GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The No. 9 Alabama gymnastics team posted a season-best 197.075 on Friday night, while the home-standing Florida Gators, ranked fifth nationally, posted a 197.850 for the win.
In addition to being its highest overall score of the season, and second 197 of 2018, Friday’s mark was the Crimson Tide’s best road score of the season by more than three-tenths of a point.
“I’m so proud of the fight this team displayed, coming back with five hit routines after starting the meet with a fall in our first routine on the uneven bars,” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “Then we closed out strong to get another 197 score. Knowing that there is still more to improve on is so exciting.”
Senior Nickie Guerrero led the Crimson Tide on three events, including 9.9s on the vault and floor exercise and a stunning 9.95 routine to win the balance beam and close out the Crimson Tide’s night. The senior duo of Kiana Winston and Mackenzie Brannan earned twin 9.9s to lead Alabama on the uneven bars.
“Nickie Guerrero did one of the finest balance beam routines I’ve seen her do at the end of the night,” Duckworth said.
Guerrero’s balance beam mark tied her season best. Her vault score was her fourth 9.9 or better of the season on that event, while she scored her second 9.9 in a row on floor. It was Brannan’s third 9.9 of the season on the uneven bars and the fourth 9.9 or better for Winston on the same event.
As a team, Alabama posted a season-best 49.250 on the vault. The Tide posted a 49.350 on the uneven bars to start the night and a 49.275 on the beam to close things out while scoring a 49.200 on the floor exercise.
Other highlights included sophomore Peyton Ernst turning in a career-best 9.9 on the balance beam while junior Ariana Guerra’s 9.85 on the floor exercise was a season best. Freshman Alonza Klopfer made her Crimson Tide debut on the floor exercise, scoring a 9.775. Sophomore Shea Mahoney posted a season-best 9.875 on the uneven bars, just off her career-best of 9.9.
“There were so many ‘one-percent better’ moments tonight and that’s what we talked about all week,” Duckworth said. “There were so many building blocks out there tonight.
The Crimson Tide returns home for its next meet on Friday, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. against the Kentucky Wildcats. It will be Alabama’s Alumni Night, during which the Crimson Tide will celebrate the 30th anniversary of its first NCAA championship team in 1988.