Alabama gymnastics finishes second at SEC Championships

Ben Stansell

Alabama gymnastics scored a 196.975 to take second place at the Southeastern Conference Championships on Saturday night in St. Louis, Missouri.

In placing second, the Crimson Tide recorded its 20th consecutive top-three finish at the SEC Championships. It was also the 29th time Alabama has placed first or second at the event.

“I think it was great experience for us to be on podium, on this floor and now we’re looking forward, if we do our job, to coming back here for nationals,” Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said in a press release.

LSU claimed first with a 197.4, while Florida finished third with a 196.825. Kentucky rounded out the top-four teams with a 196.55.

Alabama’s gymnasts also represented well individually. Nailing a 9.9, junior Ari Guerra won the floor exercise. Guerra, along with seniors Nickie Guerrero and Kiana Winston, earned All-SEC honors. Lexi Graber was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.

Behind matching 9.95s from Winston and Guerrero, the Crimson Tide notched a season-best 49.45 on the balance beam.

“I was impressed with the composure that the ladies showed on the balance beam,” Duckworth said.

The Crimson Tide posted a score of 49.275 on a floor performance that Duckworth described as “magical.”

On vault, Guerrero and Guerra led the way for Alabama, posting two 9.9s that would help the Crimson Tide match its season high 49.3 on the event. The Crimson Tide ended the night with a 48.95 on uneven bars, led by sophomore Wynter Childers.

Alabama will host the 2018 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional in Coleman Coliseum on Saturday, April 7 at 4 p.m. CT.