By Taylor Morgan, Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The Alabama gymnastics team returns home Friday after a close loss, but a season-high road score of a 197.450 against Florida.
That’s the Crimson Tide’s best road score since 2017 and was the second-highest score of 2020 following a 197.550 the Tide got two weeks ago against Missouri.
The Tide will take part in the Bama Salute Night as well as the Bama Friends Night, which will be geared around all students. Head coach Dana Duckworth mentioned the meet with Florida was another big road performance.
“We were extremely excited about a strong performance on the road in the O’Connell Center, with a very intense crowd and a very intense environment and begin able to deliver. There were some key performances that stood out to me when I look back,” Duckworth said.
Junior Lexi Graber, who had a career-best 9.975 on the vault, has scored a 9.9 or better three times in a row and four times this season. Graber recalls sticking the landing and having her teammates right behind her as being the best part of the meet.
“I do it for my team so as long as my team does well that’s kind of what I’m focused on. I have some mistakes here and there and I want to come back and fix those for them, for my team,” said Graber.
Freshman Makarri Doggette who has now posted a 9.875 or better on the uneven bars in every meet including four marks of 9.9 or better, talked about how practice is the reason why each meet they continue to feel better about their routines.
“I think competing against each other in practice sets us up for when we compete against other teams and making line-ups is important but we’re always so happy for each other. Our coaches always say it’s good that we push each other because pushing each other is only going to make us better as a whole and as a team,” said Doggette.
Duckworth said the goal is to continue to grow each meet and strive to focus on starting strong and ending strong.
“When you look at the first event and the last event I thought that the start and the finish was a big deal for us and I am very proud of that. I also am excited that we got more in the tank and we can even do more, and they should be excited about that,” said Duckworth.
Alabama vs. Kentucky
When: 7:15 p.m.
Where: Coleman Coliseum
Records: Alabama 3-3, 3-2 SEC; Kentucky 6-4, 3-3 SEC
TV: SEC Network