By Taylor Morgan
Special to Tidesports
Alabama heads to Fort Worth, Texas, for its meet Saturday and will compete in the Metroplex Challenge against Georgia, Denver, and for the second time this season, Oklahoma.
After the Crimson Tide received its highest score since the 2018 season against defending champion and No. 1 ranked Oklahoma last week, Alabama coach Dana Duckworth has some high expectations this season.
“This year’s team is incredibly talented,” Duckworth said. “They have a great deal of respect and love for one another. They hold each other accountable.”
Although its early in the season, Alabama has had some great performances from a number of gymnasts, and not just from the upperclassmen. Makarri Doggette, who was named SEC Specialist of the Week, scored 9.9’s in every event she competed in against the Sooners.
“The underclassmen have a lot of love for the sport and they are showing consistency in practice so it’s nice to see their hard work in practice translate into competition, Duckworth said. “I think it bodes well for the future of our program that our freshmen are doing really well, but I also don’t want to lose sight of how well the juniors and seniors are doing. They’re competing.”
The last time Alabama traveled to the Metroplex Challenge was 2011 where the Tide took the meet title, beating Missouri, LSU and Nebraska. This weekend’s meet brings a great opportunity to the Tide, who get to compete against three top-tier teams and will prepare them for later meets like Elevate the Stage and the SEC Championships.
“This is an awesome opportunity for our team,” Duckworth said. “It’s a great exposure to what you’re going to see at the SEC Championship, the Regional Championship, and the National Championship,” said Duckworth.