Coming out of high school, Prattville, Ala., native Mary Lillian Sanders made a four-year commitment to be a part of The University of Alabama gymnastics team. On Friday, standing in Coleman Coliseum, where she and her teammates competed over the life of her career, she made another four-year commitment, this time to the United States Marine Corps.

Sanders, a Scholastic All-American during her Alabama career, stood in front of teammates, coaches and staff, family and friends as she was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the USMC. Her father, Bill Sanders, and her uncle, Kirk Sanders, both retired Marines, pinned her bars to her uniform. Her father also presented her with her Mameluke sword during the ceremony.

Sanders, who finished her gymnastics career in April at the NCAA championships, graduated from Alabama last weekend with a degree in history. During her career, she was part of back-to-back Southeastern Conference championship teams in 2014 and 2015 as well as three NCAA regional championships in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Sanders and the Tide also posted four consecutive top-six NCAA finishes.

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