Duckworth Era Of Tide Gymnastics Begins

The Southeastern Conference really got beaten up over its poor football bowl performance. Now another SEC sport is on the hook to dominate the nation.

The Alabama gymnastics team, under a new coach in Dana Duckworth, is ranked fourth in the nation in the GymInfo Preseason Poll. And that means the Crimson Tide is ranked third in the Southeastern Conference.

Defending NCAA champion Florida is number one, LSU third, and Alabama fourth in the preseason poll.

This is opening weekend for SEC gymnastics with the Crimson Tide hosting Arizona at 7 p.m . Friday in Coleman Coliseum. The meet will be televised on the SEC Network Alternate Channel and can be found at or the WatchESPN app.

What is being called “The Show” before the big show gets underway at 7 p.m. with a big “Roll Tide Roll” led by the Tide gymnasts as they conclude warmups. Recording artist Moriah Martins will keep the party going, performing several songs from the floor of the Coliseum. This mini-concert will give way to Alabama’s pre-meet introductions at 7:20 p.m.

Duckworth and company are eager to get the season started with Friday’s meet.

“We are so excited for Friday,” Duckworth said. “We’re at the point in the season when we aren’t going to get much better without a meet. Our ladies have worked extremely hard to prepare for this meet throughout the fall and since returning the day after Christmas from a brief break for the holidays. The premeet entertainment is going to be incredible and our ladies can’t wait to be back in Coleman Coliseum in front of the best fans in the nation. You don’t want to miss one second of a Fun, Family Friday.”

Tickets for the Crimson Tide's home meets are on sale through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262) located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum and online at

In addition to the three SEC teams in the top four (Oklahoma is preseason No. 2), all eight conference teams are either ranked or receiving votes, including Georgia at No. 7.

Last year Florida and Oklahoma became the first teams ever to tie for the national championship, both scoring 198.175. SEC teams have won nine of the last 10 NCAA titles, including four consecutive, and 18 altogether. Alabama, Florida, and Georgia have all won championships.

Since the inaugural NCAA Championship meet in 1982, the SEC has placed at least one team in all 33 national championship meets. Alabama and Florida have appeared in 32 of the 33 NCAA championship events.


BamaMag Top Stories