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

Alabama gymnastics ties with Arkansas after a tough matchup

CW / Caroline Simmons
Alabama gymnast Jamison Sears performs her floor routine against Arkansas on Jan. 19 in Coleman Coliseum.

Coleman Coliseum was filled with capes and crowns Friday night for the gymnastics meet. The score between the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 4 Arkansas Razorbacks ended with a tie at 197.525. 

Alabama put out many new routines for the meet, which head coach Ashley Johnston said was exciting to do.  

“What I’m most excited about is that 25% of those routines were brand new tonight, so six of the 24 were either first-time career starts or first time this season,” said Johnston. “I think that says a lot about the depth of this team, that we can have really anybody in the mix.” 

Alabama gymnastics posted a 49.35 on its vault rotation, just slightly ahead of Arkansas’ 49.3 on the uneven bars. Junior Lilly Hudson posted a 9.9 on vault.  

At the end of the rotation, graduate student Luisa Blanco ran for her vault but slowed down before completing it. 

“Sometimes you just kind of have those little fluke moments, and I think maybe she started on the wrong foot so it was a little bit off,” Johnston said. “She made a really smart decision by not trying to adjust too severely to try to make the vault happen. She knew it was going to be much better to stop before the board, as long as she doesn’t touch the board, and has the opportunity to redo the vault.” 

Before she ran again, graduate student Makarri Doggette talked to her and Coleman Coliseum was loud in encouragement and support. She ran for her second one, and posted a 9.925, the highest score for the Crimson Tide.  

For the vault there was a three-way tie between Blanco and Arkansas’ Leah Smith and Lauren Williams.  

The Crimson Tide still had the lead after its second rotation. Alabama posted a 49.6 on the uneven bars, and Arkansas posted a 49.425 on the vault. Five of the six routines ended in a stick. Doggette had the highest score for the meet on bars, posting a 9.95. 

Alabama gymnastics led the Arkansas Razorbacks 148.15 to 148.125 after the third rotation. Alabama posted a 49.2 on the balance beam and Arkansas posted a 49.4 on the floor exercise. For the Crimson Tide, senior Shania Adams posted a 9.9 on beam. This earned her the highest score for Alabama. Hudson posted a 9.125 after she fell during her routine. The crowd in Coleman Coliseum helped her to finish her routine with their encouraging applause, and she ended up sticking her dismount.  

The balance beam title went to Arkansas’ Kalyxta Gamiao with a 9.925.  

The Crimson Tide finished the meet tied with the Razorbacks, each of them earning a 197.525 after the Arkansas Razorbacks faced some challenges on their balance beam rotation as well. Freshman Priscilla Park fell during her routine and posted a 8.975.  

The Crimson Tide saw two freshmen earn their floor exercise debut, Chloe LaCoursiere and Jamison Sears. LaCoursiere was the first gymnast to compete on the floor for Alabama, and posted a 9.8. Sears, later in the lineup, posted a 9.875.  

“Before floor I knew that it was a tight competition, and I stepped to that floor, I asked for advice from my seniors and Gabby,” LaCoursiere said. “I asked ‘What do I need to do?’ They said, ‘Just be you.’ So I stepped up on that floor and I just did me, I did what I could and it turned out.”  

Hudson anchored the floor exercise, and Coleman was loud. Hudson posted a 9.95, earning the floor exercise title. Hudson talked about how the fans give energy to the gymnasts. 

“The fans are what drive us,” Hudson said. “That energy and when we turn the lights off going into that fourth rotation, it just gets us so hype. My floor routine, specifically, it’s all Alabama, so it’s really cool to see the crowd just go crazy right when they hear ‘Sweet Home’ and ‘Dixie.’”  

Along with the meet, Coleman Coliseum had a royal procession for their “Capes and Crowns” night. This procession started with Big Al dressed as Batman. Following him were Princess Tiana, Princess Cinderella, Princess Belle, Spiderman, Captain America and the Mandalorian. Along with the procession, Miss University of Alabama came onto the floor mat and sang “Colors of the Wind” from “Pocahontas.” 

The gymnasts will be back in action on Friday in Gainesville, Florida, against the University of Florida at 6 p.m. CT.  

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