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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 posts 197.45 to advance to regional finals

Courtesy of UA Athletics
Alabama gymnast Gabby Gladieux performs on the balance beam at the NCAA Regional Championships at Crisler Center in Ann Arbor, MI on Thursday, Apr 4, 2024.

The No. 8 Crimson Tide gymnastics team took on No. 9 Michigan, Penn State and Kent State in the regional semifinals Thursday to fight for a spot in Saturday night’s regional finals.   

After a hard-fought meet, Alabama gymnastics landed first place with a score of 197.45. Penn State placed second with a score of 196.925, Michigan placed third with a score of 196.725, and Kent State placed fourth with a score of 195.65.  

“I am so proud of the team tonight,” Alabama head coach Ashley Johnston said. “This is always a tough meet knowing that there’s a lot on the line. The team wanted it really bad and wanted to advance to the next round, so I’m really proud of how they maintained a collective belief in each other and what our team was capable of.” 

After the first round, on the vault, Alabama gymnastics was in second place with a score of 49.3. Michigan was in first with a score of 49.475 on the floor.  

For the Crimson Tide, graduate student Luisa Blanco and sophomore Gabby Gladieux held the highest score on the vault. They both posted a 9.875. The vault title went to Michigan’s Gabby Wilson, who posted a 9.95.  

During the second rotation, on the uneven bars, Alabama posted a 49.475. This brought its total to 98.775, allowing it to keep its second-place position. Michigan was still in first with a total of 98.9. Penn State held third place at the halfway mark with a score of 98.4. Kent State was last with a score of 97.825.  

The highest score for the Crimson Tide on the uneven bars was posted by Blanco. She posted a 9.95 and landed the event title. The title was shared with Michigan’s Carly Bauman.  

After the third rotation, the Crimson Tide was still in second place, with a score of 148.175 after posting a 49.4 on the balance beam.  

Graduate student Mati Waligora suffered a fall during her routine and posted a 9.15. The highest balance-beam score for the Crimson Tide came from graduate student Ella Burgess. She posted a 9.925 and took the event title.  

As we headed to beam, I think they lit a fire after [Waligora’s fall] and the rest of the lineup dialed in, stepped up and really delivered big performances,” Johnston said. “That was a huge moment for Ella to really carry that pressure [of performing after a fall] and focus on what she could control. She did a fantastic job in that moment.” 

For the fourth, and final rotation, Alabama was on the floor, where it posted a 49.275. The highest score for the Crimson Tide came from Waligora, who posted a 9.9. The floor title went to Michigan’s Sierra Brooks and Gabby Wilson, who each posted a 9.925.  

Michigan suffered from two falls on the balance beam in the fourth rotation, which caused the team to move from first to third place. After that, Gladieux’s floor routine was scratched because Alabama was already in first place before it was time for her to compete.  

The all-around title went to Wilson, who posted a 39.575. The only Alabama gymnast to compete in the all-around was junior Lilly Hudson, who posted a 39.25.  

Alabama and Penn State will advance to the regional finals on Saturday.  

“Overall, I’m proud of this performance,” Johnston said. “It’s always a tough round to be able to survive and advance. We didn’t just survive, but we thrived and advanced, and now we’re looking forward to Saturday. We’re going to rest and recover so that we’re ready to give it everything we have.” 

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