Alabama gymnastics season ends in NCAA Championships semifinals
It came down to the final rotation on Thursday, but ultimately, the Alabama gymnastics quest for a national championship came up short in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Crimson Tide's 197.1 score was not enough to advance to Saturday's national final. Alabama finished fourth in its session as Oklahoma and Utah advanced. Minnesota finished third.
Here's what we learned:
Blanco competes in three events, Doggette still limited
Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said junior Luisa Blanco could compete in up to three events, and as it turned out, she competed in all but floor exercise. Blanco scored 9.9 routines on both the vault and the balance beam, as well as a 9.875.
Makarri Doggette, however, was still limited to just the bars, where she scored a 9.8625.
Success found on floor
With the gap on the final advancement spot growing, Alabama had one of its best routines of the season on floor despite Blanco's absence. Mati Waligora and Cam Machado each scored 9.875, Lilly Hudson scored 9.9125, and, in her final career floor routine, 2021 national champion Lexi Graber added a 9.925. By the end of the rotation, Alabama had cut its deficit to advance to Saturday within two tenths of Utah.
More Alabama Gymnastics:Alabama gymnastics scores third 198 of season, advances to NCAA National Championships
Vault stumbles end season
Despite beginning the final rotation with positive momentum from Shallon Olsen's 9.875, Alabama was unable to capitalize. Kaylee Quinn, Jordyn Paradise, and Lilly Hudson all stumbled on their landings, leading to three scores in the 9.7s. Despite a 9.9125 from Blanco, it wasn't enough for the Crimson Tide to extend its season.
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