Alabama gymnastics sets schedule for 2022 season

Mikey DiLullo
The Tuscaloosa News

Following a 2021 season in which it won the SEC championship, placed fifth in the NCAA championship and won two individual national championships in Lexi Graber and Luisa Blanco, Alabama gymnastics looks like a national contender again in 2022.

Alabama will open the season Jan. 9 on the road against Oklahoma. Its home opener is two weeks later against Kentucky. The Elevate The Stage meet in Huntsville makes a return, having been canceled for two consecutive years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UA released the schedule Friday. Times and TV information will be released at a later date.

"What I really want to focus on is being present in the moment," said Alabama coach Dana Duckworth. "We accomplished something that will be a part of history forever, but it's about what we do today. We have a tremendously challenging schedule, but that's what prepares us for the SEC championship and national championship."

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Fifth-year senior Lexi Graber, who won the 2021 NCAA championship on floor exercise, said her mindset hasn't really changed heading into 2022.

4/16/21 WGY NCAA's Day 1
Alabama gymnast Lexie Graber
Alabama gymnast Luisa Blanco
Photo by Robert Sutton

"I think we just continue to do what we did last year," Graber said. "Not focusing on the outcome, not focusing on championships, just focusing on what we can do to prepare. Right now, we're focusing on that first meet. We just take it week by week."

Junior Luisa Blanco, who won the 2021 national title on balance beam, agreed.

"I think what's in the past is in the past," Blanco said. "It was great, but my mind is toward this season, and this team that we have is really special. Everyone contributes something, just like last year's group."

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Here's a look at the 2022 Alabama gymnastics schedule:

Jan. 9: at Oklahoma

Jan. 14: at Florida

Jan. 21: vs. Kentucky

Jan. 28: at Auburn

Feb. 4: vs. Western Michigan and North Carolina

Feb. 11: vs. Georgia

Feb. 18: at LSU

Feb. 25: vs. Missouri

March 4: vs. Arkansas

March 6: Elevate the Stage* (Georgia, Auburn, and Arkansas)

March 19: SEC Championships**

*in Huntsville

**in Birmingham