Missouri Kicks Off 2014 Season Friday At Alabama

MUTIGERS.COM Mizzou takes on No. 2 Alabama this Friday in Tuscaloosa, Al.
Mizzou takes on No. 2 Alabama this Friday in Tuscaloosa, Al.

Jan. 8, 2014

COLUMBIA, Mo. - After a successful exhibition meet against Lindenwood University this past month, the Missouri Tigers Gymnastics squad will travel to Tuscaloosa, Al. this Friday to begin their second season in the Southeastern Conference.

Friday's meet against the Crimson Tide will mark the head coaching debut for Missouri's Shannon Welker. After spending the five previous seasons as an assistant coach at the University of Michigan, Welker looks to begin his Tigers tenure on a positive note. Missouri will have their hands full however, as Alabama enters the season ranked as the No. 2 team in the country.

Tigers vs. Crimson Tide Quick Facts
Missouri looks to rebound in 2014, after a disappointing season last year in Columbia, Mo. Friday's meet will mark the head coach debut of Shannon Welker for the Tigers. Welker will lead a Tigers squad with a bevy of newcomers (five freshmen) and several upperclassmen returning after suffering injuries last season. Alabama looks to continue their recent run of dominance, as they have claimed national championships two of the last three years (2011, 2012 and 3rd place in 2013). Coaches Sarah and David Patterson start their 36th season in Tuscaloosa.

Last Time Alabama and Missouri Met
(Jan. 11, 2013) The Tigers hosted the Crimson Tide in Columbia, Mo. for their first ever Southeastern Conference (SEC) gymnastics meet. Alabama came in as the two-time defending National Champions and took the meet with a score of 196.540 to Missouri's 192.025. Missouri faithful came out in big numbers, as a Pink Out record crowd of 5,760 filled the Hearnes Center. Tigers' Rachel Updike led the team in vault (9.875) and beam (9.850) on the evening, while Mackenzie McGill paced Missouri in bars (9.650) and Tori Howard tallied the top floor score (9.825).



Missouri vs. Alabama History
The Tigers are still in search of their first ever meet victory over the Crimson Tide. In 27 all-time meets, Missouri holds a 0-27 (.000) mark, which includes a 0-15 regular season record and an 0-12 postseason record.

Tigers Coming Off 2013-14 Exhibition Win
Back on Dec. 8, 2013 the Lindenwood Lady Lions traveled to Columbia, Mo. for both team's exhibition meet for the upcoming season. This year will only mark the second all-time season for the Lindenwood Women's Gymnastics program. Missouri utilized the friendly exhibition contest to get their five new freshmen acclimated to NCAA gymnastics competition, in addition to having injured gymnasts from last year get back into a live meet. Sophomore Blair Elmore led the Tigers in the all-around (38.400), as she posted strong scored throughout the afternoon. Elmore's score of 9.700 on the bars led the Tigers, while her 9.800 on beam tied for first along with teammate Mackenzie McGill. The 2014 Missouri roster consists of five freshmen, and they gained significant experience against the Lady Lions. Alyson Heimsath tallied scores of 9.750 on both vault and beam, while Angie Kern finished with solid scores on vault (9.750) and floor (9.700).

For live scoring updates at the Alabama meet, follow Missouri Gymnastics on Twitter (@TigerGymnastics) and check-in at MUTigers.com. The meet will also be televised on Fox Sports Net, with coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT.

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