Alabama Gymnastics opens playoffs Saturday with SEC Championships in Birmingham
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – With its last practice before the start of the playoffs in the books, Alabama’s No. 6 gymnastics team is scheduled to compete in the 2022 Southeastern Conference Championships on Saturday at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The Crimson Tide enters the championships as the defending SEC champions after winning their 10and championship title in 2021.
The encounter will be televised live on the SEC Network with Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson Clarke and Samantha Peszke calling for action. The match will also be streamed live via WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
The Crimson Tide will participate in the second of two sessions, which begin at 7 p.m. CT, along with Florida, LSU and Auburn. The Crimson Tide will start with floor exercise, before rotating to vault and then uneven bars before closing the competition on balance beam, the same rotation with which it won in 2021.
Saturday marks the seventh time Birmingham has served as the site of the SEC Gymnastics Championships, with Alabama winning Birmingham-based titles three times, including 2011 and 2014, the last two times the championships were held in the Magic City.
The Tide heads to the championships after a pair of 198s, marking the first time in program history that Alabama has scored two 198s during the regular season.
“The SEC championships are such a special meeting in the sense that they don’t qualify you for the national championships, but it’s an opportunity for all the teams to be on the same court with the same set of judges. For us, it’s a chance to go out there and show the nation what Bama Gymnastics is all about. It’s fast, it’s going to be competitive and it allows these ladies to shine. It’s the happy medium between all the hard work in the regular season paying off and starting post season with something so much fun I want us to be there and have fun and enjoy the race because it’s going to be intense and It’s going to be fun in Birmingham. I’m very excited for our ladies.
Griffin James Appointed to SEC Community Service Team
- Senior Crimson Tide Griffin James has been named to the 2022 SEC Community Service Team, the league office announced Friday.
- A three-year Scholastic All-American and three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member, James is a dedicated member of the community, generously donating his time to a number of outreach projects, including Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama and the DCH Cancer Center
- She has also donated her time to the Angel Tree Project, Alberta Head Start Readers, the DCH Thank you Letters initiative, and Crimson Tide’s Halloween Extravaganza.
- She has also volunteered as the ReadBAMARead team coordinator and with the UA Thank-A-Thon, Smile-a-Mile, RISE Center Holiday Party, and Working on Womanhood.
Defending SEC Champions
- The Crimson Tide were ranked eighth nationally heading into the 2021 championships, where they finished first (197.875), holding off No. 4 LSU (197.775), which took second, and No. 1 Florida. (196.975), who finished third
- The Tide was on fire from the start, and with the competition on the line, finished tough with a 49.450 on beam to hold off second-place finisher LSU, who performed well in their final event, the vault.
- Besides being the Crimson Tide’s 10th SEC title, it was the second under the head coach Dana Duckworth
- Alabama was ruled by Louise Blancowho won the all-around with a 39.800, and Lexi Graberwho posted a 39.575 to take third place in the all-around
- Blanco also won a share of vault, uneven bars and balance beam and shared the bars title with Shania Adams and Makarri dog and beam title with Graber
- The Tide started on the floor exercise, posting a 49.450 before moving on to the vault where he earned his best score in more than five years, rising to 49.550.
- A solid 49.425 on the uneven bars puts the championship within reach
- Alabama went to the beam and closed out the competition and the Tigers with a 49.450
Last (two) times
- The Crimson Tide posted a straight 198 on March 4 against Arkansas (198.075) and March 6 at Elevate the Stage (198.00), marking the first time in school history that Alabama has scored a pair of 198s during the regular season.
- It’s also the first time since 1996 that the Crimson Tide have scored a pair of 198s in the same season.
- The Tide scored a 49.625 at Elevate the Stage and a 49.650 Friday against Arkansas on uneven bars, giving this year’s team two of the top six marks in program history.
- Tide’s floor exercise total of 49.700 against Arkansas tied the school record against Georgia in 2001
- Alabama has individual wins in all four events against Arkansas and two at Elevate the Stage
- Overall, Alabama posted 27 scores of 9.900 or better, including two at 9.975 and 10 at 9.950 over the weekend.
- Jordyn’s Paradise posted a career-high 9.950 on vault and a career-high 9.850 on uneven bars against Arkansas
- Louise Blanco tied his career-best uneven bars score (9.975) and season-best floor exercise score (9.950) against Arkansas and posted a career-best 9.950 on vault at Elevate the Stage
- Ella Burgess tied his career-best 9.900 for the fourth consecutive meeting to lead Alabama’s balance beam formation
- Makarri dog tied his best uneven bars score of the season (9.950) against Arkansas
- Emilie Gaskins scored a season-best 9.900 on floor exercise and a season-best 9.900 to lead Tide’s uneven bars lineup against Arkansas and matched his season-best on uneven bars (9.900) at Elevate the Stage
- Lexi Graber tied his career highs on balance beam (9.950) and floor exercise (9.975) against Arkansas
- Lilly Hudson posted a career-best score of 9.925 on uneven bars against Arkansas and tied his career-best floor exercise score (9.950) at Elevate the Stage
- Cameron Machado scored a career-high 9.950 on uneven bars and tied his career-high 9.925 on floor exercise at Elevate the Stage
- Shalon Olsen tied his season best with 9.900 on vault and posted a career-best 9.925 on floor against Arkansas
- Sania Mitchell posted a career-best 9.950 rushing against Arkansas
- Mati Waligora scored a career-high 9.950 on uneven bars and tied his career-high 9.900 on vault at Elevate the Stage
- After the SEC Championships, Alabama will learn where it will go for the NCAA Regional Championships on Tuesday, March 22 at the NCAA Selection Show
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