Alabama’s gymnastics team went to its final rotation at the NCAA Championships semifinal session Friday needing to be solid on the vault to advance to the national finals on Saturday. Thanks in great part to junior Katie Bailey the Crimson Tide was more than just solid.
Bailey delivered a 9.95, earning her the individual vault championship, and giving Alabama a season-best score of 49.875 on the apparatus.
As a result, Alabama advanced to the NCAA Championships Super Six Team Final for the national record 22nd time in 24 opportunities Friday night in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Crimson Tide had a 197.875 semifinals score.
The top three teams from both semifinal sessions advanced to Saturday’s team finals. The Tide finished second in its semifinal session to advance along with first-place Oklahoma 197.7875 and third place UCLA, 196.7000. Earlier in the day it was all about the Southeastern Conference as Florida (197.475), LSU (197.3375) and Georgia (196.725) advanced out the first semifinal session
Bailey’s individual championship was Alabama’s 26th individual NCAA title and fifth on the vault.
After starting the night on a bye, Alabama moved smoothly through its first event, scoring a 49.3125 on the uneven bars behind Bailey’s 9.9 and a 9.8875 from sophomore Mackenzie Brannan. Sophomore Kiana Winston led the way for Alabama on the balance beam, going 9.9 while junior Aja Sims went 9.8875, pacing the Tide to a 49.300 team score. The Tide then scored a 49.2875 on the floor exercise led by Winston’s 9.9 and a 9.8625 from Bailey and senior Carley Sims.
The NCAA Super Six Team Final gets underway at 8 p.m. CDT Saturday, and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.