On a Super Sunday in SEC gymnastics, the Crimson Tide wrested the lead from Georgia on floor and built an insurmountable lead on beam in route to its second highest point total of the season, beating the Bulldogs 197.7 to 197.325. Kiana Winston’s fifth all-around title of the season was icing on the cake.
The future is here
There could have been cause for panic: Bama on the road in hostile Stegeman Coliseum without reliable lead-off performer Keely McNeer. The senior was injured in a car accident this week and will be out for at least two weeks. In short, the pressure was on young replacements and they came through without missing a beat. Sophomore Abby Armbrecht scored a 9.8 on vault and 9.875 on beam, and freshman Shea Mahoney earned a 9.875 on bars.
In addition, super freshmen Maddie Desch scored a 9.9 on beam and on floor, and Wynter Childers had two 9.875s, a 9.85, and 9.825 competing in all-around for the first time. Sophomore Ari Guerra, who tumbles with surgical screws in her back, got a 9.9 on floor.
Simply put, the underclassmen set the table for the more experienced gymnasts who then did what Alabama does. Juniors Kiana Winston put up three scores above 9.9, including a 9.95 on floor, to take her fifth all-around title of the season and Nickie Guerrero, ranked fourth on beam nationally, was almost perfect Sunday with a 9.95.
Georgia led after two rotations but had a fall on beam and two uncharacteristic out of bounds calls on floor, while the Tide surged behind a personality driven near flawless floor rotation and solid beam performance.
This is not your mother’s rivalry and that’s too bad
Back in the day the gymnastics coaches were bitter enemies, the stuff of legend and rumor, Sarah and Suzanne. Patterson was hired by Bear Bryant, Suzanne Yoculan by Vince Dooley; and the win at all costs spirit of the football coaches spilled over into the gym. As the two teams battled for conference and national supremacy Georgia fans allegedly threw ice at Tide gymnasts, Bama fans held up signs saying, “Dirty Dogs.” Oh my! But in this politically correct (read boring) era Dana Duckworth and Danna Durante, the successors to the legends profess to ‘like each other’ and ‘want the best for both teams.’ Gag me. Can you imagine Nick Saban saying such a thing?
In other action LSU easily beat Florida
The LSU Tigers won the SEC regular season championship with a season high 198.0 and will be odds on favorites to win the Championships in Jacksonville March 18th. Perhaps we can hope the Tigers have peaked?
Next up for Alabama
#27 Iowa State travels to Tuscaloosa to take on the Tide Friday at 7:30 CST. The meet can be viewed on SEC Network +.