Florida at Alabama
|Full Results||Florida: 197.425||Alabama: 197.225|
|BB: Blanco, Skaggs
|FX: Baumann, Graber
|AA: Blanco 39.700|
The Big Storyline: A rocky start on bars and a warm-up injury to the top all-arounder in the country, Trinity Thomas, wasn’t enough to rattle the No.1 team from finishing the regular season undefeated. Alabama had a distinguished lead, but bars, beam and floor errors gave valuable tenths away. The Gators made a strong comeback after it tied its lowest event total score on bars by focusing on clean execution for the remainder of the competition. Florida was able to clinch the meet in the last rotation making them the lone SEC regular season champions. This is the Gators second consecutive undefeated regular-season.
Implications: Florida displayed grit and fight all the way through the competition. The Gators were tested early when Trinity Thomas injured both ankles in warmups and was pulled from the lineups as a precaution. But the team is one of the most prepared in the country and was able to sub athletes into each lineups. A healthy Thomas will be an important factor for postseason. Alabama has struggled with controlling landings on floor in 2021. If it wants to keep up with the Gators at SECs or even nationals, these landings will need to be fixed for the postseason. The all around title at nationals will be up for grabs, and Luisa Blanco shouldn’t be counted out. Blanco has had four stellar performances in a row and is a real contender for individual titles.
Records: Shania Adams had a career high 9.925 on bars.
Current Rankings: No. 1 Florida at No. 6 Alabama
Why You Should Cancel Plans for It: This SEC dual is the most anticipated competition of the weekend. Florida is coming off an NCAA-best score against Auburn. At its best the Gators might be unbeatable, but anything can happen on any given day. The Crimson Tide is on a hot streak in the SEC and could threaten Florida’s undefeated regular season. Trinity Thomas has hit perfection for the Gators multiple times this season and is a favorite for the all around title, but Alabama sophomore Luisa Blanco has produced career best scores in her all around campaign over the past two weeks.
What We’re Watching: Florida clinched a share of the SEC regular season title last weekend, but Alabama could claim the other half of that title with a win this weekend.
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Florida is ranked No. 1 on every event with the switch to NQS rankings. This is the first time a team has topped every event in a single week since 2017. Sydney Johnson-Scharpf returned to training for Florida this week after a two week absence due to COVID-19 protocols. It is unknown if she’ll see action this weekend. Alabama will be celebrating senior night and honoring one of the program’s best in Lexi Graber. Graber has a stellar vault and floor routine that could be highlights of the meet. Alonza Klopfer is the other senior on the 2021 team and has one of the best lead-off routines in the country.
- Video Type: SECN+
- Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/037d03c8-e943-4b82-aabd-b4bc734865d5#bucketId=1
- Scores: http://stats.statbroadcast.com/statmonitr/?id=325032
- Live Blog: http://collegegymnews.com/2021/03/05/live-blog-no-1-florida-at-no-6-alabama/
- Live Blog Editor: Jenna