Dominant floor routines push gymnastics win over Kentucky

Nick Robbins, Contributing Writer

Alabama gymnastics overcame a season-low score on bars to beat No. 12 Kentucky, 197.200-196.650 in Coleman Coliseum Friday night.

The 9th-ranked Crimson tide had a strong night outside of bars with a 49.300 on vault and a 49.350 on beam. The team finished the night off on floor with a 49.550.

The team rallied after the bars score, a 49.000, the lowest of the season on bars for the team. A slip from sophomore Jensie Givens led to an 8.950. Following bars, the team would rally to come back and win.

“I can’t say enough about the team effort after bars; I’m very proud with the way they came back to score over a 197,” said coach Dana Duckworth.

Junior Lexi Graber came back from an injury scare to put together a strong performance on floor. She would come back to record a 9.900 on floor for the final performance of the night.

“She started to have a cramp; we pulled her out of beam – it wasn’t worth it,” Duckworth said. “She’s a fighter; she said she was ready to go, she went out there and put on a show.”

The team overall had a strong go on floor to close out the night and secure the win. Sophomore Shallon Olsen and junior Alonza Klopfer both recorded strong scores. Senior Shea Mahoney picked up a 9.950.

“This team has good potential to be one of the best floor teams in the country. Tonight, it was so electric,” Duckworth said.

Mahoney had an impressive night overall as she winds down her Alabama career. She scored 9.900 on vault and a 9.850 on bars, a bright spot on an overall poor bars showing. She will compete in her last meet at Coleman on senior night against Georgia.

“I’m looking forward to sharing one last night with my sisters, it is an incredible opportunity to close out my career in a special building,” Mahoney said.

The theme for the team all season has been “Thorns and Transformations.” Duckworth felt the bars score was a thorn, but the team transformed to pick up a flowery win.

The team closes out the season with senior night on March 7 at home against Georgia. The meet will begin at 7:15 p.m.