Derrian Gobourne

The Auburn gymnastics team will look to keep the momentum rolling against No. 7 LSU on Friday after the Tigers downed the Tide in dramatic fashion at home last weekend. 

It was only the second time that Auburn has beaten Alabama in gymnastics since 1979, with the first coming in 2016. 

"Well, it took us forty years to get to our second win in 2016. It's been a long time since Jimmy Carter was President," said Auburn coach Jeff Graba. "I love that we won, don't get me wrong, but I feel like it's more that in the locker room the team has to know that they're capable. They have to know that they can compete against everybody. 

"We kept talking all week that we wanted a close meet. A close meet sets us up for the end. The National Championship, the regional meets, the SEC Championship, it's going to be close. You're lucky if it's close. You want to have a tight meet, so we have to be good at it. We wanted a tight meet tonight and when you have a tight meet, when the pressure is on, and you have young people, they grow a lot. I feel like we have some home run hitters on this team and I think our freshman are coming a long."

The meet against the Tide came down to the last event, which saw sophomore Derrian Gobourne turn in a career-best performance with a score of 9.95 on the floor. That was enough to push the Tigers over the Tide 196.625 to 196.025. 

"I don’t put too much pressure on myself," said Gobourne. "Floor is an event that I can go all out on. It’s really not that hard for me. I just let it all out, and I love being in that position."

Junior Drew Watson competed in the all-around for the first time this season after Graba opted to use the first meet for additional experimentation of lineups. Watson won the overall title with a score of 39.425. 

"She's a phenomenal athlete. We need a one-two punch in the all-around and she's our superstar as well as Derrian," said Graba. 

Attention is now squarely on Friday's road meet with LSU, which won its first two meets, beating Arizona 195.725-195.025 at home and Georgia 196.725-196.150 on the road. 

Friday's meet will start at 7:15 p.m. and be televised on SEC Network.

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