Alabama’s Peyton Ernst announced her retirement from the sport of gymnastics on Thursday.

“Today was the last day of my gymnastics career,” Ernst said. “Something that has been in my life for 19 of my 21 years has come to an end. I wouldn’t change any of the ups or downs I have had for anything because that has made me who I am today.”

Ernst, who battled injuries throughout her club and collegiate career, joined the Crimson Tide after competing for the University of Florida as a freshman. After sitting out the 2017 season due to NCAA transfer rules, she was a mainstay of Alabama’s balance beam lineup throughout the 2018 season.

“I want to thank Dana (Duckworth) and The University of Alabama for believing in me and giving me a chance to compete again,” Ernst said. “I am so thankful for the whole coaching staff at Alabama for all of their support and for giving me the choice to end my career how I wanted.”

After making her debut in Alabama’s competitive line up last season on the balance beam in a win against Georgia, Ernst posted a season-best score of 9.900 at Florida. She also helped Alabama to the 2018 NCAA Tuscaloosa Regional Championships, a runner-up finish at the Southeastern Conference Championships and a top-10 finish at the NCAA Championships.

“I am so proud of Peyton and so happy we were able to help her find her voice, her joy and her peace,” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “I’m also thrilled that she was able to finish her career on her terms with no regrets. She is such a special person and we look forward to supporting her in the next chapter of life.”

The Coppell, Texas, native is a two-time Scholastic All-American who carries a 3.7 cumulative grade point average. She is slated to graduate from the University in May.

A Senior International Elite gymnast during her club career, Ernst was a two-time member of U.S. Senior National Team and helped lead Team USA to gold at the Pacific Rim and City of Jesolo Trophy meets in 2014. Individually, she finished second in the all-around at the 2014 Jesolo Trophy meet as well as the Mexican Open and Tokyo World Cup in 2013. She was a member of the U.S. team that won the USA-Germany-Romania tri-meet and City of Jesolo Trophy meet in 2013.

For all the latest information on Alabama gymnastics, follow BamaGymnastics on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and head coach Dana Duckworth on Twitter and Instagram at @UACoachDana.

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