Alabama Athletics

Alabama gymnastics tied its nation’s best score on balance beam to beat West Virginia

Alabama had an outstanding performance on beam and was an easy winner over West Virginia in Sunday meet

Fourth-ranked Alabama bounced back from its historic loss at Auburn on Friday to roll over No 24 West Virginia in a rare Sunday meet before 12,476 fans in Coleman Coliseum.

Alabama used a huge balance beam rotation to score its second high score of the season in beating the Mountaineers by 197.375 to 195.250.

Alabama posted a 49.550 on the balance beam behind four consecutive 9.9-plus routines, including back-to-back 9.95s from juniors Katie Bailey and Aja Sims. Junior Keely McNeer came up after a fall from senior Lauren Beers and posted a 9.9, which was followed by Aja Sims and Bailey’s 9.95s, which was followed by sophomore Nickie Guerrero’s 9.925 in the anchor spot. Sophomore Mackenzie Brannan started the Tide off on the beam with a 9.9825. The Tide’s balance beam tally ties its own 2016 national-leading mark from earlier in the season and is tied for the fifth-best score in school history.

 Alabama started things off with a solid 49.275 on the vault, paced by Winston’s 9.9. On the uneven bars, 9.875s from Brannan and junior Amanda Jetter pushed the Tide to a 49.225.  After the fall on beam, Beers closed strong with a 9.95 to anchor the floor exercise and the meet, pacing the Tide to a 49.325 team score.

After five Friday and three Sunday meets this season, Alabama will compete on Saturday for the first time in 2016 when it travels to State College, Pa., to take on Penn State, Denver and Cornell in its first quad meet of the season.

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