Alabama gymnast to compete at NCAA Championship Semifinals

Alabama gymnast Luisa Blanco performs a floor routine during the 2023 NCAA Gymnastics Regional at Lloyd Noble Center in Norman, OK on Saturday, Apr 1, 2023. Photo by Rodger Champion

By WVUA-23 Sports Reporter Juliet Brown

While the University of Alabama gymnastics team failed to reach the NCAA Championship, the Crimson Tide has one gymnast representing the Capstone in Fort Worth, Texas.  All-American Senior Luisa Blanco will compete as an individual on the uneven bars.

She scored a 9.975 on the event in the first round of the Norman Regional. She will rotate with the University of Utah when the Utes compete on the uneven bars.

Inside her career

Blanco could come back for a fifth year if she chooses to do so because of the extra year of eligibility granted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. She’s played an integral role in the success this Alabama team’s had during her time in Tuscaloosa.  She graduated early and arrived in December to start prepping for the 2020 season. Blanco made an impact immediately in the shortened COVID season. She competed in nine meets her freshman year, according to Blanco won three balance beam and two floor exercise titles.

In her sophomore year, Blanco earned her first career perfect score on the balance beam at the NCAA regionals. She earned first-team regular season All-American honors in the all-around, uneven bars, and beam for the regular season. Blanco received first-team championship All-American honors in the all-around, uneven bars, beam, and floor exercise.  She was also the second Alabama gymnast to win four individual titles in one meet.

In the 2022 season, Blanco led the team with 15 individual titles and earned first team championship All-American honors on the vault and balance beam at the NCAA Championship meet. She hurt herself at the SEC Championship which limited her to one event at the NCAA regionals. Blanco scored a 9.900 and a 9.825 on bars in the one event she competed at regional round which helped the team advance to Ft. Worth.

This past season, Blanco scored three perfect “10’s” on the balance beam; vs. LSU (Feb. 24), vs. Missouri (March 3), and vs. Auburn (Feb. 3). The three perfect scores gives her the most on the beam in program history (4). She finished the season ranked in the top 10 nationally on the beam, floor exercise and in the all-around.

How to watch

There will be an uneven bars only stream on ESPN+ which is where fans who specifically want to watch Blanco should go. The regular NCAA Championship with announcers will air on ESPN2 starting at 8 p.m.

Categories: Alabama, College Sports, Local News, Sports