The Iron Bowl of Gymnastics, Part I

107 and counting - Alabama Athletic Communications

Returning to the traditions of the past, Alabama and Auburn will meet twice during the regular season this year. The first meet is Friday night in Auburn. The second meet will be the final meet of the year in Coleman Coliseum on March 21st.

This is one Iron Bowl that has been dominated by Alabama. It didn’t start out that way. Auburn won the first nine meetings of the two teams. Victory number nine for Auburn was March 13, 1979, the year Coach Sarah Patterson (she was Sarah Campbell then) came to Alabama. Since then, Alabama has defeated Auburn 107 times. This includes all regular season and SEC Championship meets.

The pressure will be on the 5th ranked Crimson Tide to extend the 34 year winning streak. Pressure is nothing new to this team, who has faced teams ranked in the top 5 the past two weeks. Facing a deficit against UGA last week, the team pulled out a win led by the three seniors Sarah DeMeo, Kim Jacob, and Diandra Milliner who scored 9.925, 9.950, and 9.950, respectively, to close out the win on floor exercise.

"The hard thing is the next three meets will be exactly like this," Patterson said. "We go down to Auburn who is ranked in the top 10 and it’s going to be just as tight and then we have Oklahoma, the No. 2 team in the country, followed by Florida, who is ranked No. 1."

At the midpoint of the season, Alabama is definitely looking to build toward the championship season and as Coach Patterson said, the competition continues to be the top ranked teams in the country. The key for this team seems to be learning how to start strong. Diandra Milliner agrees, "I think we need to figure out how to start meets how we end meets, because we're ending them really great. We just need to have the momentum through the whole meet."

One of the Alabama gymnasts who can be expected to lead the effort is Kim Jacob, who was named SEC Event Specialist of the Week after tying her career high score on the floor exercise against Georgia. Jacob is currently ranked in the top 25 gymnasts in four of the five categories.

The Alabama Medalist Club is doing their part to ensure the streak continues. The club is sponsoring a bus to Auburn. The bus will leave Coleman Coliseum at 2:00pm Friday afternoon. Fans will receive free tickets to the meet once the bus arrives in Auburn. Seats on the bus are on a first-come, first-served basis and are FREE to all Alabama Gymnastics fans. Fans should contact Rita Martin of the Alabama gymnastics office to reserve a seat at The deadline for reserving seats on the bus is Thursday at noon.

For those unable to make it to Auburn, follow along via live scoring. The live radio broadcast is on WVUA and can be streamed live. The meet begins at 7pm CT, the broadcast usually starts about thirty minutes before the official start.

Here’s hoping for 24 sticks on the landings and extending the streak to 108!

Roll Tide!

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