FORT WORTH, Texas - The Alabama gymnastics team advanced to the NCAA Championships Super Six Team Final for the 22nd time Friday night in Fort Worth, Texas on the strength of a 197.3875 team score.
The top three teams from both semifinal sessions advanced to Saturday’s team finals. The Tide finished second in its semifinal session to advance along with first-place Oklahoma 197.7875 and third place UCLA, 196.7000. Earlier in the day it was all about the Southeastern Conference as Florida (197.475), LSU (197.3375) and Georgia (196.725) advanced out the first semifinal session.
MORE: Full Session 2 Results
The Crimson Tide went into the vault, its final rotation, just needing to be solid to advance to Saturday. Instead, Alabama was brilliant, posting a season-best 49.4875, paced by Katie Bailey’s 9.95, which earned the junior the individual NCAA vault championship. It was Alabama’s 26th individual NCAA title and fifth on the vault.
After starting the night on a bye, Alabama moved smoothly through its first event, scoring a 49.3125 on the uneven bars behind Bailey’s 9.9 and a 9.8875 from sophomore Mackenzie Brannan. Sophomore Kiana Winston led the way for Alabama on the balance beam, going 9.9 while junior Aja Sims went 9.8875, pacing the Tide to a 49.300 team score. The Tide then scored a 49.2875 on the floor exercise led by Winston’s 9.9 and a 9.8625 from Bailey and senior Carley Sims.
The NCAA Super Six Team Final gets underway at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast live on ESPNU as well as being streamed on WatchESPN.com and the WatchESPN app.