The Alabama gymnastics team used the Penn State Quad Meet in State College, Pa., Saturday for a little experimentation with the lineup, and the result was excellent.
The Crimson Tide, ranked fourth in the nation, posted a 197.300 score to easily out-distance No. 13 Denver (196.350), Penn State (195.100) and Cornell (191.500).
“Our word for the week was adaptability and we certainly were that today,” Alabama Coach Dana Duckworth said. “We made so many adjustments and changes in our lineup … to do that and come away with 197.3 says so much about the character of this team. I am so proud of them.”
In addition to being Alabama’s third consecutive 197-plus score this season, it was also the Crimson Tide’s 197-plus road score this season. Alabama has also posted 12 consecutive rotations of 49.2 or better.
Bama used a blistering start to get the meet going, scoring a 49.6 on the uneven bar, a tally that matches the highest score in the nation this season and the third highest in Alabama history. After opening the rotation with a 9.825 from junior Keely McNeer and a 9.85 from senior Lauren Beers, Alabama reeled off four scores of 9.9 or better to close out the set.
Freshman Ariana Guerra and junior Amanda Jetter both scored 9.9s while sophomore Kiana Winston and Mackenzie Brannan closed out the rotation with matching 9.975s, becoming the ninth and 10th UA gymnasts to score better than 9.95 on the uneven bars.
Alabama scored a 49.2 on the balance beam paced by 9.875s from Winston and McNeer. On the floor exercise, cheered on by a large contingent of family and friends from her hometown of Warren Center, Pa., senior Lauren Beers scored a 9.925, which pushed Alabama to a 49.300. On the vault, a 9.875 from Brannan paced Alabama to a 49.200.
Brannan won the all-around with a 39.525 while Beers was second with a 39.425.
Bama next returns home to take on archrival Georgia tat 7:30 p.m. Friday in Coleman Coliseum. It will be Senior Night and Alumni Night for the Crimson Tide. Tickets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office at (205) 348-2262, in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, or online at Rolltide.com