Alabama Gymnastics Third in the NCAA Super Six Team Final
The Alabama gymnastics team finished third at the 2016 NCAA Championships Saturday night in Fort Worth, Texas with a 197.4375 team score. Oklahoma took home its second team title with a 197.675 while LSU was second with a 197.450.
“What an amazing experience,” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “That’s what a championship is supposed to look like.
The meet came down the wire with the top four teams separated by two-tenths of a point heading into the final rotation. No one blinked, but the Sooners used a 49.575 on the floor exercise to separate themselves from the pack. The remaining three teams competing in the final rotation finished within one-tenth of point from one another.
“That was a very tough competition and we knew it was going to be a tough competition coming in,” Duckworth said. “What we’re most proud of is how our ladies just trusted themselves.”
Texas native Nickie Guerrero, a sophomore, closed out the Crimson Tide’s balance beam rotation and the championships with a huge 9.95 which propelled Alabama past fourth place Florida (197.350). UCLA (196.825) and Georgia (196.8125) rounded out the top six.
“To close out on beam and to finish as strong as we started, going 49.450 and having our last athlete go 9.95, the highest score of the meet – that kind of fight, that kind of drive on the last event, on beam – I could not be more proud of our ladies and the grit they showed tonight.”
Alabama is now the only team in the country to finish in the top four at the NCAA Championships the last eight years in a row.
“We had fun, we were dancing, we made it exciting and we were here at the Super Six with a chance to win a national championship and that’s our goal every year,” Duckworth said.
Alabama started the night on the floor exercise, scoring a 49.375 powered by 9.9s from sophomore Kiana Winston and senior Lauren Beers. On the vault, Beers’ 9.9 paced the Tide to a 49.325, which tied for the second-highest vault score of the night.
On the uneven bars, 9.8875s from sophomore Mackenzie Brannan and Winston drove the Tide to 49.2875. Guerrero’s 9.95 on the beam pushed Alabama to a 49.450 team score, the highest of the meet.
This was the Crimson Tide’s 34th consecutive NCAA Championship appearance and its NCAA-best 22nd Super Six berth.