Tide Gymnasts Defend SEC Crown

It’s difficult to say that a gymnastics team that ranks sixth in the nation on an apparatus has a “worst” event, but one way to look at it as the Southeastern Conference Championship meet looms is that Alabama will start on its worst rotation and finish in its best event, insofar as national rankings.

Alabama will be defending its SEC meet title Saturday at The Arena at Gwinnett Place in Duluth, Ga. The Crimson Tide is the third seed, meaning Bama and the others in the top four seeds will perform in the second session beginning at 6 p.m. EDT (5 p.m. central). The bottom four seeds perform at 2 EDT.

As in so many sports, the SEC has many of the nation’s top teams. The Tide, for instance, is ranked fifth in the nation, but is the third seed in the SEC meet. Alabama was also the third seed last year, and emerged with the crown.

Nationally, Alabama is ranked in the top six on all four apparatus, standing third on the floor exercise, fourth on the uneven bars, fifth on the balance beam and sixth on the vault.

The SEC rotation will have Alabama starting on the vault, then going to bars, beam, and floor exercise.

Florida is ranked second in the nation and LSU third and they are the one and two seeds in the SEC meet. Auburn is ranked eighth and will join the Gators, LSU, and Tide in the evening session.

Georgia, ranked ninth in the nation, is the fifth seed and headlines the afternoon session at The Arena, along with Arkansas, Kentucky, and Missouri.

Alabama’s last regular season meet last week was a close loss to Oklahoma, which is number one in the nation. After Florida and LSU, Utah is fourth, followed by Alabama, Michigan, UCLA, Auburn, Georgia, and Nebraska in the top 10.

After tying her career-best all-around score of 39.650 against Oklahoma, junior Lauren Beers is third nationally in the all-around. Beers is also sixth on the uneven bars and 11th on the floor exercise. Senior Kaitlyn Clark is seventh on the balance beam and 21st on vault. Junior Carley Sims is 22nd on the floor exercise.


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