College gymnastics: No. 7 Tide powers past No. 10 Arkansas
by Marq Burnett
mburnett@annistonstar.com
Jan 24, 2014 | 1623 views |  0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Alabama's Kim Jacob is part of yet another highly ranked Tide gymnastics team. (University of Alabama photo)
Alabama's Kim Jacob is part of yet another highly ranked Tide gymnastics team. (University of Alabama photo)
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TUSCALOOSA -- Alabama gymnastics seems to put on its best performances when wearing its pink leotards.

The seventh-ranked Crimson Tide won its 10th annual Power of Pink meet with a 197.125 to 196.1 victory over No. 10 Arkansas on Friday.

The Tide improved to 21-0 all-time in “pink” meets.

“We feel like we’re competing for something bigger than us,” senior Sarah DeMeo said. “Just getting on a personal level with those survivors in the beginning puts things in perspective. We just want to compete for them. That’s what helps us every year with this. It gets better and better.”

After a second-place finish at last week’s Ozone Collegiate Classic, the Tide rebounded with big scores in all four events.

“We weren’t perfect tonight, but we improved in a lot of different areas,” Tide coach Sarah Patterson said. “I can’t be more proud of this team right now. We’re on pace to do what we need to do.”

The victory came in front of a sold out crowd of 15,075, including an overflow of 800 in the student section.

“A lot of it has to do with this team. They’ve helped me,” Patterson said. “We’ve worked really hard to promote the events. I am amazed and overwhelmed when I look up at the students and I see them coming in at 5:30. ... I’ve never seen such a tremendous outpouring of support from the students. I want to do everything I can to keep them coming.”

The Tide finished with a 49.225 on the floor exercise led by senior Kim Jacob’s 9.900. DeMeo led the way on the vault with a career-best 9.925, that paced Alabama to a 49.300. On the uneven bars, Jacob led the way to a 49.300 team score with a 9.900. The Tide scored a season-best 49.300 on the balance beam led by Jacob’s 9.925 and a 9.9 from DeMeo.

Before the meet, a check for $108,900 to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund representing all the money raised this past year. In the past 10 years, the team has raised $1.45 million for breast cancer awareness.

With 17 breast cancer survivors apart of the ceremony, each gymnast walked arm-in-arm with a survivor before the meet and were introduced on the jumbotron. It was a special night for freshman Dominique Pegg, who walked with her mother, Cathi Parker, and also saw her first action of her career. She scored a 9.800 on vault.

“Dominique earned her way in,” Patterson said. “She’s done it in practice. She’s a talented athlete.

“We have a lot of talent. As people earn their way, I'm going to give them opportunities. We’re trying to build depth, too.”

Alabama hits the road with a trip to Baton Rouge, La. to face LSU on Friday.
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