The University of Alabama gymnastics team held its final practice of the 2017 season on Thursday in preparation for the NCAA Championships on Friday and Saturday in St. Louis.
The individual and all-around titles will be determined during Friday’s two semifinals, with the top three teams advancing to the Super Six when the team title will be decided.
“It’s kind of a bittersweet feeling because this is what we worked for and we’re looking forward to nationals, but you don’t want it to be over,” junior Mackenzie Brannan said.
The meet will have a podium setup inside Chaifetz Arena, which means the equipment is raised off the stadium floor, which Alabama prefers.
Regardless of the outcome this will be the final meet for six Crimson Tide seniors: Katie Bailey, Amanda Jetter, Keely McNeer, Mary Lillian Sanders, Aja Sims and Mackenzie Valentin.
Bailey is the reigning national vault champion and junior Kiana Winston was the only Alabama gymnast to participate in the all-around during the Morgantown Regional.
NCAA Gymnastics Championships, times, details
Semifinal #1: Friday, 1 p.m. ET
Teams: No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Utah, No. 5 UCLA, No. 8 Oregon State, No. 9 Denver, No. 13 Washington. Top three teams advance.
Semifinal #2: Friday, 8 p.m. ET
Teams: No. 2 LSU, No. 3 Florida, No. 6 Alabama, No. 7 Michigan, No. 10 Georgia, No. 14 Nebraska. Top three teams advance
Super Six: Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
Location: Chaifetz Arena, St. Louis, Mo.
What’s the best way to keep up with the Alabama at the NCAA Championships?
EPSN will show the entire meet on three of its networks:
- Semifinal #1: ESPN2, 1 p.m. ET
- Semifinal #2: ESPNU, 8 p.m, ET, ESPN will join at 9 p.m.
- Super Six: ESPNU, 9 p.m. ET
Live scoring is expected to be available on NCAA.com, and Alabama will provide frequent updates on Twitter at @BamaGymnastics
What you should know
- Alabama has faced every team in its semifinal minus Nebraska. It defeated Florida and Georgia during their regular-season matchups, but lost to LSU. It placed second behind Michigan at the Morgantown Regional two weeks ago, but still advanced to the NCAA meet for the 35th straight year.
- Alabama is in the evening semifinal for the ninth straight year.
- The Crimson Tide will begin the meet on floor exercise and immediately go to vault in the second rotation before having its first bye. It’ll begin the second half of the session on the uneven bars before closing on balance beam and having another bye during the sixth rotation — when Michigan is on vault, Georgia is on bars, LSU is on beam and Florida is on floor.
- Top-seeded Oklahoma is the reigning national champion. No. 2 LSU finished second last year.
- This is the 25th year of the Super Six. Alabama has participated in 22 of the first 24.