Six Crimson Tide gymnasts will be honored during Senior Night festivities at Coleman Coliseum tonight as Alabama, coming off a strong road win in Athens, takes on Iowa State in the last home meet of the 2017 season. Alabama formally says good-bye to a talented group who helped the team to a top four finish in the last three national championships.
Say it isn’t so
As hard as it is to believe for fans who cheered for these young ladies as freshmen, this is the last time all-around competitor and defending national champion on vault Katie Bailey will compete at Coleman. Here’s a link to her 2016 championship vault.
Also performing for the final time in Tuscaloosa, crowd favorite Aja Sims, whose grace on beam is unparalleled—as is the sheer joy she brings to her one-of-a-kind floor route. Check it out.
Amanda Jetter has been consistently strong on uneven bars and floor. Mary Lillian Sanders, who will go into the Marines as an officer upon graduation, has performed capably under pressure when called upon to compete on balance beam. McKenzie Valentin has competed on floor several times this season and I would be surprised if the Oklahoma native doesn’t get into the rotation tonight.
Senior Keely McNeer, who usually leads off for the Tide on vault, bars, and beam broke a bone in her hand in a car accident a week ago and is highly doubtful. It’s a shame for her to miss the last chance to compete at home. Hopefully she will be back, if not for next week’s SEC Championships, then for regionals after that.
Iowa State, ranked 27th, is looking to rebound (good luck with that:-) after a heart-breaking loss to in-state rival Iowa last weekend, in a meet where the Cyclones led after three rotations only to collapse with two falls on beam to give the home-standing Hawkeyes the W.
Tune Up & Tune In
Other than serving as a nostalgic send-off for seniors, this week’s meet is primarily a tune-up for the toughest ever SEC Championships a week from Saturday. Seven SEC are in the top 15, five in the top 10. Tonight’s meet kicks off at 7:30 CT and will be carried online at SEC Network Plus.