Alabama wins 11th straight NCAA Gymnastics Regional, advances to 33rd straight national championship
The head coach has changed, but the streak of domination for Alabama in NCAA gymnastics regional competitions continued.
The Crimson Tide, scoring a 197.525, won its 11th straight regional championship in Dana Duckworth's first season in charge and advanced to its 33rd straight NCAA Championships with the regional win at Auburn Arena.
It's Alabama's 30th overall regional title.
Auburn also advanced to the championships, held from April 17-19 in Fort Worth, Texas, finishing second with a 196.9. The Tigers earned their first NCAA Championships berth since 2003. The top two teams in all six regionals across the country advanced to the NCAA Championships.
"These ladies, it was a complete and total team effort," Duckworth said. "We had some amazing things happen. We focus on one thing at a time. We focus on the word 'unbreakable.' Tonight in the locker room, we said, 'let's have unbreakable joy, unbreakable belief and unbreakable love.' I felt that's what we did."
It was also Alabama's 114th straight win over Auburn in competitions. Maryland finished third at 195.150, Minnesota fourth at 195.025, Iowa fifth with a 194.625 and George Washington sixth at 194.150.
Alabama's Lauren Beers won the all-around with a 39.575 and won floor (9.9) and beam (9.925). Alabama swept the individual honors, as Kaitlyn Clark win bars (9.925) and Mackenzie Brannon won floor (9.925).
Alabama started with a 49.35 on the uneven bars and went into its first bye after scoring 49.5 on the beam.
The Crimson Tide finished with a 49.3 on its third rotation, the floor exercise, taking a 148.15 score into its final rotation.
There, Alabama scored a 49.425 on the vault to finish with 197.525. Alabama knew it had won before the final rotation of the meet, where the Crimson Tide had a bye.
"Dana came over and told us we had done it again," Beers said. "We were protecting a legacy. I think, just that theme this year has really stuck with us. We wanted to go out there and do what Alabama gymnasts have done the last 30 years, which is be amazing girls and amazing gymnasts."
Duckworth noted the strong Alabama support at Auburn arena. The crowd was mostly orange and blue, but three buses of 150 supporters from the Medalist Club made the trip as well as fans who traveled on their own.
"It just goes to show the love for Alabama gymnastics," Duckworth said. "Crimson was everywhere, and that's what we wanted tonight."