 180 and is singing in front of thousands of people so confidently with the most beautiful voice I’ve ever heard is just stunning. I think it left the whole team in awe and in tears and we felt like we could do anything.”

Patterson said it has been a long struggle to get Stack-Eaton willing to perform in front of a larger crowd.

“It’s been a process. She had to learn to sing in front of us,” Patterson said. “She sang at camp for all of our little campers, and then she’s been to a women’s basketball game and a volleyball game and she called me about 10 days ago and said, ‘I’m ready.’

“She’s as gifted in her singing as she is in her athletic abilities. To see someone who had to have everyone in the room close their eyes, to do that in front of 11,000 people, I think that’s pretty amazing.”

But Patterson could not resist showing a little frustration at how long it took Stack-Eaton to finally display her talent.

“Who would’ve thought that was harder than getting on a balance beam?” Patterson said.

No. 5 Alabama gymnastics keeps streak going over Auburn

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Alabama’s Ashley Priess scored a 9.875 on the floor exercise to anchor three scores of 9.9 or higher on the event. (Photo courtesy of UA athletics)

The Crimson Tide gymnastics team came through with season-high scores in the vault, balance beam and floor exercise at the perfect time: not only to get off of a two-meet losing streak with a 197.650-196.575 win, but also against Auburn for its 106th win in a row over the Tigers.

But beating Auburn, as significant as beating the hated rival is, was not the team’s proudest moment from the meet.

“They know the rivalry, they know all about that,” Alabama coach Sarah Patterson said. “When you think back, we haven’t lost (to Auburn) in 33 years, some of these kids have parents that are not much older than 40, so the magnitude of it, I don’t think that plays into it.”

Admittedly, the timing was pretty good to set a new season-high overall score of 197.650 in front of a sellout crowd in Coleman Coliseum.

“It helps a little bit, maybe, that it was Auburn, but we don’t take the meet just by who we’re competing against because in the end, it’s our team score that’s going to count for our rankings,” said Alabama’s Marissa Gutierrez, who had a meet-high 9.925 on vault.

Gutierrez said there was one particular move that the entire team put an emphasis on leading up to the Auburn meet.

“Some of the upperclassmen took it upon themselves to ask the coaches if we could do a bunch of stick drills every day and play little games on it each day,” Gutierrez said. “We tried to emulate each of landings the best we could do it and I think that helped us tonight.”

The improved landings made for a grand realization of the team’s potential.

“I think this is the meet that we were looking for,” Patterson said. “We weren’t perfect, but we stepped it up on all levels. We’ve done this in practice, but we never did it in a competition. Tonight, this showed we can be one of the top teams in the country.”

Contributed by Brett Hudson

Tide gymnasts score season high but fall at Georgia

ATHENS, Georgia — No. 5-ranked Alabama suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, falling at No. 8 Georgia in Stegeman Coliseum 197.500-196.950 in front of a sold-out crowd of 9,924.

Kim Jacob paced the Crimson Tide (3-1, 3-1 SEC) by scoring a 39.250 to win her fourth straight all-around. She shared top honors on the floor exercise with junior Diandra Milliner. Alabama’s team total was its highest score of the season despite a sub-49 score on the uneven bars.

“We didn’t perform to the best of our abilities tonight,” Tide head coach Sarah Patterson said in a news release. “We got a little behind the eight ball on the uneven bars, and they were on fire on vault. When that happens, we have to really buckle down on vault, and while we did a good job, we didn’t nail all our landings.”

Alabama scored a season-low 48.95 on the uneven bars. The Tide was led on the bars by junior Sarah DeMeo’s 9.875.

A low score wasn’t the only outcome of the Tide’s rotation through the uneven bars. Senior Ashley Sledge was pulled out of the lineup after straining her shoulders on a handstand.

“We took her out after the uneven bars,” Patterson said. “We’re very protective of her shoulders and when she finished bars and was holding them, I knew we’d hold her out the rest of the way.”

The Tide scored a 49.375 on the vault behind 9.9s from sophomore Kaitlyn Clark, senior Marissa Gutierrez and Milliner. It was the Tide’s second highest vault total of the season.

Alabama had their best rotation of the night on the floor exercise, scoring a season-best 49.475 behind career-high 9.95s from Milliner and Jacob and a 9.9 from senior Marissa Gutierrez.

“I’ve said this before, from the time that coaching staff was hired, they had this meet circled in red on their calendar,” Patterson said. “We came in with a target on our backs.”

Next, Alabama will travel to Gainesville, Fla., to take on No. 1-ranked Florida on Friday at 6 p.m. The Crimson Tide returns home Feb. 15 to take on the Auburn Tigers at 7:30 p.m.

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Tide beats Kentucky in Power of Pink meet

Kaitlyn Clark competes on the uneven bars for Alabama during the annual Power of Pink meet against Kentucky.  (AP photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter of The Tuscaloosa News)

Alabama’s Kaitlyn Clark competes on the uneven bars during the Power of Pink meet against Kentucky. (AP photo by Michelle Lepianka Carter of The Tuscaloosa News)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — After last week’s win over LSU, Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson poked and proded at her team to pick up its conditioning level.

She got just that Friday night, especially in clutch situations, as the Crimson Tide beat Kentucky 196.575-194.8 in front of 15,075 fans in Coleman Coliseum for the Power of Pink meet supporting breast cancer. The meet was the 10th sellout in program history, the ninth in the last eight years.

“As the girls said, tonight wasn’t about the scores necessarily, it was about the survivors,” Patterson said. “What touched me most was not the 17 survivors we had on the floor, but they asked all breast cancer survivors to stand and then all cancer survivors to stand. To see the number of people that have battled, I think it’s amazing.”

One key finish came from Kayla Williams on the balance beam, who saw Marissa Gutierrez fall to open the event but managed a 9.9. The routine, coming off the heels of a disappointing performance last week, was so satisfying that
she celebrated before saluting the judges.

“I went out there and I knew what I had to do,” Williams said. “We had a fall earlier in the lineup and I didn’t want us to have to count one.

“I was struggling a couple of times in my routine when I did a skill good to not smile and get excited and when I stuck my dismount, I couldn’t hold it any longer.”

In the next and final event, Ashley Sledge turned in a 9.875 to turn the momentum after Sarah DeMeo started the event with a 9.5.

The Tide ended the floor exercise with three straight scores of 9.9 or above, as Gutierrez scored a 9.9, Kim Jacob scored a 9.925 and Diandra Milliner anchored the event with a 9.9.

“I did like that tonight, we finished it on floor,” Patterson said. “Last week we had some problems and it’s great to see your athletes come and finish strong.”

Jacob finished strong as an individual also, shaking off a near fall on balance beam to win her 3rd all-around crown in as many meets. Jacob’s strong finish stemmed more from the previous six months than the two hours in front of the crowd.

“She doesn’t surprise me because what she does is the same thing she does day-in and day-out,” Patterson said. “She is without a doubt one of the hardest-working young ladies in the last three years and she doesn’t just do it in the gym: she does it in the weight room.”

Contributed by Brett Hudson

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Tide gymnasts host ‘Power of Pink’ meet tonight

Pink light illuminates the concourse at Coleman Coliseum. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Pink light illuminates the concourse at Coleman Coliseum. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

T-shirts and shakers for fans tonight. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

T-shirts and shakers for fans tonight. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — No. 5-ranked Alabama will take on No. 15 Kentucky tonight at 7:30 in its ninth annual Power of Pink meet.

“This is going to be another amazing Power of Pink meet,” Tide head coach Sarah Patterson said. “To be able to look up into the stands and see everyone dressed in pink and supporting the fight against breast cancer in this way is pretty amazing. It’s something our ladies really look forward to.”

Landmarks all over campus and throughout the Tuscaloosa community have been lit in pink in anticipation of Friday’s meet, including Coleman Coliseum, Denny Chimes, the Bama Theatre and the Harrison Gallery. Inside the Coliseum on Friday night, Patterson encourages everyone to “Think pink and wear pink” in support of the cause. Before the meet, 18 breast cancer survivors will be introduced in tandem with the Alabama gymnasts, a tradition that is now in its fourth year.

“On this night, the ladies put aside their honors and accolades, and they’re introduced one at a time, with a survivor,” Patterson said. “Last year the woman who was introduced with Geralen (Stack-Eaton) said `They didn’t mention your championships.’ And Geralen said “Oh no ma’am, tonight it’s about you, you’re the champion.’ And I think that says it all.”

Kentucky is off to a strong start this season at 4-1 overall and 2-0 in Southeastern Conference competition and is coming off back-to-back wins over SEC foes Auburn and Arkansas.

Lora Leigh Frost competes on the floor exercise

Alabama sophomore Lora Leigh Frost warming up before Friday's meet against LSU. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Alabama sophomore Lora Leigh Frost warming up before Friday’s meet against LSU. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — Sophomore Lora Leigh Frost took another step in her return from injury by competing as an exhibition performer in the floor exercise in Alabama’s 196.575-195.525 win Friday over LSU.

The Decatur Heritage Christian Academy graduate went through her routine for officials but it wasn’t one of the six that had the potential to score for the team total.

“Lora Leigh kind of crunched her ankle before Christmas break and she’s just now getting started, getting back,” Tide coach Sarah Patterson said. “She has some harder tumbling, but I just thought, ‘I want to get her out there, get her in the exhibition spot for some experience,’ see how she did and she did a great job.”

Patterson saw great progress out of Frost, but said she hopes to work on her energy toward the end of the routine.

Contributed by Brett Hudson

We have some video highlights from Frost’s routine as seen from press row. (Admittedly, it’s not the best seat in the house for the floor exercise.)

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Tide gymnasts win their home opener over LSU

Ashley Priess scored a 9.85 on the balance beam. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

Ashley Priess scored a 9.85 on the balance beam. (Copyright photo by Brett Hudson)

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The fifth-ranked LSU Tigers entered Coleman Coliseum representing a ferocious hunter, but it was No. 6 Alabama that struck at the slightest showing of weakness in an SEC gymnastics showdown Friday night.

LSU had three routines in its opening event, uneven bars, score under 9.7 to give Alabama a 1.05-point lead going into the second event. Then the Crimson Tide’s Ashley Sledge delivered a 9.9 on the uneven bars to bring about the beginning of the end for LSU. Alabama took a lead of 1.025 points midway through the meet and coasted to a 196.575-195.525 victory in front of 13,921 at Coleman Coliseum.

“I thought we came out on fire in the first two events,” Tide coach Sarah Patterson said. “I think we can look at our score, know we counted a fall and know we have an opportunity to be much better than we were tonight.”

Competing at home for the first time as back-to-back national champions gave the Crimson Tide the initial burst of energy to bury the Tigers, but also led to a late slip-up. Alabama surrendered the floor exercise, its final event, to LSU 49.125-48.750.

“I think we’re still not where we need to be in terms of overall conditioning,” Patterson said. “It’s a long night. We started at the gym here at 5 o’clock and I think that’s a little taxing, especially with all the excitement.

“I thought we were a little tentative on balance beam. My biggest concern was on our final tumbling passes, I thought we were a little slow.”

The home debut was a great opportunity for junior Kim Jacob to upgrade herself from what Patterson labeled a “diamond in the rough” to a full diamond on display. Jacob took the all-around title for the night with a score of 39.375, besting LSU’s Jessica Savona’s 38.8.

“Sometimes I look at her and I’m in total amazement,” Patterson said, complimenting her accomplishments in academics as well as athletics. “To me, when someone steps forward like that, it kind of shows you that example. That’s why our program has been so successful, because we have leaders like that.

Alabama’s next meet will be Jan. 25 in Coleman Coliseum against Kentucky in the Power of Pink Meet, bringing awareness to breast cancer.

Contributed by Brett Hudson

Video of Sarah Patterson in the post-meet news conference:

Video of Sarah DeMeo’s 9.9 on uneven bars:

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Gymnastics coaches put Alabama No. 1 in preseason poll

The national gymnastics coaches poll has placed two-time defending NCAA champion Alabama as the preseason No. 1. In the previous two seasons, Alabama opened at No. 2.

The preseason top 25 also includes all nine of Alabama’s 2013 opponents, including UCLA at No. 2, Florida at No. 3 and Oklahoma at No. 4. The Gators placed second in last season’s NCAA meet, while the Bruins were third.

“I had the same four teams at the top on my ballot,” Tide head coach Sarah Patterson said in a news release. “Although I had Florida at No. 1, and I feel they are the most talented team in the country and have been for the last several years.”

The Tide will face No. 8 LSU twice this season and will take on No. 11 Georgia and No. 12 Arkansas on the road. Alabama will also face off with No. 13 Auburn at midseason and will open on the road with No. 21 Missouri. This year’s Power of Pink meet will see the Tide take on No. 25 Kentucky in Coleman Coliseum.

The Alabama gymnastics program is good about providing a bunch of videos, including a legends series. The first covered Penney Hauschild, who was NCAA all-around champion in 1985 and 1986. In 1983, before Alabama had any of its six national titles, she led the Tide to its first NCAA championship meet. Alabama placed fourth. Here’s the legends video about her:

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Birmingham will host 2014 NCAA women’s gymnastics meet

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama — The NCAA announced today Birmingham will host the 2014 women’s gymnastics championships.

The University of Alabama and The Alabama Sports Foundation will serve as co-hosts for the meet, which will be at the BJCC Arena on April 18-20, 2014.

This year’s NCAA women’s gymnastics championships will be at UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. Tide head coach Sarah Patterson‘s team is aiming for its third straight national title.

“We are very excited to have the NCAA Championships return to the state of Alabama in 2014,” Patterson said in a news release. “The Alabama Sports Foundation and the Bruno Event Team have always done a tremendous job with the national events they’ve brought to the area. Each of the Southeastern Conference Gymnastics Championships they’ve hosted in Birmingham have been first-class events both for the fans and the participants and I know this will be no different.

“The attendance we’ve enjoyed in Tuscaloosa, combined with the crowds the SEC Championships have drawn when they’ve been in Birmingham, has been amazing, which is just one of the reasons why I can’t wait to have this competition back in Alabama.”

Since we’re talking gymnastics, here is TideTV’s video of the gymnastics team’s homecoming weekend:

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Homecoming at the University of Alabama

Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy, left, and gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson in the lead car at today’s homecoming parade.

“Timeless Traditions” was the theme for Alabama’s homecoming, and this is Phi Mu’s lawn decoration.

Alabama is hosting Mississippi State for homecoming, and although it was chilly, the parade went great this afternoon. No wind or rain, with weather in the 60s.

Alabama softball coach Patrick Murphy and gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson served as grand marshals. They’re in the photo above. Both coached their teams to national championships last season.

The gymnastics and softball teams followed behind, and both groups showed enthusiasm. If I had to pick, I’d say the gymnastics team seemed a little more excited. I’ve got video below, so you can judge for yourself.

The video is about six minutes long and includes the front part of the parade. Murphy and Patterson are riding in the first car. The gymnastics team is next, followed by the softball team. Then come the cheerleaders and the Million Dollar Band.

In addition to the parade, the sorority houses decorated their lawns in the theme of this year’s homecoming, “Timeless Traditions.” I’m posting a photo of the one I liked best, which was in front of the Phi Mu house.

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Tide gymnastics on TV, and gymnasts name favorite cartoons

Alabama’s two-time defending NCAA champion gymnastics team will appear on television seven times this season.

Unfortunately, it’s all tape-delay, but it’s still television, which was an awfully far-fetched idea when Tide coaches Sarah and David Patterson began producing regular top-five national finishes in the 1980s.

“We have an extremely competitive schedule and I’m very excited that because of the Southeastern Conference’s television contract, fans across the country and around the world will be able to tune in to see our ladies compete,” Sarah Patterson said in a release.

Alabama’s 2013 TV schedule
Date, opponent, network (air date)

Jan. 11, At Missouri, CSS (to be determined)
Jan. 18, Vs. LSU, ESPNU (Jan. 24 at 5:30 p.m.) and ESPN2 (Jan. 27 at 5 p.m.)
Jan. 25, Vs. Kentucky, FSN (Feb. 2 at 3:30 p.m.)
Feb. 1, At Georgia, FSN (Feb. 9 at 3 p.m.)
Feb. 8, At Florida, FSN (Feb. 16 at 4:30 p.m.)
Feb. 15, Vs. Auburn, CSS (to be determined)
Feb. 22, At Arkansas, ESPNU (Feb. 28 at 4:30 p.m.) and ESPN2 (March 3 at 5 p.m.)
March 23, SEC Championships, ESPNU (March 28 at 3:30 p.m.) and ESPN (March 30 at 6 p.m.)

Also, if you want to get to know a little more about the team, here’s a cute feature by TideTV, asking each gymnasts which is her favorite cartoon:

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