FORT WORTH, Texas - The Alabama gymnastics team closed its season Thursday in the NCAA Championships Semifinals after scoring a 197.100 and taking fourth place in the first of two sessions at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas.
While Alabama's final national ranking will be determined following the second semifinal session, the Tide is guaranteed to finish in the top eight by virtue of advancing to NCAA Championships' final site. Alabama made its 38th appearance as a team at the final site, a total matched by Florida, with only Utah having been to more.
Alabama has now posted 37 top-eight finishes since NCAA competition began in 1982 and the Tide and Utah are the only two programs to finish in the top-12 nationally in the final rankings every year since NCAA gymnastic' inaugural season.
Luisa Blanco tied for the top score of the session on the balance beam and will have to wait until after the second semifinal to see if she defended her 2021 NCAA beam title.
Head Coach Dana Duckworth Said
"This team loves one another; they are so close, and they have gelled in such a unique and wonderful way. They have gone through so much, overcoming adversity, including thriving during a global pandemic and have gone through the adventures of this season, the ups and downs, and that's bonded them together. As a team, these women have built resilience, faith and confidence in who they are together and apart, and that's been so, so wonderful to watch. We have enjoyed an extraordinary season, putting up some of the best performances and scores in school history. And while this isn't the way we wanted to close out 2022, I am super proud of what these women came together to accomplish and who they have become during the journey."
Alabama in the NCAA Championships Semifinals
- The Crimson Tide opened its semifinal session with a 49.200 on the uneven bars, led by Luisa Blanco's 9.875
- Alabama turned in a 49.325 on the balance beam, with Ella Burgess opening the rotation with a 9.8875 while Shania Adams posted her fourth 9.900-or-better beam score in a row, going 9.900
- Blanco closed out the balance beam with a 9.9375, which tied for the top score of Semifinal I
- The Tide went 49.450 on the floor exercise, led by a 9.9125 from Lilly Hudson and Graber's 9.925 in the anchor spot
- Graber closed her Crimson Tide career with a dozen floor exercise scores of 9.900-or-better in a row this season
- Alabama finished with a 49.125 on the vault paced by a 9.9125 from Blanco and a 9.875 in the leadoff spot from Shallon Olsen