he University of Alabama gymnastics team’s goals are still ahead in the SEC and NCAA postseason —but a win over Georgia is still sweet, especially on senior night.
The Crimson Tide equaled its second-best score of the season and raised coach Dana Duckworth’s career record against UA’s long-time rival to 15-1 with a 197.450-196.050 victory at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night.
Georgia had two early falls on bars and was forced to count a 9.000 as one of its scores on that event, but Alabama maintained a steady effort, capped by a 49.600 score on the floor, a routine that included four 9.925’s.
“Senior night can go in different ways because sometimes the athletes try to hard, but our team trusted their training and it was beautiful,” Duckworth said. “It was great to see the entire team focus on the seniors (Wynter Childers, Maddie Desch and Shea Mahoney. )
“I think the seniors have had a special bond since they got here. I thought that we were very intentional in his we performed because of them.”
“It’s all coming back, going to back to freshman year,” said Childers, who scored a 9.850 on bars. “Some great memories and some weird thoughts because it’s your last time performing in Coleman.”
Individual apparatus winners were Lexi Graber and Shallon Olsen on vault, each with a 9.900; Shea Mahoney (9.900) on bars; freshman Luisa Blanco (9.900) on beam and Blanco, Desch, Graber and Doggette, all with 9.925 on the floor.
Graber won the all-around with a 39.450.
“We definitely have a little fuel in the tank on some of the landings,” Duckworth said. “It was a very strong score tonight and will help our rankings but what was great was hearing the ladies talk about the journey. We know where we want to be on April 17 and 18 but we are continuing to build.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter, @cecilhurt