Gymnastics

Alabama posts best road score in country in loss to No. 1 Florida Gators

Although its overall score marked a new season-high and the best road score in the country this season, the No. 5 Alabama gymnastics team lost to the No. 1 Florida Gators on Friday night, 198.175 to 197.525. Despite the loss, the Crimson Tide was also able to post the fifth highest balance beam score in school history with a 49.550, and after having three gymnasts fall during their beam performances over a week ago at home against Arkansas, Alabama coach Dana Duckworth was proud of her team regardless of the night’s outcome. “I’m so proud of the persistence, power and fierce grace that our team displayed (Friday night),” she said “We came back from last week’s beam performance, competed like rock stars in front of a very vocal crowd here on the road.” Junior Keely McNeer took the beam first for Alabama and scored a 9.875.


Alabama is unable to overcome poor outing on balance beam and falls to Arkansas

The No. 4 Alabama gymnastics team fell to No. 10 Arkansas for the first time ever in Coleman Coliseum, 196.700 to 196.400. The Crimson Tide had a rough night on the balance beam, having three gymnasts fall during their routines, but it didn’t start out that way. Alabama went into its third rotation, starting on the beam, with a 0.65-point lead over the Razorbacks. “I felt Keely (McNeer) led us off just beautifully,” head coach Dana Duckworth said.


Gymnastics practices true mental toughness

 The legacy has been protected. Now, it needs to be lived. After being coached by Sarah Patterson for 36 seasons, the University of Alabama gymnastics team welcomed Dana Duckworth as its new head coach starting with the 2015 season. Duckworth knew she had some big shoes to fill.


Gymnastics rebounds against Missouri

Alabama gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth said Friday’s meet against Missouri was going to be for the team’s fans, and after the meet’s final scores were announced, the cheers in Coleman Coliseum showed just that. The No. 6 Crimson Tide defeated the No. 14 Tigers by more than a full point, 197.175 to 196.050 The meet marked Alabama’s home and SEC opener for the 2016 season. “I was a little nervous about the six o’clock start.


Despite youth, Alabama seeks to live up to tradition when facing Missouri

With nine SEC Conference titles and six NCAA Championship titles, there’s a standard that follows the Alabama gymnastics team. The Crimson Tide finished as No. 1 first in 1988 and most recently in 2012, but after losing four seniors last year, the current batch of gymnasts lack an NCAA Championship title and are eager to earn their own and put Alabama back on top. Senior Carley Sims said knowing that helps the team be better – it gives it an “all or nothing” mentality. For the 2016 season, Alabama returned five All-Americans: seniors Sims and Lauren Beers, juniors Katie Bailey and Keely McNeer and sophomore Mackenzie Brannan.


Gymnastics looks to build on less than ideal start

The Alabama gymnastics team started its 2016 season off with a loss, but so what? Senior Carley Sims isn’t worried. “That first meet was good to get the jitters out so I think there is nowhere but up from here,” Sims said. The No. 6 UCLA Bruins finished with a 196.550 on Sunday, surpassing No. 3 Alabama’s 196.300. It was the teams’ first meet of the 2016 season, and for some gymnasts, it was their first collegiate level meet ever.


Duckworth partners with Read Bama Read

The tornado that hit Tuscaloosa April 27, 2011 left a handful of libraries completely destroyed, taking away the opportunity for Tuscaloosa children to read the books they once held on their shelves. When it seemed like the rest of the world forgot, Dana Duckworth said she wanted to bring back the passion in her community and felt a calling to give back to those affected by the tornado. “When you have disasters, it’s in the news and everyone’s worried and busy ... a few months later when everyone’s world keeps going, they forget that we had a major catastrophic event,” said Duckworth, head coach of The University of Alabama gymnastics team. In the weeks that followed the catastrophe, Duckworth partnered with Dana Benjamin to establish Read Bama Read, a non-profit organization with a goal of placing a book in the hands of every child in Tuscaloosa County.


Dana Duckworth continues championship legacy

Alabama gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth doesn’t like 
to lose. After falling off the balance beam in the 1991 NCAA Championships, Duckworth learned her lesson. “She didn’t win the balance beam,” said former Alabama coach Sarah Patterson, who coached the Crimson Tide gymnastics team for 36 years and coached Duckworth during her collegiate days. “She did a perfect routine, and in that perfect routine, right at the end of it, she knew it was perfect and she got ahead of herself and missed her dismount. Well, Dana never let that happen again. She went on to win two national championships on balance beam.”


Banking on Beers

Lauren Beers is no stranger to teamwork. Growing up, her family could have occupied every fielding position on a baseball diamond, competed as a basketball team with members to spare and made up half of the lineup of the Alabama gymnastics team. Beers, a Warren Center, Pennsylvania, native, is the oldest of seven siblings, a family dynamic that has shaped her role as a leader on the team into a nurturing, mothering figure.


Senior close out careers in Coleman

In their career, the Alabama gymnastics senior class has seen a conference championship, three regional championships and a national title. They’ve seen the end of one era and the beginning of another as the team underwent its first coaching change in 36 years. Tomorrow, they will take the floor for the last time as gymnasts in Coleman Coliseum.


Gym Tide heads to Mizzou

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.