The weather outside was frightful, but some of the tricks going on inside Coleman Coliseum on Friday night were even more frightful – at least for the average person.

Alabama gymnastics hosted a Crimson and White Preview for the upcoming 2018 season. It was the first time in a long time that the Crimson Tide has hosted such an event. There were about 500 people accounted for in the stands.

“I was very surprised by how many people showed up, but then again, I’m like it’s Alabama gymnastics, this many people are going to show up,” senior Kiana Winston said. “Especially with the snow, I was like OK, OK, we still have a turnout that’s really good.”

It was a night jam-packed with action. The Crimson Tide knocked out 30 routines in an hour and 26 minutes. There were four question-and-answer sessions with the gymnasts before each event – vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise. Alabama coach Dana Duckworth took time every now and then to explain what to look for on each apparatus, too.

There were judges scoring each gymnast, but results were not shared with the public in order to keep everything rolling. Duckworth wanted there to be as little delay as possible in between performances. The scores are just for the team to have and learn from later.

“I think it’s definitely a great way for it to not count toward the season, and it’s not quite the start of the season, but it gives us a starting point of where we’re at and what we need to improve on,” sophomore Maddie Desch said. “We all went on hard landings, so that’s a big deal. I think it was a very successful show-meet.”

What Desch called it – a show-meet – is an accurate description. Most of the gymnasts did their full routines. Others showed modified ones.

Not everyone looked competition ready. Landings and handstands were not where the team would like them to be. Multiple gymnasts fell on different apparatuses. And some have not worked their way into specific lineups just yet.

“I didn’t like the falls of course; I don’t want anybody to fall,” Duckworth said. “I liked the girls’ energy. I thought they were really cohesive. I feel that we have a lot of drive, but we still have some mental discipline we have to work on in all areas.”

Also, there were no winners or losers. Something the team is considering for the future is a Crimson vs. White Preview meet. That way there is competition, just like the Ghosts and Goblins intrasquad in October.

Regardless, this is something Alabama wants to continue to do each year.

“I think the Crimson and White Preview is something to get the fans a little antsy and get ready to see what we’re going to do at all of our home meets,” Winston said.

“I think it’s great preparation,” Desch said.

The season starts Jan. 5 at Michigan. The first home meet is Jan. 12 against Georgia.