Alabama Gymnastics Gives Glimpse at 2020 Season During Crimson and White Preview

Alabama Athletics

Allie Wright

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — "Vibrant" was theme Wednesday night when the Alabama gymnastics team held its equivalent to a scrimmage or preseason game with its annual Crimson and White Preview at Coleman Coliseum. 

The squad worked through four different routines as it gave a preview for the new 2020 season. 

“Our goal for the season is to just leave nothing behind. This is the hardest working team I have ever been a part of,” senior Shea Mahoney said. “They are a close-knit group of girls. I just hope we continue to be close because we will be pretty unstoppable if we do.”

The night wasn't all about scoring, though, as each gymnast was able to answer an interview question throughout the evening. The new freshman also got a chance to introduce themselves to fans.

“Our team has two sides. One side is always in the gym and super focused, leave everything at the door. We have a circle outside of the door and we slap it to leave everything outside of the gym. We are ready to work” sophomore Griffin James said. “We also we have a very vibrant and fun group of girls. We love to be together Whenever I have a bad day they just turn everything around.”

The beginning of the evening was marked with a “Thorns and Transformation” video as a few gymnasts shared the “rose,” or goal, they want to achieve this season.

The first round consisted of a few bar and vault routines. Mahoney was the first to go on the vault, finishing with a whopping score of 9.9 from the exhibition judges. Junior Kylie Dickson also got time on the vault before freshman Mati Waligora introduced her new routine on the bars. 

The first round ended with Junior Lexi Graber landing a 9.85 on the vault and sophomore Shallon Olsen scoring a 9.9.

The second round started with Dickson doing her uneven bar routine for a score of 9.875. Sophomore Jensie Givens also performed her bar routine, finishing with a 9.85.

The end of the second round featured freshman Makarri Doggette and Mahoney on the bars, and both finished with a 9.9.

The third event was the balance beam, with Olsen and Graber both sticking their landing. Junior Alonza Klopfer also showed off her beam routine.

The fourth and final event was floor exercise. Throughout all routines the crowd was encouraged to cheer on the gymnast, which was heard during Mahoney’s routine. James also performed on floor as well as Graber and Olsen.

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“I hope we use tonight as a starting point for realizing what we’re capable of,” Crimson Tide coach Dana Duckworth said. “It was wonderful getting some of the freshmen out there and getting their feet wet. We have a lot of gymnastics to add and we’re still working on getting everyone healthy, but we had a nice base out there tonight to build on going into the season.”

Alabama visits Auburn for its first meet of the season on Jan. 10 starting at 8 p.m. CT. 

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