Gymnastics loses last road meet

Abby McCreary, Assistant Sports Editor

For the second week in a row, the Alabama gymnastics program has fallen to Tigers.  

Last week it was a narrow .050 loss at home to then-No. 8 Louisiana State University; this week the No. 8 Crimson Tide fell to the No. 14 Missouri Tigers 197.075-196.750 on the road.  

“They fight for every tenth,” said head coach Ashley Johnston. “I’m proud of them for doing that, and we’re going to move forward and learn from this and be stronger because of it.” 

The meet started well for Alabama. The Crimson Tide came out on top after its first rotation, the uneven bars, which senior Makarri Doggette led with a 9.950. In fact, most of the meet seemed to go very well for Alabama — the Crimson Tide won three of the four events and had the top individual score in each of those events. Sophomore Lilly Hudson even won the all-around competition with a 39.450. 

However, the one event that the Crimson Tide lost was the event that decided the meet.  

In the third rotation, Alabama scored its lowest floor total and second lowest rotation score of the season: a 48.750. Two gymnasts fell during their routines, meaning one fall had to count towards the total score. A 9.150 was counted towards the overall score, and there was nothing the other gymnasts’ 9.8s and 9.9s could do to make up for it. Not even senior Luisa Blanco’s perfect score on the beam — her third of the year and second in a row — could help the Crimson Tide pull together a win.  

Johnston said she is proud of her team’s resiliency following the floor event.  

“The team did a really great job of coming together after the third rotation and not letting it define the rest of our night,” Johnston said. “It would have been really easy for them to fall flat on the last event, but they made the decision to come together and go big.” 

The Crimson Tide hasn’t scored below 197 since Jan. 20 against Florida, and the low score comes just weeks away from the SEC Championships and the rest of the postseason. Florida has already been crowned as the regular season SEC champions, but the structure of the tournament means anyone can take home the title on March 18.  

Before then, though, Alabama has its last meet of the season at home on Friday, March 10. The Crimson Tide will take on the Boise State University Broncos at 7 p.m. CT, airing on SEC Network+.  

Questions or comments? Email Blake Byler (Sports Editor) at [email protected]