Gymnastics secures ‘Power of Pink’ meet win over Georgia

Nick Robbins, Contributing Writer

Coleman Coliseum was a sea of pink as No. 8 Alabama gymnastics hosted its 18th annual “Power of Pink” meet Friday night. The Crimson Tide downed Georgia 197.475-196.800 en route to their second conference win of the season. 

This meet marked Alabama’s fourth straight meet breaking the 197 mark. 

The crowd was excited throughout the meet, especially when senior Shallon Olsen scored a pair of 9.900s. Olsen set the tempo early with a 9.900 on vault to kick off the event. Olsen’s score led the Alabama vault rotation and marked the third meet doing so. The senior has embraced the leadoff role. 

“Being leadoff on vault is a great opportunity for me,” Olsen said. I love starting the team off.” 

The Crimson Tide had a team score of 49.250 on the vault. 

Alabama posted a 49.500 on both the floor exercise and balance beam. 

There was a scary moment during the Crimson Tide’s floor rotation when junior Makarri Doggette suffered an injury on her third tumbling pass. Doggette was helped off the floor and returned to the meet with a boot on. 

Alabama head coach Dana Duckworth stated that they are uncertain of Doggette’s injury. However, it doesn’t seem to be ACL related. Following Doggette’s floor routine, the Crimson Tide rallied and finished the rotation strong. 

Sophomore Lilly Hudson scored a meet best of 9.950 on the floor, which came directly after Doggette’s routine. 

“That routine was for Makarri Doggette, period,” Hudson said. “She was on my mind the whole routine, I love her to death and hope she is OK.” 

Junior Luisa Blanco had a stellar night, scoring 39.500 in the all-around. She was the only gymnast to compete in all four events for either team. She scored 9.900 on floor exercise, a 9.850 on the balance beam, a 9.800 on vault and a meet-leading 9.950 on the uneven bars. 

Graduate student Lexi Graber’s 9.925 on floor as the last competitor of the night sealed the win for Alabama. 

Senior Emily Gaskins’ floor routine featured a collection of Alabama-related songs that got the Alabama faithful on their feet.

While the win was important for Alabama, as it pushes through the latter half of the season, this night meant more to the gymnasts and fans as the event sent a strong message. 

“This was a chance to compete for something bigger than ourselves,” Olsen said. “We do it for her, we do it for something bigger than us.” 

Duckworth appreciated the energy in the arena tonight.

“The energy was electric tonight, the power of pink is powerful. If one person was inspired by this event, we got a win,” Duckworth said. 

Alabama competes on the road next Friday, Feb. 18, against No. 5 LSU. First vault from the Pete Maravich Assembly Center is set for 8 p.m. CT on ESPNU.