Alabama will be gaining a gymnast right before the new season starts, the team announced Tuesday. Then, four more are already set to join next year’s squad for the 2020 season.

Sania Mitchell will be added to the Crimson Tide’s roster in January. The 2018 Alabama state vault champion is in the midst of her senior year at American Christian Academy. She’ll be the first Tuscaloosa native on UA’s gymnastics team since Jacqueline Shealy in 2007.

“As a little girl growing up in Tuscaloosa, I would see pictures of the gymnasts and other athletes at Alabama, and I would think, ‘I want to be just like them one day,’” Mitchell said. “Not many kids get to live out that dream, let alone be a part of such an amazing program in their hometown.”

Alabama’s 2019 season kicks off Jan. 4 with a quad meet featuring Southeast Missouri, Northern Illinois and Temple in Coleman Coliseum.

Looking beyond next year, two other gymnasts officially signed a National Letter of Intent last Wednesday to compete for the Crimson Tide during the 2020 season.

Ohio’s Makarri Doggette, a four-time USA Junior Olympic National Team member and a nine-time J.O. national champion, is the second gymnast in the history of the sport to win all four individual events and the all-around at the J.O. national championships in a single year. She did so in 2018, after having won the all-around, vault and floor exercise in 2017.

Mati Waligora, originally from Michigan, is a three-time USA Junior Olympic National Team member and a two-time J.O. national champion. She took home an all-around and floor exercise title in 2017.

Also joining the 2020 team as walk-ons will be Kam Ryan, the 2018 Louisiana Junior Olympic State all-around and vault champion, and Emma DeSantis, a three-time Mississippi state champion and three-time Alabama state champion.

 

Reach Terrin Waack at twaack@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0229.

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