The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference
The Official Website of the Southeastern Conference

Alabama Finishes 2021 Season in Fifth

96 days ago
Alabama Athletics
Photo: Alabama Athletics

FORT WORTH, Texas - Alabama gymnastics won a pair of individual NCAA Championships Friday night during its semifinal session of the national championships, with Lexi Graber taking home the floor exercise title and Luisa Blanco winning the balance beam in Dickies Arena at Fort Worth, Texas.

Seeded seventh coming into the weekend, the Crimson Tide finished third in its session and closed the 2021 season in fifth place with a 197.575, just .025 behind Utah and advancing to Saturday's team finals.

Tonight's finish marked the Crimson Tide's 30th top-five national finish and first since finishing third in 2016. With this weekend's finish, Alabama and Utah remain the only two teams to never finish outside the top-12 in year-end national standings.

The Crimson Tide came into the national championships on the heels of a strong regional showing and its 10th Southeastern Conference Championship.

In a battle for one of the two berths available out of the semifinal session to Saturday's team finals throughout the night, Alabama closed with its best floor exercise score of the season, a 49.5875, it's highest score of the season on the event, paced by Graber's 9.9625.

Alabama opened the night on the vault with a 49.2875 led by Shallon Olsen's 9.9250, 9.8875 from Lexi Graber and a 9.875 from Mati Waligora in her return to the Tide's lineup. On the uneven bars, Blanco and Makarri Doggette led the Tide to a 49.3125 after scoring a 9.9375 and 9.9250, respectively. In addition to Blanco's 9.9625, Emily Gaskins and Alonza Klopfer both scored 9.875s to lead Alabama to a 49.3875 on the balance beam.