LIVE BLOG: No. 7 Alabama at No. 14 Auburn

Tonight, the Alabama Crimson Tide visits the Auburn Tigers. Neville Arena will host the Iron Bowl of gymnastics, a tale as old as time. Alabama secured the win in Tuscaloosa last year, but the Tigers have home advantage this year. Will the Crimson Tide repeat or will the Tigers be the victors of the Iron Bowl at home?

Alabama fell to Kentucky last week, making the win Kentucky’s first road win at Alabama in program history. Some small, uncharacteristic mistakes on bars and two large errors on beam ultimately led to the loss. Despite the loss, the Crimson Tide looked good overall and came back with a fantastic floor rotation. Hopefully, the Crimson Tide can clean up some landings this week and look like the Alabama team we all know and love.

Auburn is coming off a home quad meet win where they hosted Fisk, Temple, and Talladega. The Tigers posted a season-high of 197.425. They swept the event titles with scores of 9.9s or higher and Cassie Stevens took home the all-around title. The Tigers have looked pretty solid this season and I hope they continue this upward trend.

Rotation 1: Auburn VT, Alabama UB

The Arkansas/Florida meet ran a little over so there are a few routines I’ve missed sadly.

Hollingsworth (Aub): Yurchenko 1.5, pretty in the air.

Lacoursiere (Bama): Maloney to pak, nice form. Aggressive giants and handstands. Full twisting double back dismount, studdered a little to eliminate a knee hyperextension.

Huff (Aub): A beautiful Yurchenko 1.5, stuck cold!

Machado (Bama): Nice pak. Pretty form throughout. Toe-on full to double back, stuck.

Hubbard (Aub): Yurchenko 1.5, a little underrotated and takes a small hop back.

Huge Tkatchev. Nice pak. Looks really strong throughout. Double layout to finish, anticipated the landing a little and takes a small step.

Stevens (Aub): Yurchenko 1.5, slight shoulder angle on take-off but finishes great and fights for the stick.

Blanco (Bama): Nice high release. Pretty form throughout but seems a bit rushed in this routine. A little too much sauce on the dismount and takes a step back.

After 1: Auburn 49.500 Alabama 49.175

As I previously mentioned, I unfortunately missed the first four routines but I can only imagine they were as strong as the rest of the lineups. The Tigers looked really good and stayed aggressive. The Tigers were going for the sticks and finished strong on vault, scoring a season-high. The Crimson Tide was also aggressive on bars. This already looks to be a fantastic and close meet!

Rotation 2: Auburn UB, Alabama VT

Gladieux (Bama): Nice Yurchenko 1.5, the smallest of steps taken.

Brusch: Toe-hand to Maloney, solid. Pretty pak but not my favorite. Nice lines and form. Double layout, small step back.

LaCoursiere (Bama): Yurchenko 1.5, STUCK.

Pretty piked Jaeger. Immediately followed by a bail to handstand. Beautiful full twisting double back, stuck!

Hudson (Bama): Yurchenko 1.5, couldn’t quite get enough height to get the vault around and saves the fall but takes a lot of steps back.

Groth (Aub): Nice Ray to start. Pretty Pak. Blind full to double back, handstand at the start was a short but a pretty dismount overall.

Blanco (Bama): Yurchenko 1.5, beautiful in the air and another stuck cold vault for the Tide.

McLaughlin (Aub): Maloney to Pak, nice. Pretty half pirouette. A little loose leading up to the dismount. Blind full to double back, small hop.

Sears (Bama): Yurchenko full, slight leg separation in the air and small step on landing.

Stevens (Aub): Toe-handstand to Ray, nice height. Goes immediately into a Pak, a little loose but pretty. Double layout, little leg separation in the air but gets the stick.

Doggette (Bama): Yurchenko full, slight slide back but solid.

Greaves (Aub): Pretty piked Ray straight to a Pak. Toe-on Shaposh half, a little short on handstand but great connection. Full twisting double back, almost stuck. So, so glad to finally see her in the lineups after injury. A great second routine for her!

After 2: Auburn 98.725 Alabama 98.625

Alabama had a great vault rotation, aside from Lily Hudson’s uncharacteristic hiccup. The Crimson Tide earned a season high on vault! The Tigers had a fantastic bars rotation. Both teams look poised and calm as we head into the third rotation.

Rotation 3: Auburn BB, Alabama FX

Zancan (Aub): Switch leap switch half, nice lines and form. Pretty dance into beat jump. Ro 1.5, stuck. She’s one of my favorite freshman this year.

Waligora (Bama): Front layout to front double full, nice form and height. Tour jete half to wolf full, shows great flexibility and posture. Takes a small step out of her side aerial. Ro 1.5 to front layout, stuck. A great start for the Crimson Tide!

Brusch (Aub): Switch half beat jump, solid. Nice full turn. Bhs loso, nice height and control. Straddle 3/4, small balance check. Side gainer full, small slide.

Machado (Bama): Ro bhs double back, super high and stuck. Nice wolf turns. Ro 1.5 front layout, pretty. Switch leap switch half, pretty lines. I love how elegant she makes everything look.

Hollingsworth (Aub): Nice full turn. Bhs loso, solid. Has a large bobble on her switch half. Super pretty switch leap straddle 1/4. Side gainer full, almost stuck.

Burgess (Bama): Ro bhs double pike, nice height. Ro bhs double back, small foot movement. Switch side half straddle full, pretty. Front full front layout, slightly underrotated and steps backwards.

Groth (Aub): Bhs loso bhs, nice. Pretty leaps and lines. Nice full turn. Side gainer full, stuck.

Hudson (Bama): Nice first pass, small step to the side. Switch leap switch leap, nice posture and form. Ro bhs double back, stuck. Pretty tour jete full to end.

Stevens (Aub): Beautiful bhs loso. Pretty split jump double stag jump, just shy of 180. Nice full turn. AHHHH the Stevens. A stuck dismount to finish a great routine.

Gladieux (Bama): A little underroatated on first pass and takes a huge step forward. Punch front layout Rudi to split jump, nice height. Not sure what happened in the middle of her routine as ESPN froze for a sec.

McLaughlin (Aub): Pretty bhs loso. Side aerial split jump, small balance check. Switch leap split leap, back leg seemed a little low. Front gainer pike, small step back.

Blanco (Bama): Huge ro bhs double pike to open. Ro bhs double back, a little too much sauce on that one and takes a sizeable step back. Fhs front full front layout, nice height and great way to end floor for the Crimson Tide.

After 3: Auburn 148.200 Alabama 147.825

Both teams looked soooo good on each event. I get the feeling the Tigers might run away with this one (which make Auburn Athletics undefeated in the Iron Bowl for 2023-2024 *insert eyeballs emoji here*.) However, both teams are heading into their best events…may the best routines win!

Rotation 4: Auburn FX, Alabama BB

Gladieux (Bama): Bhs layout, love that she does a two footed layout. Front aerial beat jump, pretty. Nice full turn. Nice extension in leaps and dance. Ro 1.5, small step.

Brusch (Aub): Front through to double back, nice height. Pretty leaps. Huge ro bhs double pike, small studder. Great routine to leadoff.

Rybicki (Bama): Nice full turn. Bhs loso, soft arms in bhs and missed the landing after loso, fought hard but ultimately falls off. Cat leap straddle half, didn’t quite get all the way around. Switch leap straddle 1/4, nice extension. Ro 1.5, small step.

Hagle (Aub): Ro 1.5 front full, great height and posture. Tour jete half straddle full, so pretty. Double wolf turn, I hate these but hers is so nice to watch. Huge ro bhs double back to finish.

Waligora (Bama): Bhs loso, small foot wiggle. Pretty side aerial. Split jump tuck full, love the ease and control. Nice ro 1.5, stuck. A great comeback routine for the Crimson Tide.

Groth (Aub): HUGE fhs front double full, just gorgeous. Solid leap series. Ro 1.5 to front layout, small foot adjustment. Fhs Rudi, stuck.

Burgess (Bama): Bhs loso, pretty. Side aerial, huge balance check and grabs behind her legs but stays on the beam. Cat leap to switch side, nice height and extension. Front gainer pike, small step forward.

McLaughlin (Aub): I LOVE this routine. Ro 1.5 front layout, beautiful in the air. Switch half wolf full, pretty with great extension. Ro bhs double pike, stuck cold. That should be a big score for the Tigers.

Hudson (Bama): Front aerial bhs, love the confidence and aggressiveness. Nice full turn. Switch leap split leap, chest seemed a little low but pretty in the air. Switch half, small balance check. Ro 1.5, small hop.

Stevens (Aub): Front layout Rudi, front layout looked a little low but the Rudi was super high. Great leap series. Love the Stevens in her floor routine too! Ro bhs double back, great height and landing. The Gymnasties LOVE her routine.

Blanco (Bama): Beautiful front aerial. Nice full turn. She looks very solid so far! Bhs loso loso, ahhh a fantastic triple series…my FAVORITE. Switch leap beat jump, over 180 and great lines. Ro 1.5, digs her toes into the mat and fights for the stick. A great routine to close out Alabama tonight!

Hollingsworth (Aub): Ro bhs full-in, a sky high opening pass. Nice switch half Popa, I love a good Popa:) Front through to double back to finish. Another great routine for the Tigers.

FINAL: Auburn 197.725 Alabama 197.050

Even though Alabama had some rough spots tonight, the Crimson Tide pulled it together at the end of every rotation with strong routines. With that being said, the Auburn Tigers will take the victory tonight, scoring a season-high final score. This means that Auburn Athletics is undefeated in the Iron Bowl so far this year. Overall, this was a great meet and I had lots of fun with this one!


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Live blog by Jessica Brock

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