Alabama Gymnast Katie Bailey: The Freshman Experience - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Alabama Gymnast Katie Bailey: The Freshman Experience

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TUSCALOOSA, AL - Kim Jacob, Diandra Milliner, and Sarah DeMeo are all three All-American seniors, paving the way for the six Alabama gymnastics freshman.

"The one thing I love about them," head coach Sarah Patterson said. "They said this freshman class we have in this year reminds us of our freshman class."

Those three gymnasts have won two national championships in their three years at the Capstone.

Alabama freshman gymnast Katie Bailey, who opened her Crimson Tide career by taking home SEC freshman of the week honors, realizes she has a valuable tool in these experienced gymnasts.

"Having them here helping me, for most of them, its their last year so i'm only getting one year," Bailey said.  "Just having a year with them really helps me, because I can look up to them, they're in the gym with me everyday, they show me what to do, what not to do."

Bailey is from Kernersville, N.C., where she only performed in front of her parents and little sister.  Now a year later, it's 13,000 people inside Coleman Coliseum.

"It's a big difference," Bailey said.  "You compete one at a time, so the whole crowd is just behind you. They're watching you, standing behind you.  I love it though."

Another challenge for Bailey, is handling the lifestyle of student-athlete.

"Time management," Bailey said.  "I haven't been great about that before.  We have study hall hours we have to get done.  Distributing my time evenly between school and gymnastics.  It's a little tough, but I'm getting better."

Follow Kyle on Twitter: @kyle_burger
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