Alabama Gymnasts Slip Past Auburn

Tied with one rotation to go, the No. 6 Alabama gymnastics team outlasted No. 9 Auburn to win the first Elevate the Stage Meet, 197.200-197.025, in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center Sunday afternoon.

"We had a little bit of a funky start (on the floor exercise), but the girls never gave up,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said. “They decided that they were going to be exceptional to the end, and they just kept fighting and kept pushing.”

Both teams struggled early in the final rotation, with the Crimson Tide giving up three-tenths of a point in out-of-bounds deductions on the floor exercise while Auburn posted 9.550 and a 9.225 among its first three routines. Alabama rebounded with a 9.925 from freshman Mackenzie Brannan and a 9.95 from senior Lauren Beers before junior Carley Sims posted a 9.900 in the final spot to clinch the Tide’s win.

“You couldn’t ask for a more exciting meet, going into the last rotation completely tied,” Duckworth said. “We’ve been in both situations at the national championships. We have gone into beam, won beam and won the national championship on the last event, and we’ve been on floor and won the national championship on floor. Both teams grew tonight because of the experience we just had.”

Beers won the Tide’s only individual title on the day when her 9.95 on the floor exercise pushed Alabama to a 49.200 team score. Senior Kaitlyn Clark posted a 9.9 on the vault to lead Alabama to a 49.250. On the uneven bars, 9.925s from sophomore Katie Bailey and freshman Kiana Winston and 9.9s from sophomore Keely McNeer and Beers paced the Tide to a season-best 49.525. The Tide was solid on the balance beam, scoring a 49.225 led by 9.875s from Clark and senior Kayla Williams.

After back-to-back road meets over the week, Alabama returns home Friday, March 13 to close out its regular-season slate with No. 1 ranked Oklahoma starting at 7 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205-348-2262) located in the main lobby of Coleman Coliseum and online at


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