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Crimson Tide makes big move in gymnastics rankings

Alabama gymnastics jumped eight spots in the latest rankings. After being tied for 17th in the nation last week, the Crimson Tide now checks in at No. 9. Its average score – now 195.942 after three meets – improved by 0.479.

The season-high 196.9 Alabama used to defeat then-No. 10 Georgia on the road last Friday is far better than the 194.75 UA posted in its season opener.

“One thing I love about this team is, as hard as the first meet was because we did not perform to what we thought we were going to, it may have been a blessing,” UA coach Dana Duckworth said Monday. “I’ve had them change choreography. I’ve had them do some different tumbling passes. I’ve had them try different things. We as a coaching staff have been working on their presentation, on them selling, on them sticking.

“All the attention to detail, it’s almost like we’ve become even more hypersensitive to it because we started kind of in a hole, right? And everything is about your score in college, not necessarily the wins and losses. So the goal is to optimize and maximize our score every single week.”

And the Crimson Tide has done that. Its overall score has improved each meet. Every event score last week marked a new high, too.

Alabama is now ranked fifth on the vault (49.175), eighth on the floor exercise (49.15) and 10th on the uneven bars (49.092). The balance beam is the only apparatus Alabama is not in the top 10, 20 or 30. It’s 37th, averaging a 48.525.

But even with beam coming in much lower than the other events, the Crimson Tide has drastically increased its score. Week 1 saw a 47.7. Week 2 had a 48.675. Last week was a 49.2. That’s a 1.5-point increase.

Out of the 13 gymnasts who have competed, freshman Shallon Olsen is the only member of the Crimson Tide currently ranked within the top 10 individually. She is 10th on vault with a 9.883 average.

Alabama hosts No. 5 LSU (196.825) Friday at 8 p.m. in Coleman Coliseum. The Tigers are third on bars (49.408), fifth on both beam (49.125) and floor (49.217) and then eighth on vault (49.075).

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