Alabama Gymnastics Sixth In First Poll

In recent years it has become fashionable among many who comment on college football to rail against pre-season and early season polls they say prejudice the system. There was even a hue and cry over the new College Football Playoff Selection Committee announcing its preliminary (to the final) poll to select four teams. But football is nothing compared to college gymnastics.

Gymnastics suffers by being a judged sport. How does one really compare the scores given to Alabama in Tuscaloosa against those awarded Utah in Los Angeles? But that's what happens. Early season polls are determined by a season average.

Alabama opened its gymnastics season last Friday with a 196.225 - 194.375 win over Arizona in Coleman Coliseum Thus, the Crimson Tide of first-year coach Dana Duckworth is ranked sixth in the nation in the first poll of the year.

Oklahoma is ranked first this week, followed by LSU and Florida, all of which are on Bama’s schedule this season. Utah and Michigan took the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. Georgia, a part of the Tide’s road schedule, is ranked seventh while Nebraska, Illinois-Champaign, and California round out the top 10.

Based on those first week scores, Alabama is ranked second on floor exercise, third on vault, sixth on balance beam and 21st on uneven bars.

Individually, sophomore Katie Bailey is ranked seventh in the all-around after posting a 39.375 against the Wildcats. Bailey is also ranked 23rd on the uneven bars. She is tied for 15th on the vault with senior Kayla Williams and tied for 18th on the balance beam with junior Lauren Beers.

Senior Kaitlyn Clark is ranked second on the vault after posting a winning mark of 9.950 against Arizona, while sophomore Keely McNeer is ranked 24th. Senior Lora Leigh Frost is ranked second on the floor exercise while junior Carley Sims and freshman Mackenzie Brannan are tied for 12th. Sophomore Aja Sims is ranked fifth on the balance beam and is tied with Beers for 10th on the uneven bars.

Alabama travels to Fayetteville Friday to compete against No. 12 Arkansas at 8 p.m.

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