Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

No. 4 Alabama gymnastics wins home opener against No. 3 Missouri 

CW/ Hannah Grace Mayfield
Alabama gymnast Ella Burgess performs her beam routine against Missouri on Jan. 12 in Coleman Coliseum.

No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide gymnastics beat the No. 3 Missouri Tigers 197.225-196.475 in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday night. 

“I’m really excited about how the team rose to the challenge tonight. I thought they did a really good job of resetting throughout the meet,” head coach Ashley Johnston said. “They were really able to take off near the end, especially on that floor rotation, build off of one another and end our meet on a really high note.” 

For the first rotation of the night, Alabama started out on the vault and Missouri started on the uneven bars. Freshman Jamison Sears started the night out earning a 9.75 for the Crimson Tide. Sophomore Karis German followed Sears, landing her vault with the first stick of the night and posting a 9.825. The crowd in Coleman Coliseum went wild, shouting, “She said stick!” Graduate student Luisa Blanco earned the highest score of the night on the vault, a 9.875. The first rotation ended with the Crimson Tide leading the Tigers 49.125 to 48.95.  

During the bars rotation, each Crimson Tide gymnast scored higher than Missouri’s highest scorer. Sophomore Gabby Gladieux said this is a good sign for the rest of the season. 

“When you know you have a strong lineup that you can put up a solid six scores, it really helps your team’s confidence,” Gladieux said.   

Coleman Coliseum was electric after the second rotation, when Alabama and Missouri moved respectively to the uneven bars and the vault. The Crimson Tide finished the rotation leading the Tigers 98.675 to 98.325. 

Freshman Chloe LaCoursiere posted a new career best in her second collegiate meet, a 9.925, and Blanco again earned the highest score of an event with a 9.95, earning the uneven bars title.  

At the end of the third rotation, the Crimson Tide led the Tigers 147.775 to 147.675. The Crimson Tide was on the balance beam and the Tigers were on the floor. Gladieux, sophomore Rachel Rybicki and graduate student Ella Burgess all stuck their dismounts, but once again, the highest Crimson Tide scorer was Blanco with a 9.925 in the anchor position. The balance beam title, though, went to Missouri’s Sienna Schreiber with a 9.95.  

Between the third and fourth rotations, Sears, the self-proclaimed “J-Money,” took the microphone for the “lights up, lights down” dance, leading to Coleman being lit solely by a crimson light and the flashlights on phones. Before the Crimson Tide began its floor rotation, Village People’s “YMCA” and AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” blasted through the Coliseum, getting fans on their feet to sing and dance along. This energy carried the Crimson Tide into its floor rotation. 

With a charged crowd, Burgess started the floor lineup, her second collegiate floor routine, and posted a 9.875. Her floor routine drew the crowd in, and junior Lilly Hudson’s crowd-favorite routine upped the energy even more. It features Tuscaloosa classics like “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Dixieland Delight,” and landed her a 9.875 that night. Blanco and Gladieux were the last two routines of the night, landing the Crimson Tide a 9.925 and a 9.9, respectively. Blanco held the highest score for Alabama and won the title.  

Burgess competed on the floor for the first time in Coleman Coliseum, and talked about what this milestone meant to her.  

“Today was incredible. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that,” Burgess said. “I mean when I asked the coaches last year if I could come back my fifth year, I said, ‘I think I want to train floor too.’ It was really special to just train this summer, train this preseason, and just have the ability and opportunity to get the chance to compete. It was really special.” 

Blanco competed in the all-around and won the category with a score of 39.675.  

Outside of the competition, the gymnastics meet started with a birthday celebration for Alabama’s beloved mascot, Big Al. Big Al’s party was attended by Blooper from the Atlanta Braves, Chaos and Rukus from the Huntsville Havoc, and Commander from the Birmingham Squadron. The party was complete with the crowd and the gymnasts singing “Happy Birthday” to Big Al. Blooper even brought him a crimson cake and ended up smashing it into a fan’s face. 

The gymnasts will be back in Coleman Coliseum against Arkansas on Friday at 6:30 p.m. CT for the Capes and Crowns meet.  

More to Discover