Gymnastics finishes tied for second at Metroplex Challenge


CW / Hannah Saad

Katie Windham, @ktwindham5, Staff Reporter

For the second straight week, Alabama gymnastics lost to the top-ranked Oklahoma Sooners. However, this week, the Crimson Tide was competing in a quad meet at the Metroplex Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas, and finished in second, tied with No. 4 Denver and ahead of No. 18 Georgia.

Oklahoma led the way with a 197.575 to win the meet. Alabama and Denver scored 196.575 and Georgia finished with a 196.300.

The Crimson Tide started out strong with a 49.450 on the the uneven bars, 0.025 higher than it scored on bars last week. Sophomore Emily Gaskins and junior Lexi Graber scored 9.900s and sophomore Jensie Givens scored a career-high 9.925 to lead the team.

Following the solid start on bars, Alabama’s scores got gradually lower on every subsequent rotation, ending with a 48.950 on vault.

“We didn’t finish as strong as we started and that’s definitely something we have to work on going forward,” coach Dana Duckworth said in a press release. “We had a few major mistakes, but those are things that we can fix going forward.”

After getting three scores of at least 9.900 on the first rotation, Alabama only had one score of 9.900 or better on the final three rotations.

For the first time this season, Alabama had two different gymnasts compete in the all-around. Graber competed in the all-around after sitting out two events last week against Oklahoma.

Freshman Luisa Blanco joined the floor lineup for the first time, making her eligible for the all-around. Blanco, who was competing in front of her hometown crowd, fell on bars and floor, but tied for the team lead on beam with a 9.875.

Next up, Alabama heads to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Friday to face the defending SEC champion LSU Tigers.