DULUTH, Ga. -- Despite falling behind early to No. 1 seed Florida, No. 3 Alabama took the lead after the third rotation, holding on to win its second consecutive SEC Championship. This is the Crimson Tide's ninth championship, tying Florida for second most overall. Georgia holds the record with 16.
"We have talked all season about protecting the legacy and we did that tonight," Alabama coach Dana Duckworth said. "Sarah and David paved the way for our success tonight. This was classic Alabama, a total team performance with everyone lifting each other up to reach a common goal."
The 2015 SEC championship featured five of the nation's top 10 teams, all marking scores above 196.00.
Tide gymnasts Kaitlyn Clark and Carley Sims led the Tide with 9.950 performances on the vault and floor exercise, respectively. Strong 9.90 scores on the uneven bars from Lauren Beers and Aja Sims helped Alabama stay in front of the Gators, whose strong start came unhinged after a 48.625 on the beam in the third rotation.
"We had an amazing start," explained Florida coach Rhonda Faehn. "It is the best that we've done on the first two events at any SEC Championship. We feel the pain right now because beam was awful. It has to be one of the toughest beam rotations I can remember in my history at Florida. That is the hard part. We knew our performance was stellar up until that point. It is very hard to recover from that type of performance. They fought hard on floor, but it was just too much to overcome."
Florida finished third overall (197.400) behind LSU (197.425).
No. 2 seed LSU finished second with the help of Llomincia Hall and Rheagan Courville, who tied for the overall all-around champion title with scores of 39.525. Courville also won a share of the vault title. Courville and teammate Myia Hambrick also won a share of the vault title with a score of 9.950. Llominicia Hall also won the share of an even title scoring a 9.975 in the floor exercise.
"We gave it away on beam," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "We did not have that intense focus that we needed to be solid, and Alabama started there and did better beam than we did. That was the difference in the meet. The beam tells the tale every time."
The 2015 SEC Gymnastics Championship was host to a crowd of 8,758 at The Arena at Gwinnett Center, the second largest crowd in the history of the league meet.
2015 SEC Gymnastics Championship (Duluth, Ga. - March 21, 2015)
|1||University of Alabama||197.525|
|2||Louisiana State University||197.450|
|3||University of Florida||197.400|
|5||University of Georgia||196.00|
|6||University of Arkansas||195.950|
|7||University of Missouri||195.700|
|8||University of Kentucky||195.025|
- All-Around Champions: Jessie Jordan, LSU - 39.525; Rheagan Courville, LSU - 39.525
- Vault Champions: Rheagan Courville, LSU - 9.950; Myia Hambrick, LSU - 9.950, Alex McMurtry, Florida - 9.950; Kytra Hunter, Florida - 9.950; Kaitlyn Clark, Alabama - 9.950.
- Bars Champion: Bridget Sloan, Florida - 10.00
- Beam Champion: Bridget Sloan, Florida - 9.950
- Floor Exercise Champions: Lloimincia Hall, LSU - 9.975; Kytra Hunter, Florida - 9.975