March 13, 2015
|No. 5 Alabama||49.450||49.100||49.525||49.425||197.500|
|No. 1 Oklahoma||49.450||49.375||49.475||49.375||197.725|
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – The No. 5 Alabama gymnastics team was edged by No. 1 Oklahoma197.725-197.500 in front of 10,722 fans Friday night in Coleman Coliseum. It marked the 17th consecutive regular-season home meet in which the Crimson Tide has drawn over 10,000 fans.
The Crimson Tide tied the defending NCAA co-Champions on the vault and floor exercise and was better on the balance beam, but an uncharacteristic 49.100 on the uneven bars by Alabama let the Sooners move in front to stay.
“I think our ladies did some awesome stuff tonight,” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “We did really well on vault, then we ignored our bar performance and went over to balance beam and we did our job. Then we went and closed it out floor. It wasn’t outcome we wanted, but this experience will make us better down the stretch.”
Junior Lauren Beers won the all-around with a 39.650, tying her career-best mark, while senior Kaitlyn Clark, in her final competitive appearance in Coleman, took second with a 39.550. Beers also won the vault and floor exercise while sharing the balance beam title with senior Kayla Williams.
Alabama started off the night with a 49.450 on the vault, its third-highest mark of the season, led by a 9.95 from junior Lauren Beers, a 9.925 from junior Carley Sims and a 9.9 from freshman Mackenzie Brannan. On the uneven bars sophomore Keely McNeer and Clark led the Tide with 9.875s in the lead-off and anchor spots.
Led by matching 9.95s from Williams and Beers and a 9.925 from Clark, the Tide scored a season-best 49.525 on the balance beam. Williams received a 10.0 from one judge, which was balanced by a 9.9 from the other.
“I loved that we tried a couple new dismounts (on balance beam) and just trying to figure out what is the best way for us to be our very best for SECs and the postseason,” Duckworth said.
On the floor exercise, Beers posted her third 9.95 of the night to lead Alabama to a 49.425 team tally. Like Williams the event before, Beers earned a 10.0 from one judge on the floor exercise while the second judge flashed a 9.9. Sophomore Amanda Jetter posted a 9.9 while Clark, in her last routine in Coleman, posted a 9.925.
Alabama honored its senior class of Williams, Clark, Hunter Dennis and Lora Leigh Frost before and after the meet with montages on the video board and a cascade of confetti and balloons after the meet.
“I’m so glad and so blessed I’ve had two years with (this senior class) and their awesome leadership and being such positive influences in my life,” McNeer said. “They just showed me what I want to aim towards.”
The Tide travels to Duluth, Ga., for the SEC Championships on Saturday, March 21. Fans can keep up with the Tide via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube by following BamaGymnastics.