Gymnastics welcomes Broncos to Coleman for final meet

Abby McCreary, Assistant Sports Editor

Four home meets, four road matchups and one quad challenge later, Alabama gymnastics will finish its regular season journey with a home contest against Boise State University on Friday night.  

For six seniors, the meet is not only the last home meet of the season, but might be their final time wearing the Script A as well. 

“It’s surreal,” said senior Makarri Doggette. “It feels like we just got here but it also feels like we’ve been here forever. So we’re soaking in every moment.” 

The No. 8 Crimson Tide (6-5) comes off of a disappointing loss in Missouri, where it had to count a fall in last week’s floor routine — the event in which it is ranked No. 5 — against the Missouri Tigers. This week Alabama hopes to bounce back against the Boise State Broncos (4-6) before competing in the SEC Championship next Saturday. 

“We talked a lot about growing our confidence and finding that within ourselves again,” Doggette said. “Stuff happens, we’re human, people make mistakes. By no means does that bring us down at all, because we’re just going up from here.”  

Head coach Ashley Johnston said this last meet will be the perfect opportunity to work on skills her team has struggled with this season.   

“One of our main missions for Friday night is to start strong,” Johnston said. “We continually do a great job of finishing strong and rallying and fighting and doing everything we can to not give anything away. But where we can improve is to start strong.” 

This week’s SEC Specialist of the Week Luisa Blanco will be another senior to keep an eye on this Friday. Blanco already has three perfect beam routines this season, two of which came from the two most recent meets. Her back-to-back 10s hint at another promising beam routine against the Broncos, but Blanco said she’s just thankful for her team. 

“I just have so much gratitude,” Blanco said. “I have no idea how it’s going to pan out because the juniors have this tradition of commemorating our careers here so there’s going to be a lot of emotion and I just want to soak it all in one last time. Im just glad my girls have my back.” 

On the Boise State side of the gym, the Broncos are coming off a season-high meet with a 196.825 which featured their fifth highest beam score in program history. Although the Broncos finished in the top-25 last year, they have yet to rise above their current ranking of No. 31.  

After a season filled with top-10 matchups and conference rivalries, Friday night will be a chance for the Crimson Tide to focus on its own routines and postseason potential before the regular season ends.  

Johnston said it will be a special night for her team.  

“I can’t wait to see [the senior class] out there, able to perform in front of our amazing community and our amazing fans one last time, and really just take it all in,” Johnston said. “Not just the gymnastics, but the sisterhood and the entire fanbase that makes Alabama gymnastics so special.”  

The meet, which is both Senior Night and Big Al’s birthday, will begin at 7 p.m. CT Friday, March 10, in Coleman Coliseum and will air on SEC Network+.