Gym Tide heads to MizzouBy Kayla Montgomery | 03/04/2015 10:08pm
The gymnastics team will take on the Missouri Tigers in Birmingham this weekend. CW | Pete Pajor
A week after falling to No. 2 LSU in Coleman Coliseum, the No. 6 Alabama gymnastics team will take to the road for two meets in three days. The team will travel to Columbia, Missouri, to take on No. 24 Mizzou at 6:30 p.m. Friday and then travel to the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex to defend its 35-year win streak against No. 9 Auburn on Sunday for the second time this season.
Coach Dana Duckworth said the key to this weekend’s two meets will be training management.
“Managing the soreness, managing the numbers, making sure that you put everybody in a place to be successful, so our training schedule this week has been a little different for different people depending on what we’re trying to accomplish,” she said.
Duckworth said she expects to shift the lineup to include some different faces. For Sunday, she said she hopes to emulate the lineup they will use when the team competes against No. 1 Oklahoma next week and in the championship meets to follow.
“At Missouri, we’re going to have some different lineups because we’re going to let some people get in the lineup that haven’t been, so we’re looking for a united front,” she said. “We’re looking for whoever goes in, them feeling the love of their teammates behind them, that they’re going to be there with them while they’re doing it, that united front.”
Sophomore Keely McNeer said this weekend will come down to trust for the team and its ability to trust in their training and in each other.
“We really are going to focus on rest and recovery this week, just trusting that we’ve put in the numbers in the gym and that we know what to do when it comes time to compete,” McNeer said. “It’s just a matter of staying mentally clear and doing everything necessary to keep our bodies feeling as good as possible.”