By Taylor Morgan
Special to Tidesports
Coming off another win, against No. 14 Arkansas, the No. 6 Alabama gymnastics team is 3-1 in the SEC.
The Crimson Tide overcame two falls on the balance beam as well as sophomore Griffin James’ devastating injury as the leadoff on the floor. James underwent surgery Wednesday morning following the meet to repair her Achilles injury.
Junior Lexi Graber said the meet with Arkansas put the sport into perspective and was a good reminder of why competing is so important to members of the Crimson Tide.
“We compete ‘for her’ or ‘for him’ and it’s just about remembering our ’why’ and I think a lot of times we can forget about that and what it actually means. So when something like this happens it’s just a reminder that Griffin has had our back and so it’s our time to have hers and do this for her,” Graber said.
Alabama travels to Gainesville, Florida, to face the Gators in its fifth conference meet.
For sophomore Emily Gaskins, a Florida native, she welcomes the return to her home state.
“It’s my hometown. I’m so excited to go there, but as far as competition wise goes we’re just going to do our job like we’re here in Coleman it’s no different who we’re competing against because that doesn’t make a different outcome so were just going to go and do our job” said Gaskins.
Gaksins mentioned James and how the rest of the season is going to be there for her.
“It hits hard she’s my best friend,” Gaskins said. “As a team the love is overwhelming. We’re doing it because she’s done so much for us and she is an awesome leader and now her role has changed, but she’s still here and she’s the reason were doing it now” said Gaskins.
Alabama will look to extend their win streak on Friday while competing for each other, but this time more for their teammate who will be supporting them at home.
Head coach Dana Duckworth mentioned how upsetting it was to see James have a season-ending injury after she worked so hard to make the floor lineup but knows the other gymnasts will continue to focus on making each meet a little bit better for the team but also for her.
“I feel like we’ve got to build off of what we did last week and the week before that on the road again and so were going to focus on an awesome performance that way and then let the outcomes take care of themselves” said Duckworth.