Crimson Tide Photos/UA Athletics
Alabama gymnastics fans got a sneak preview of this year’s squad at the Crimson and White Preview on Friday night in Coleman Coliseum.
Refusing to let snowy conditions stop them, approximately 500 Alabama fans gathered to watch head coach Dana Duckworth’s team perform routines in all four events – vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor.
Not only did the preview allow fans a first look at what they can expect once the regular season starts in January, it also gave them the opportunity to learn more about the team, as well as about the sport in general.
Duckworth addressed fans directly throughout the night, providing key insight into how the coaches craft routines and exactly how judges score each event. Fans got to know the individual athletes on the team during question and answer segments in between events as well. An autograph session ensued once the preview was over.
For Duckworth, the preview was a litmus test indicating where her team stands with only a month left to prepare for Michigan on January 5th.
“I’m excited, if we win and stay healthy, I just feel there is a lot of promise with this team,” Duckworth said, knocking on the table after mentioning the team’s health. “We definitely have some work to do on landings and handstands and such, but I feel like this was a really good start.”
Lasting nearly an hour and a half, the preview showcased 30 different routines in various events. Veteran members of the team like All-Americans Kiana Winston and Mackenzie Brannan picked up right where they left off, while freshmen such as Bailie Key and Kylie Dickson were able to gain more experience. Winston, a decorated senior, was impressed by what she saw from the members of the freshman class.
“I do think I found out a lot about the freshman,” Winston said. “They’re such a strong, powerful bunch and just to be able to go out there and see them just use their energy and confidence, I can see them having a great season here.”
As for whether or not the Crimson & White Preview will become an annual event, Duckworth says she will wait to get feedback from fans before scheduling one for next year; however, she is pleased with how it turned out.
Alabama fans will have to wait until Georgia comes to Tuscaloosa on January 12th before they can see the Crimson Tide in action again.