Auburn, AL(EETV)- The No. 13 Tigers defeated the No. 10 Crimson Tide for the second time in 40 years in Auburn Arena.
The sold out home opener of the 2020 season gave the team first place awards in all categories and an overall score of 196.625-196.025.
The close victory came mainly from the success of Auburn’s floor exercises which led the Tigers to soar over Alabama after the Tide fell short in some of their beam routines.
With a team of eight new comers the veterans set the tone for taking on a big rival and starting SEC matchups. The top scorers of the night all came from the Tigers and returning gymnasts.
Derrian Gobourne scored first in both bars and floor exercise. For the uneven parallel the NCAA vault regional and championship standout scored 9.925 and continued to dominate in the floor exercise with a score 9.950, followed by a standing ovation from the crowd to end the night.
The sophomore set a new career high in bars, and during the post-game press conference Skyler Sheppard explained Gobourne’s role and success on the team.
“I know when Derrian goes it’s going to be show. I love standing in that corner and being the first person to congratulate her because that’s what she deserves. She’s a one of a kind athlete,” said Sheppard who also took a first place award for her balance beam routine.
Drew Watson won first place in the all-around results with a score of 39.425. The junior competed in the all-around competition for the first time during her collegiate career and also received first in vault (9.900).
“Drew Watson and Derrian are our superstars. Watson is really the grit at the top of the lineup,” said head coach Jeff Graba.
The meet seemed to be back to back between the two rivals. Both teams had hiccups, and Alabama started out strong in the beam category with an overall score of 49.175 against Auburn’s 49.075.
In end the Tigers were able to gain their first win of the season with the help of their key players despite the moments they came in behind.
“We need some practice. We need to calm down. We’re exhausted,” stated Graba after the team had a quick turnaround from preseason meets.
Auburn gymnastics will take on LSU in Baton Rouge on Jan. 17 in hope to gain another early win this season. The SEC matchup can be seen on the SEC Network at 7:30 p.m. CT.