Usually, when traveling to a meet, Alabama gymnasts are off in their own worlds, watching movies or television shows on their phones or tablets, studying or napping. Thursday, on the way to Huntsville, Ala., for the Elevate the Stage meet’s practice day, things were different.

The team bus had the Southeastern Conference men’s basketball tournament on, and everyone was glued to the Alabama-Texas A&M game. And when Crimson Tide rookie Collin Sexton raced coast-to-coast and finger-rolled the ball into the basket as time expired for the win, the entire bus exploded in cheers.

“That was such an exciting game and our ladies were so pumped up to see Avery (Johnson) and his guys work so hard and get the win,” UA head coach Dana Duckworth said. “That bus got really loud there at the end.”

An hour later, Duckworth and her team were on the floor of the Von Braun Center, practicing for Friday night’s fourth-annual Elevate the Stage meet against the Auburn Tigers.

Tickets for the meet, which gets underway at 7 p.m. CT, can be purchased online at or at the Von Braun Center (VBC) box office.

On Friday, all four apparatus will be competed on a raised platform, known as a podium in gymnastics circles. In addition to spotlighting the competitors, it also gives the equipment a little extra bounce. It is the same setup that the gymnasts will see at both the SEC and NCAA Championships.

Alabama and Auburn have already met once this season, with the Crimson Tide taking the win 197.300-195.400. It will be Alabama’s first neutral-site meet of the season.

After the Elevate meet, Alabama returns to Coleman Coliseum on March 16 at 7:30 p.m. for its regular-season finale against No. 1 Oklahoma. Tickets for Tide's home meets are available through the Alabama Ticket Office (205.348.2262), located in the lobby of Coleman Coliseum, and online at

More From Tide 100.9