Gymnastics honors senior class in last home victory

Abby McCreary, Assistant Sports Editor

The No. 8 Alabama gymnastics team beat the Boise State University Broncos 197.125-194.775 in an emotional last meet honoring the six members of the Crimson Tide senior class.  

Senior Makarri Doggette, who has a long list of Alabama accolades on the uneven bars, said the night meant a lot to her class.  

“I definitely shed a tear after every event,” Doggette said. “It’s just competing for a bigger purpose and going out there one last time and putting your heart and soul into it. We went out there and did what we do everyday but with a lot more heart.”  

The first rotation started off strong with Alabama’s second highest vault score of the season, 49.400. The highest score was accomplished at the Metroplex Challenge, where the Crimson Tide competed in the vault in the last rotation, so Friday night was the best vault score as the first rotation of a meet. 

Freshman Gabby Gladieux said starting strong has been a struggle all season, but this week it improved. 

“This week we focused on creating that energy and starting with that momentum, not waiting for it to come to us,” Gladieux said. “Tonight we did a good job letting go and meeting every moment.” 

The Crimson Tide was able to continue its strong start into the second rotation, but in the third, Alabama looked shaky on the balance beam. 

Head coach Ashley Johnston said that the emotions of senior night had a huge impact starting in the third rotation. 

“They wanted it so bad that it got to the point where we over-tried in certain moments,” Johnston said. “It ended up being a really great opportunity for our underclassmen to step in and step up.” 

On the beam, Gladieux was the only Alabama gymnast who didn’t suffer a fall or near-fall, earning a 9.900 and the event title. Junior Shania Adams and sophomore Lilly Hudson also took home event titles, in the floor exercise and then vault and all-around, respectively.  

Doggette was the only senior who won an event title despite each rotation being half seniors. Johnston said the senior class’s passion is admirable, but the overall process needs to be the focus this upcoming week. 

“Our seniors wanted to finish on the best note possible and sometimes that adds an additional layer of pressure,” Johnston said. “We’re going to make sure we’re approaching everything very calmly and confidently moving into SECs.” 

Alabama will compete in the SEC Championship Saturday, March 18, in Duluth, Georgia. The Crimson Tide is expected to compete in Session II with seeds No. 1-4.  

“We’re excited for the regular season to be over and to be moving into the most exciting time of the year,” Johnston said.  

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