Dana Duckworth records all of the gymnastics meets on her TV at home. That way she can go back and see what other teams are doing across the country. She can also pinpoint what areas the Crimson Tide needs to clean up.
What she’ll see out of Friday’s meet from Alabama is a 196.175 to place second during the quad meet at Coleman Coliseum.
“I watch every single meet, every single routine, every single team just because I love to see what’s out there,” Duckworth said. “Not really for comparison. … What you can do is control what you can control.”
The final score was a 1.425-point bump from last week’s mark but not enough to beat Denver’s 196.275.
Michigan’s 196.025 and Bowling Green’s 189.675 came in third and fourth, respectively.
UA did increase not only its overall score but also three of its four event scores.
“We made improvements,” Duckworth said. “Maybe the score isn’t indicative of really what we are all about, but after that first event, I just thought the energy really built.”
The Crimson Tide started off one the vault, where it scored a 49.175. Duckworth wasn’t happy with the scores her gymnasts received – Shallon Olsen and Lexi Graber put up a pair of 9.875s to lead the team – so much so she went up to the judges’ table to stand up for them. Nothing changed, but Duckworth thought Alabama’s vaults were aggressive, explosive and the best it has performed yet.
The uneven bars were next and the only event Alabama didn’t up its score. Emily Gaskins and Ari Guerra both ended up with 9.85s to pace UA’s 49.05.
On the balance beam, the Crimson Tide had a 48.675. Gaskins came off the apparatus early on in her routine but finished clean. Her score was dropped, as Abby Armbrecht led the way with a 9.825
“I think I can speak for everyone when I say we’re really proud of this team and what we just did tonight and the way we performed,” Graber said. “We made so many improvements. We did not let a fall come and make us nervous or change our performance. We came back really strong facing adversity.”
Alabama gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth after the Crimson Tide’s 196.175 performance: pic.twitter.com/6bDxwosF5s
— Terrin Waack (@terrinvictoria) January 12, 2019
Alabama’s highest event score was on the floor exercise, a 49.275. The only hiccup came when Shea Mahoney fell on her last tumbling pass – she’s OK, Duckworth said afterward – but that score was dropped.
Graber and Olsen again closed out the rotation with the strongest marks, this time with two 9.9s. It was Olsen’s first time competing floor in Coleman Coliseum. She did exhibition in the season opener.
“We’ve been working so hard in the gym,” Olsen said. “To finally go and show that everyone here in Tuscaloosa is a really great feeling. … I had so much fun.”
Alabama opens up its road and conference schedule next Friday at Georgia.
By that time, Duckworth will be caught up on her gymnastics recordings and ready to set new ones.
“I know when I look back at this team and what we’re capable of and where we will get when we put it all together, we’d like them to put it together soon rather than later,” Duckworth said. “We’re making some major strides.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229.
Emily Gaskins: 9.8
Abby Armbrecht: 9.775
Shea Mahoney: 9.825
Ari Guerra: 9.8
Shallon Olsen: 9.875
Lexi Graber: 9.875
Wynter Childers: 9.725
Emily Gaskins: 9.85
Kylie Dickson: 9.8
Lexi Graber: 9.75
Ari Guerra: 9.85
Shea Mahoney: 9.8
Alonza Klopfer: 9.7
Maddie Desch: 9.7
Emily Gaskins: 9.25
Abby Armbrecht: 9.825
Lexi Graber: 9.775
Shallon Olsen: 9.675
Wynter Childers: 9.8
Maddie Desch: 9.8
Shea Mahoney: 9.3
Abby Armbrecht: 9.875
Lexi Graber: 9.9
Shallon Olsen: 9.9