Behind a season-high 49.35 on vault and a team score of 197.225, Alabama gymnastics claimed an NCAA-best 32nd Regional Title last Friday night in Coleman Coliseum. With the victory, the Crimson Tide also punched its ticket to the National Championships on April 20 and 21 for the 36th consecutive season.
Alabama was able to capture an NCAA-best 32nd Regional Title with a score of 197.225. The win also secured Alabama a trip to the NCAA Championships for the 36th consecutive year.
Poised to join the U.S. National Team for training in Huntsville, Texas, Ari Guerra, a League City, Texas native, instead made the difficult decision to undergo surgery on her back. Over time as an elite gymnast, Guerra had sustained four breaks in her lower back, two in her L4 and two in her L3 spinal regions. Although she wanted to give the national team her best shot, the nearly unbearable needed to be remedied.
Alabama gymnastics scored a 196.975 to take second place at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Saturday night in St. Louis, Missouri.
Set to compete in the SEC Championships on Saturday, Alabama is hoping to finally deliver what senior Kiana Winston calls a “lights out” performance.
During every meet this season, Alabama’s gymnasts have donned lime-green green ribbons in their hair to support senior gymnast Mackenzie Brannan’s brother, Brian Roberts. Roberts has been fighting stage-four Hepatosplenic T-Cell Lymphoma since he was diagnosed in November of last year.
Crimson and white confetti rained down on Alabama’s gymnasts as they embraced each other in an emotional group hug on the middle of the floor apparatus. Although the Crimson Tide had just notched a season best 49.575 on floor, shattering its previous season high of 49.4, the celebratory confetti swirled around them for a different reason. It was senior night, and a tribute video highlighting the careers of Alabama’s four soon-to-be graduates had just played on the big screen. Immediately before that, seniors Kiana Winston and Nickie Guerrero had ended the final regular season home meet of their careers with a bang. The last two gymnasts to compete on floor, Winston posted an impressive 9.925 while Guerrero scored a career-best 9.95.
During their collegiate careers, this senior class has been a part of an SEC Championship (2015), two first place NCAA Regional finishes (2015,2016) and three top-six NCAA Championship finishes.
In every practice this week leading up to tonight’s meet against North Carolina, Ari Guerra was not positioned to go first on floor for Alabama. Although Guerra has led the way on floor for the past five meets, coach Dana Duckworth wanted another gymnast to experience going first for the Crimson Tide. It was Shea Mahoney’s turn to get Alabama’s floor lineup started. Flash forward to tonight; specifically, to about a minute and a half before Alabama was scheduled to start on floor. Duckworth approached Guerra and told her that she would have to go first. Mahoney had tweaked her ankle in warmups for the event and was unsure if she could compete.
The Crimson Tide notched a season high 197.3 against Auburn last Friday, its second time posting a season high in its past three meets. Alabama recorded its best balance beam score of the year, a 49.4, against the Tigers.
Due to SEC transfer rules, Peyton Ernst was permitted to enroll at Alabama and join the team in 2017, but she could not compete for a year. Nor could she travel with the Crimson Tide; a situation that posed difficulties for Ernst’s ability build relationships with girls on the team. Naturally shy around new people, Ernst struggled at first to bond with the team.
Propelled by a season-high score, No. 7 Alabama defeated No. 16 Auburn 197.3 – 195.4 in Auburn Arena on Friday night. It is the third time that the Crimson Tide have reached a score of 197 or higher this year.
Senior Mackenzie Brannan ruptured her Achilles today at practice while working on a floor routine, according to an initial diagnosis. The team will confirm Brannan’s diagnosis tomorrow morning.
On a night in which several Alabama gymnasts set career highs and the team recorded its best scores of the season on vault and uneven bars, coach Dana Duckworth was not satisfied. Duckworth always preaches that improving is a process, and Alabama’s 196.925 – 196.375 win over Kentucky in Coleman Coliseum was a perfect example of that concept.
The 1988 Alabama gymnastics team claimed the school's first ever gymnastics national championship. That year, Alabama also won the SEC Championship and NCAA Regionals. A three-part act that would not be replicated by the Crimson Tide until 2011.
Despite posting a season-best score, No. 9 Alabama was unable to overcome No. 5 Florida in Gainesville on Friday night, losing 197.850 – 197.075.
Nicknames are ingrained in sports culture. Some are earned by athletes through their legendary play, such as Wayne “The Great One” Gretzky; others allude to an athlete’s trademark appearance, like Shaquille “Diesel” O’Neal. It did not take long for freshman Lexi Graber to become known by her coaches and teammates as the “firecracker.”
For a moment, it looked as if Alabama’s perfect record in Power of Pink meets was in jeopardy. Heading into the last rotation of the night, the Crimson Tide led the Razorbacks by less than half a point. With low scores from the first two performers on floor, Alabama’s lead was trimmed further.
This will be Alabama’s 14th annual Power of Pink meet, but it may be the first time that pink will be joined by another emblematic color. As they have all season long, the Crimson Tide gymnasts will continue to honor Brannan’s brother - who is currently fighting stage four Hepatosplenic T-cell Lymphoma - by sporting green ribbons in their hair.