Power behind the pink propels Alabama to season-best score, another win


CW / Hannah Saad

Katie Windham | @ktwindham5, Staff Reporter

On a night that represents so much more than gymnastics, Alabama put on its best performance of the season at the 16th Annual Power of Pink meet.

Behind a season high on every event except bars, Alabama beat Missouri 197.550-196.850 on Friday night.

“Tonight is my favorite night of the season,” said junior Lexi Graber, who won the all-around. “It’s just a great reminder that the things we deal with on a daily basis are just not even comparable to the things to these women and people have fought through.”

The Power of Pink initiative raises awareness for breast cancer and honors breast cancer survivors by allowing them to walk out with Alabama gymnasts during introductions.

Graber tied her career-best in the all around with a 39.650, scoring at least a 9.9 on every event.

The pink-out of Coleman Coliseum seems to bring extra doses of energy and excitement to the team.

Alabama rode that excitement and the wave of momentum from a win against LSU last week to its highest score of the season on Friday.

The meet started out with the best vault performance of the year for Alabama, a 49.375.

The vault lineup was aided with the insertion of another routine with a 10.0 start value from freshman Makarri Doggette, who made her vault debut and scored a 9.875.

This made Doggette eligible for the all-around for the first time. She said competing in all four events makes her feel like herself again because of what she was used to during Junior Olympics competition.

“In J.O. it’s kind of different; you just compete all four no matter what,” Doggette said. “You don’t have to fight for that lineup spot, and I really enjoy having to work for it and having my team behind me and knowing that no matter what they have my back.”

Alabama ended the night on the fan-favorite floor exercise, scoring a 49.475, its highest score on any event this season.

All six gymnasts on floor scored a 9.875 or better, and senior Maddie Desch led the team with a 9.925.

Even though this was the Crimson Tide’s highest score since 2017, coach Dana Duckworth knows her team still has more to offer.

“Even tonight, there were things we can do better,” Duckworth said. “And so you have to be in love with the journey. … I go back to when you climb the vine there are thorns, and you have to embrace those thorns and you have to be reaching for that rose and that’s what we’re doing every day.”

Alabama is at home again next weekend, hosting the Arkansas Razorbacks on Feb. 14.