No. 5 Alabama to host No. 15 Kentucky in Power of Pink gymnastics meet

Alabama gymnastics coach Sarah Patterson (far left) stands with donors and representatives for Drive 4 The Cause at the Power of Pink meet in 2012. (

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The No. 5 ranked Alabama gymnastics team will take on No. 15 Kentucky this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the midst of a sea of pink as part of the Crimson Tide's ninth-annual Power of Pink meet, sponsored by Tuscaloosa Toyota.

"This is going to be another amazing Power of Pink meet," UA 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. Prior to 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."

Tickets are available online at where fans can select the "print at home" option as well as at the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum.

Friday is also the gymnastics team's Alumni Night. More than 70 former UA gymnasts are expected to be hand to watch the latest Tide team take on Kentucky, including several members of the 1988 Southeastern Conference and NCAA Championship team, celebrating its 25th anniversary this season.

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. The Wildcats are led by Tim Garrison, now in his second year as Kentucky's head coach. Junior all-arounder Audrey Harrison is ranked 24th nationally.

"This is another SEC meet and it never gets any easier," Patterson said. "Kentucky is off to a great start and we'll have to be at our best to beat them. There is never an off night in the SEC."

Alabama comes into meet sporting a 2-0 record, with both wins coming against SEC competition. After beating LSU last Friday night, Alabama has now won 12 regular-season SEC meets in a row, dating back to the mid-point of the 2011 season. Alabama is led by All-American Kim Jacob, who has won the all-around in back-to-back meets to open her junior season. Junior Sarah DeMeo is also enjoying a breakout season, having scored 9.9 on four of her first six routines this season.

In addition to the usual array of giveaways and promotions, Tuscaloosa Toyota is providing 500 pink t-shirts that will be given away during the event.