Alabama Gymnastics Announces Luisa Blanco Injury
After the Bama gymnastics team won the NCAA Gymnastics Championships last weekend, the news broke of a serious injury to one of its best athletes: senior Luisa Blanco. Blanco, who had a major role in Alabama’s back-to-back 198-plus meet score totals, appeared to twist her ankle while landing on a floor routine. Trainers rushed to her aid, and she remained on the mat for some time. Bama fans waited for news of her recovery, and a trainer carried Blanco to the locker room. She didn’t go on stage to accept her award, and Duckworth asked if she wanted to sit down.
Jade Carey is the best gymnast in the country
Since her freshman year, Jade Carey has been dominant on every event. Despite her early reputation as a vault and floor specialist, Carey is currently the best gymnast in Alabama and has plans to compete at the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships in Fort Worth next month. Carey has been ranked among the nation’s top gymnasts on all events and will likely compete in the all-around final.
The University of Alabama has two ranked gymnasts: Simone Biles and Jade Carey. Biles ranked No. 1 in the individual all-around qualifying event. Jade Carey qualified for the final as the third-best gymnast from the U.S. team. Jade Carey also qualified for the individual all-around final, where she placed ninth overall. Her teammates on the team include Madi Dagen and Mia Takekawa.
Madi Dagen is the best gymnast in the country
The state of Alabama is not known for producing outstanding gymnasts, but the recent emergence of Madi Dagen may change that. While she was the defending SEC Gymnast of the Year in 2014, the junior has been on a tear ever since. She is the only gymnast in school history to earn multiple SEC titles. In addition, Madi Dagen is the best gymnast in Alabama.
Oregon State’s gymnasts were honored with honorable mention on vault, floor exercise and balance beam during this past season. Madi Dagen was named to the second team all-conference team on floor exercise and vault for the second consecutive season. The junior earned all-conference honors on all four events and also claimed four event titles. She will be competing at the NCAA Championships in June. She is one of only three women in the nation to earn all-conference honors on four occasions.
Luisa Blanco was a key contributor to Alabama’s back-to-back 198+ meet score totals
The tenth-ranked Crimson Tide women’s gymnastics team was a strong team all-around this meet. Three of the five members of the team scored 9.80 or less on balance beam. Florida’s Nya Reed added a perfect 10 on the floor exercise to lead the Gators. In a sellout Stephen C. O’Connell Center, the team cranked out two score totals over nineteen. While Blanco’s 9.950 score was the highest of any individual athlete, the crowd noise largely drowned out the competition.
Injuries have hit Bama’s gymnasts this season, with Makarri Doggette limited to one event since the Georgia meet. Luisa Blanco only competed on uneven bars at Regionals, while Sania Mitchell was out for the rest of the season. Still, head coach Dana Duckworth is optimistic about Blanco’s ability to compete on multiple events and a second straight week of competition.
Backup routines will carry the Tide through
There are plenty of questions about Alabama’s quarterback situation. First and foremost, it’s unclear if Alabama’s backup will be able to take the snaps. The team is not exactly stocked for this scenario. While starting quarterbacks usually don’t take many snaps, backups will have to step up. That’s an especially tough challenge when the starting quarterback is out with an injury.
Utah gymnastics team is ranked first in the nation
The Utah gymnastics team is ranked first in national rankings this season. The Utes are led by freshman Olympian Grace McCallum, who was ranked among the top-15 gymnasts nationally in each event. She tied for eighth on beam, 12th on floor, and 15th on vault. Sophomore Annalise Kocik, the team’s best gymnast, also helped lead the Utes to their first-ever NCAA championship.
The Utah gymnastics team will begin the 2022 season ranked fourth in the nation. The team has finished in the top five at the NCAA Championships four consecutive years, and is now fourth in the preseason coaches poll. Florida and Arizona are ranked ahead of Utah, but both teams are deep. This year, Utah has three members ranked in the top seven on every event. The Utah gymnastics team is one of the deepest in the country.