On the outside, Alabama gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth was cool, calm and collected. She walked through Alabama’s victory over North Carolina with no apparent issues. The Crimson Tide celebrated a season-high 197.525 and easily defeat the Tar Heels’ 194.975 in Coleman Coliseum on Friday.

“What we talked about was staying true to our identity,” Duckworth said. “Our identity is trust, attack and presence. You can look at so many performances this evening where all of that was evident.”

True, but inside, Duckworth had a million things running through her mind.

The internal chaos started during warm-ups. Sophomore Wynter Childers was supposed to compete on the uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise, but then her knee started bothering her, so she ultimately only did beam, scoring a 9.85.

Time to fill two empty spots.

Freshman Kylie Dickson, who was set to only go exhibition, moved into the bars lineup and scored a 9.775. Junior Abby Armbrecht handled floor and scored a 9.85.

In addition to all that, freshman Alonze Klopfer replaced Armbrecht, who was feeling dizzy, on beam and scored a 9.825.

“I feel like I was playing musical chairs,” Duckworth said. “At one point, I’m like, ‘Kiana (Winston), I’m thinking you should do a floor routine.’ She hadn’t touched the floor.”

That didn’t happen, but adding Armbrecht in was only the start of the floor switcheroo.

The order of the first three gymnasts completely changed right before the rotation started. It was supposed to go sophomore Shea Mahoney, junior Ari Guerra and then Armbrecht in order. Instead, Guerra led off with a career-high 9.925, Armbrecht followed up with a 9.85 and Mahoney went third with a 9.825.

“Dana came to me about, I think, a minute and a half left until I had to go and was like, ‘You’re going first,’” Guerra said. “I was like OK, I’ve done this all season, I did it last season, and so just knowing and just trusting my training that I’ve been working for so long and finally fulfilling that was amazing.”

Nothing really fazed the Crimson Tide, as each gymnast stepped up when called upon. Proof of that: There was only one score lower than a 9.8.

Individually, Alabama took first on every apparatus, including freshman Lexi Graber winning the all-around with a career-high 39.5. It was only her second time competing all four events.

“Before the competition, we talked about just going out – trust, act and presence – and being free,” Graber said. “So I just went out and trusted everything. I had my teammates there with me to carry our momentum, and it was a lot of fun.”

In the end, the only lineup Duckworth didn’t touch was vault, where Alabama posted its second-highest score of the season, a 49.275, for the second week in a row.

Alabama still had a season-high 49.475 on bars, tied its season high on floor with a 49.4 and had a 49.375 on beam, which is another second-high mark.

“It’s kind of like life,” Duckworth said. “It’s in chapters. We’re going on chapter at a time, and wow, it’s a heck of a story.”

Shea Mahoney, 9.875
Abby Armbrecht, 9.825
Ari Guerra, 9.875
Maddie Desch, 9.85
Lexi Graber, 9.85
Nickie Guerrero, 9.825
Uneven bars
Ari Guerra, 9.9
Kylie Dickson, 9.775
Shea Mahoney, 9.925
Angelina Giancroce, 9.875
Lexi Graber, 9.9
Kiana Winston, 9.875
Balance beam
Wynter Childers, 9.85
Peyton Ernst, 9.825
Lexi Graber, 9.9
Alonza Klopfer, 9.825
Kiana Winston, 9.875
Nickie Guerrero, 9.925
Floor exercise
Ari Guerra, 9.925
Abby Armbrecht, 9.85
Shea Mahoney, 9.825
Maddie Desch, 9.85
Lexi Graber, 9.85
Nickie Guerrero, 9.925