“Last week was about getting out there, getting our starting point, and working out some of the jitters,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said. “This week is about going on the road and adjusting quickly to different equipment and a different environment while still moving forward.”
The last time the Crimson Tide competed in Barnhill Arena, Alabama and Arkansas tied with matching 197.100s during the 2013 season. In the last regular-season meeting between the two schools, the Tide beat the Razorbacks 197.125-196.100 in Tuscaloosa last season.
And while Alabama opened up its season at home with a 196.225 to beat the Wildcats, Arkansas opened on the road, falling to Oklahoma after scoring a 194.900.
The Crimson Tide used 12 gymnasts in its competitive lineup, plus a 13th that went exhibition. Last season, Alabama topped out with 10 gymnasts in its lineup. Duckworth expects the Tide’s lineup to remain fluid through the first part of the season as she moves things around to find Alabama’s ideal set for each event and develops depth.
Katie Bailey opened her sophomore season by winning the first all-around title of her collegiate career with a 39.375, while senior Lora Leigh Frost won the first floor exercise title of her career with a 9.925, which tied her career high on that event. Senior Kaitlyn Clark won the vault with a career-best 9.95 while junior Lauren Beers and sophomore Aja Sims tied for top honors on the uneven bars after scoring 9.875s.
Freshmen Mackenzie Brannan and Kiana Winston made their Alabama debuts against Arizona. Brannan went in the uneven bars and floor exercise while Winston competed on the uneven bars.