One season ago Alabama gymnast, Luisa Blanco, anchored the beam lineup at the Southeastern Conference Championship. With a score of 9.950, Banco clinched the win over the LSU Tigers.

Coming into the weekend, Alabama hoped to have a repeat performance. This year's SEC Championship had a heartbreaking ending, however.

It was like deja vu as Blanco mounted the balance beam, anchoring the final rotation. She performed like she had ice in her veins as usual. Blanco hit every tumbling pass and leap series. The only thing left was the dismount.

Blanco looked to twist her ankle on the landing and immediately fell to the floor. The whole arena went silent. Head Coach Dana Duckworth and the Alabama trainers immediately ran to her. Blanco stayed on the mat for awhile. Bama fans were holding their breath waiting to see if she'd be okay.

After about 10 minutes, one of the trainers carried her to the locker room. The crowd gave her a standing ovation. Blanco did not go on stage for awards. Duckworth said she asked Blanco if she wanted to sit down while the rest of the team was on stage for awards but she declined.

"She said 'no I wanna hug my girls,' so here she is in pain and hurting, but she still wants to be there for her girls," Duckworth said.

Alabama fans hope Blanco will be okay because her performances are normally the most consistent. With post-season coming up fast, Tide fans can only hope Blanco's injury is minor.

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While Alabama has many veterans on the team and a lot of depth, Blanco was a key piece in their success this year. She was a consistent all-arounder and a reliable gymnast. The team knew what they were getting for the most part when Blanco took the floor. Not only is Blanco a consistent and beautiful gymnast, but she embodies the heart of this Alabama gymnastics team.

"She is an example of fierce grace," Duckworth said. "She puts it out there everyday. She gives everything she has in every single performance, every meet, every week, every routine."

Hopefully Blanco is able to recover and compete in Regionals which start March 31 and go through April 2.


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