University of Alabama gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth got what she wanted on Friday night — a big score in front of a big crowd at the No. 7-ranked Crimson Tide’s annual Power of Pink meet — but she reached the big numbers by setting small goals for her team along the way.

That strategy, plus the momentum from last weekend’s victory at LSU, propelled the Crimson Tide to a 197.550-196.850 win over No. 21 Missouri in front of 11,630 fans at Coleman Coliseum. The 197.550 score was Alabama’s highest score since a 2016 home win over Georgia.

“The goal tonight was that we had 21 events where we could get sticks (on landings) and we wanted to get 17 sticks. If they got a 9.9 floor, that counted towards that total,” Duckworth said. “I was not keeping track during the meet but (they) were because when we reached that total, they were all like “Dana, we did it, we did it.

“There’s something very special with this team. I want to repeat what I said last week — this was a complete team effort. You watch their hearts come together as one and it’s an amazing thing to see.”

Alabama’s Lexi Graber won the all-around competition with a score of 39.650, scoring 9.925 on both the vault and the balance beam and recording 9.900 scores on floor and bars. Crimson Tide freshman Makarri Doggette competed as an all-arounder for the first time in her Alabama career, finishing second with a 39.500.

“This was something I had been working towards for a long time,” Doggette said. “It made me feel like myself again. In JO’s (Junior Olympics), you just sort of go out there and do everything but here you have to earn it. I like working for things.”

The individual apparatus winners were Doggette and UA’s Shea Mahoney on bars (9.925), Graber and Missouri’s Hannah McCrary on vault (9.925), Missouri’s Helen Hu on beam (9.950) and UA’s Maddie Desch on floor (9.925).

The Crimson Tide gymnasts and coach credited the crowd for extra motivation.

“The crowd makes a huge difference,” Duckworth said. “The energy was not just a vibe from the team but a vibe from the crowd.”

“Tonight is my favorite meet of the season,” Graber said, noting that the Power of Pink was a major breast cancer awareness initiative in the community. “What we go through is nothing compared to what (cancer patients) go through every day and we work hard so we can honor them.”

Alabama will be at home again on February 14, hosting Arkansas.

Crimson Tide gymnast Shallon Olsen will fly to Calgary, Alberta, on Saturday and compete in the Canadian Elite Gymastics Competition, a step towards qualifying for the 2020 Canadian Olympic team.

Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or via Twitter, @cecilhurt



ALABAMA SCORES

Vault
Ella Burgess — 9.850
Shea Mahoney — 9.750
Luisa Blanco — 9.850
Shallon Olsen — 9.875
Lexi Graber — 9.925
Makarri Doggette — 9.875
Total – 49.375

BARS
Kylie Dickson — 9.800
Wynter Childers — 9.775
Lexi Graber — 9.900
Jensie Givens — 9.900
Shea Mahoney — 9.925
Makarri Doggette — 9.925
Total – 49.450

BEAM
Shallon Olsen — 9.800
Alonzo Klopfer — 9.825
Ella Burgess — 9.675
Makarri Doggette —9.825
Luisa Blanco — 9.875
Lexi Graber — 9.925
Total – 49.250

FLOOR
Shea Mahoney — 9.875
Griffin James — 9.875
Shallon Olsen — 9.900
Maddie Desch — 9.925
Makarri Doggette — 9.875
Lexi Graber — 9.900
Total – 49.475

 

  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.