The annual Power of Pink night is the only meet of the gymnastics season where winning is not the only important part of the event. This was certainly the case on Friday night at Coleman Coliseum, an evening packed with memorable tributes, reunions, and awareness for an important cause.
Prior to the start of the meet, Alabama Gymnastics coaching legends Sarah and David Patterson were honored for their 36 years of service to the team, as 85 Alabama Gymnastics previously-honored alumni looked on. The ceremony featured a stirring tribute video that told the story of the Patterson's coaching dynasty. It was fitting that the evening was the 11th annual Power of Pink Night, an initiative started by Sarah Patterson in 2004 to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer. Prior to the start of the meet, a check was presented to the DCH Breast Cancer Fund for $109,000. Since the event began in 2004, Power of Pink has raised $1,550,000 for DCH cancer programs.
Inspired by their legendary former coaches and alumni, the current Tide squad were ready to take on the Boise State Broncos. The Tide started off red-hot on vault, with Katie Bailey posting a 9.925 - a career best for her. Scores of 9.9 followed from Lauren Beers and Kayla Williams. Boise State gymnast Maddie Krentz suffered a scary fall on the uneven bars, and was able to continue the rest of the meet. The Tide led 49.450 to Boise State's 49.325 at the end of Rotation One.
The uneven bars were up next for the Tide, where Katie Bailey once again earned a career best score - a 9.950. Lauren Beers anchored the squad with her own career best score of 9.925. Following Rotation Two, Alabama led the Broncos 98.925 - 98.450.
The Tide headed to the balance beam for Rotation Three, and the strong scores continued. Lauren Beers pulled in another career best of 9.950, while Kaitlyn Clark immediately followed with a 9.925. The Broncos had a difficult time on floor exercise, with several stumbles. Bronco Marissa Wossner had a particularly painful fall, landing face-first on the mat, and had to be helped out of the arena. She later returned on crutches to applause from the fans in attendance. The Tide increased their lead 148.350 to 146.350 from the Broncos.
Alabama held a comfortable lead going in to the final rotation, but had no intention of taking their foot off the gas. Hunter Dennis, Carley Sims, and Kaitlyn Clark all scored 9.9's. It was Dennis's career best on the event. Finishing the evening with a good rotation on beam, Boise State was able to end the meet on a high note. Alabama would capture its fifth victory of the season, 197.800 - 195.450.
The Boise State Broncos put up a valiant effort, but could not match the polish and consistency of the Tide. With Tide gym alums to cheer them on, it was Alabama's highest scoring meet of the season, and the 13th best score in program history. The Tide also swept the all-around podium. Lauren Beers earned her third all-around title of the season. Katie Bailey was the runner up, whille Kaitlyn Clark grabbed third. The squad remains undefeated on Power of Pink night.
Alabama Gymnastics is on the road next Friday night, Feb. 21st as they visit Athens, Ga. to take on long-time rivals, the No. 8 Georgia Bulldogs. The meet can be seen live on the SEC Network at 7 p.m. ET.