BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – With its final practice prior to the start of the postseason in the books, the No. 6 Alabama gymnastics team is set to compete in the 2022 Southeastern Conference Championships Saturday at Legacy Arena in Birmingham, Ala. The Crimson Tide comes into the championships as the defending SEC Champions after winning its 10thth league title in 2021.
The meet will be televised live on the SEC Network with Bart Conner, Kathy Johnson Clarke and Samantha Peszke calling the action. The meet will also be streamed live via WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.
The Crimson Tide will compete in the second of two sessions, which gets underway at 7 pm CT, along with Florida, LSU and Auburn. The Crimson Tide will start on the floor exercise, before rotating to vault and then the uneven bars before closing the meet on the balance beam, the same rotation it won with in 2021.
Saturday marks the seventh time that Birmingham has served as the site of the SEC Gymnastics Championships, with Alabama winning Birmingham-based titles three times, including 2011 and 2014, the last two times the championships were in the Magic City.
The Tide heads into the championships following a pair of 198 scores, marking the first time in program history that Alabama has scored two 198s during the regular season.
“The SEC Championships is such a special meet in the sense that it does not qualify you to the national championships, but it is an opportunity for all the teams to be on the same floor with the same set of judges. For us it’s a chance to go out there and show the nation what Bama Gymnastics is all about. It’s fast paced, it’s going to be competitive and it allows these ladies to shine. It’s the sweet spot between all the hard work of the regular season paying off and starting postseason with something that is so much fun. I want us to be present, have fun and enjoy the ride because it’s going to be intense and it’s going to be fun in Birmingham. I’m very excited for our ladies. “
Griffin James Named to SEC Community Service Team
- Crimson Tide senior Griffin James was named to the 2022 SEC Community Service Team the league office announced Friday
- A three-year Scholastic All-American and three-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, James is a dedicated member of the community, giving generously of her time to a number of outreach projects, including Cerebral Palsy of West Alabama and the DCH Cancer Center
- She has also given of her time to Project Angel Tree, Alberta Head Start Readers, the DCH Thank you Letters initiative and the Crimson Tide’s Halloween Extravaganza
- She has also volunteered as the ReadBAMARead Team Coordinator and with the UA Thank-A-Thon, Smile-a-Mile, RISE Center Holiday Party and Working on Womanhood
The Defending SEC Champions
- The Crimson Tide was ranked eighth nationally coming into the 2021 championships, where they finished first (197,875), holding off No. 4 LSU (197,775), who took second, and No. 1 Florida (196,975), who finished third
- The Tide was on fire from the start, and with the meet in the balance, finished tough with a 49,450 on the balance beam to hold off second-place LSU, who came on strong on their last event, the vault
- In addition to being the Crimson Tide’s 10th overall SEC title, it was the second under head coach Dana Duckworth
- Alabama was led by Luisa Blancowho won the all-around with a 39,800, and Lexi Graberwho posted a 39,575 to take third in the all-around
- Blanco also won a share of the vault, uneven bars, and balance beam and shared the bars title with Shania Adams spirit Makarri Doggette and the beam title with Graber
- The Tide started off on the floor exercise, posting a 49,450 before rotating to vault where it tallied its best score in more than five years, going 49,550
- A strong 49.425 on the uneven bars put the championship within reach
- Alabama went to the balance beam and closed out the meet and the Tigers with a 49,450
Last (Two) Times Out
- The Crimson Tide posted back-to-back 198’s on March 4 against Arkansas (198.075) and on March 6 at Elevate the Stage (198.00), marking the first time in school history that Alabama has scored a pair of 198s during the regular season
- It is also the first time since 1996 that the Crimson Tide scored a pair of 198s in the same season
- The Tide scored a 49,625 at Elevate the Stage and a 49,650 on Friday against Arkansas on the uneven bars, giving this year’s squad two of the top-six marks in program history
- The Tide’s floor exercise tally of 49,700 against Arkansas tied the school record that came against Georgia in 2001
- Alabama took home individual wins in all four events against Arkansas and two at Elevate the Stage
- Overall, Alabama posted 27 scores of 9,900-or-better, including two that went for 9,975, and 10 that went for 9,950 over the weekend
- Jordyn Paradise posted a career-high 9,950 on the vault and a career-high 9,850 on the uneven bars against Arkansas
- Luisa Blanco tied her career-best mark on the uneven bars (9.975) and her season-best mark on the floor exercise (9.950) against Arkansas and posted a career-best 9.950 on vault at Elevate the Stage
- Ella Burgess matched her career best of 9,900 for the fourth meet in a row to lead off Alabama’s balance beam lineup
- Makarri Doggette tied her season-best uneven bars score (9,950) against Arkansas
- Emily Gaskins scored a season-best 9.900 on the floor exercise and a season-best 9.900 to lead off the Tide’s uneven bars lineup against Arkansas and tied her season-best on the uneven bars (9.900) at Elevate the Stage
- Lexi Graber tied her career-best on the balance beam (9,950) and floor exercise (9,975) against Arkansas
- Lilly Hudson posted a career-best 9.925 on the uneven bars against Arkansas and tied her career-best score on floor exercise (9.950) at Elevate the Stage
- Cameron Machado scored a career-best 9.950 on the uneven bars and tied her career-best 9.925 on the floor exercise at Elevate the Stage
- Shallon Olsen tied her season-best 9,900 on the vault and posted a career-best 9,925 on the floor exercise against Arkansas
- Sania Mitchell posted a career-best 9,950 on the floor exercise against Arkansas
- Mati Waligora scored a career-best 9.950 on the uneven bars and tied her career-best of 9.900 on the vault at Elevate the Stage
- Following the SEC Championships, Alabama will learn where it will travel for the NCAA Regional Championships on Tuesday, March 22 during the NCAA Selection Show
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