Who: No. 6 Michigan, Denver, Bowling Green at No. 18 Alabama
When: Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Where: Coleman Coliseum
Records: Alabama 3-0, Michigan 3-0, Denver 0-0, Bowling Green 0-0
It sure wasn’t the prettiest of performances, but it got the job done.
Alabama started its 2019 gymnastics season off with a victory last week in Coleman Coliseum. The Crimson Tide scored a 194.75, its lowest score since 2006.
“It’s a win,” UA sophomore Wynter Childers said. “A win is a win.”
About to enter another quad meet, Alabama is ranked 18th in the nation. It’s sixth on the vault (49.075), ninth on the uneven bars (49.1), 16th on the floor exercise (48.875) and 33rd on the balance beam (47.7).
Keep in mind, those numbers are from the season opener only. It’s too early for legit rankings. Nothing can be averaged out yet.
“We came together afterward and we finally discussed that the only way to really be ready for a meet is to have a meet,” UA freshman Jensie Givens said. “To know that we’ve had one under our belt, we can get back in the gym, train what we need to train and get the little details from the judges that they deducted off. We got to really focus on those details.”
One major detail the Crimson Tide focused on was this season’s new concentration pause rule on beam. That was where the team really fell apart last week, with the best score of the night coming from Alabama sophomore Lexi Graber’s 9.75.
The new rule works like this: If a gymnast pauses on the apparatus for two seconds, it’s an automatic one-tenth deduction. If she pauses for more than two seconds, it’s two-tenths.
Normally, a gymnast used to be able to collect herself before performing a skill.
“I don’t know how it’s going to go,” Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said. “All I know is we’re going to be better for it because we moved our beam routines this week. We got them on there, and I’m like if you stop for two seconds, it doesn’t count. We’re going to start over.
“At the end of the day, what happened on balance beam will help us get better.”
That’s how the Crimson Tide is thinking about the entire meet. One down. Another to go.
Alabama hosts No. 6 Michigan, Denver and Bowling Green this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum.
“Our one goal as a team is just to progress every single week for every single meet,” Givens said. “That’s what we’re leaning toward, and I believe we can get there. We have a lot of potential.”
Reach Terrin Waack at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 205-722-0229