Bama Gymnastics ‘Electric’ On Special Night

In the midst of the Crimson Tide’s 11th annual Power of Pink festivities, its annual Alumni Night, and a celebration of legends Sarah and David Patterson, the No. 6 ranked Alabama gymnastics team enjoyed a night that Coach Dana Duckworth termed “electric” Friday night in Coleman Coliseum in front of 11,117 exuberant fans.

“We didn’t compete for ourselves at all,” Alabama sophomore Katie Bailey said. “We had alumni we were competing for, to prove to them that we are protecting the legacy they laid down for us. We were competing for Sarah and David, showing them that we are still protecting that legacy, and then we competed for the Power of Pink. Just competing for someone else rather than ourselves was a great thing to be a part of.”

The Crimson Tide used the 13th best score in school history to beat No. 12 Boise State, 197.800-195.450. Alabama’s total was powered by season-best marks on the uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise.

Prior to the meet, more than 80 Alabama gymnastics alumni were introduced with the newest members of the Tide’s alumni family - Sarah and David Patterson - coming out last. Surrounded by their championship legacy, the Pattersons were then honored for 36 years of Crimson Tide excellence.

The Tide then introduced 20 breast cancer survivors in the spotlight alongside the Tide gymnasts before presenting a check for $109,000 to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund.

Later in the evening a very surprised David Patterson was honored with the Sarah Patterson Distinguished Alumni Award. A 1982 graduate of The University of Alabama, the Huntsville native spent 36 years coaching beside his wife Sarah, helping create an unparalleled tradition of excellence.

All that preceded the Tide’s best meet of the season.

“We are at that point in the season where we really are figuring out where everyone fits, what everyone’s role is, and everyone is just owning that role,” Duckworth said. “Whether you’re in the lineup or on the sideline screaming for your teammate, we’re creating an energy and a chemistry. That is what makes Alabama gymnastics so consistent and so exciting to watch.”

Sophomore Lauren Beers won the all-around with a career-best 39.650, a tally that included career-best scores of 9.925 on the uneven bars and 9.950 on the balance beam. Sophomore Katie Bailey, who won the vault and uneven bars with career-best scores of 9.925 and 9.950, respectively, posted a career-best 39.625 to take second in the all-around. Senior Kaitlyn Clark used a career-best 39.550 all-around score to take third.

With Beers and Bailey splitting the vault, uneven bars, balance beam and all-around titles, the Tide trio of Clark, senior Hunter Dennis and junior Carley Sims shared top honors on the floor exercise.

Alabama got off to a strong start with a 49.450 team score on the vault, led by a career-best 9.925 from Bailey and a pair of 9.9s from Beers and senior Kayla Williams. Bailey also led the Tide to a season-best 49.475 team score on the uneven bars with a career-best 9.950, while Beers posted a career-best 9.925.

On the balance beam, Alabama tallied a season-best 49.425 behind a career-best 9.950 from Beers. Clark added a 9.925 while Bailey scored a 9.875. Alabama closed out the night with a 49.450 on the floor exercise led by a trio of 9.9s from Clark, senior Hunter Dennis and junior Carley Sims. It was a career-best score for Dennis, and her first win as a collegian.

Alabama heads to Athens, Ga. next to take on the Georgia Bulldogs Friday, Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. EST.

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