By (Terrin Waack)

The No. 4 University of Alabama gymnastics team, along with its opponents at the 2016 SEC Championships, waited – and then waited some more – for the judges to announce Florida’s Bridgette Caquotta’s floor exercise score. It would determine Saturday’s outcome. The Crimson Tide had already locked in its final overall score of 197.750, a season best, and needed Caquotta to score anything below a 9.850 in order to claim its third consecutive conference title.

But, Caquotta earned a 9.875, clinching the title for No. 2 Florida with an overall score of 197.775. Alabama fell by 0.025, taking second. The Gators now have 10 SEC titles to their name, surpassing Alabama’s nine.

Also in attendance were two teams made up of Tigers. No. 3 LSU finished with a 197.500, taking third, and No. 6 Auburn finished with a 196.950.

Earlier this season, Auburn snapped Alabama’s 117-winning streak over the Tigers, but with Auburn falling in fourth on Saturday while Alabama claimed second, the Crimson Tide restarted its streak.

Saturday’s meet also marked Alabama’s ninth consecutive year finishing either first or second at the SEC Championships, and the Crimson Tide had a gymnast place in each event.

On the vault, Mackenzie Brannan tied for first with Florida’s Kennedy Baker with 9.950s, and Jenna Bresette, making her postseason debut and the only Alabama freshman to compete Saturday, took third with a 9.900.

Alabama started the meet off on the balance beam and Keely McNeer ended up placing fourth with a 9.900.

Falling behind LSU’s Ashleigh Gnat who scored her sixth perfect 10 this season Saturday, Kiana Winston placed second on the floor exercise with a 9.950.

Finally, on the uneven bars, where Alabama finished the meet, Katie Bailey and Winston tied for first with a pair of 9.950s. Brannan came in third with a 9.925, and she also came in third in the all-around competition, scoring a 39.575.

Earlier in the day, there was an afternoon session in which Georgia posted a 196.840, Arkansas finished with a 196.500, Kentucky scored a 196.250 and Missouri had a 195.750.

Next up, Alabama returns home to host one of the six 2016 NCAA Regionals on April 2. Who Alabama will compete against will be announced on Monday, March 21.

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Source:: The Crimson White Sports