Best Routines: Elevate The Stage Birmingham

Ari Guerra

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Elevate the Stage Birmingham was one of many sporting events around the world forced to cancel due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

We're bringing you a message from the Elevate team along with a collection of the top routines from the past few years of Auburn-Alabama Elevate the Stage meets. 

In light of the unprecedented situation our world is currently facing with COVID-19, our team had to make a decision beyond our control and on Thursday, March 12 cancel Elevate the Stage Birmingham 2020. The cancellation of both the NCAA competition between Alabama and Auburn, and the JO/Xcel competition, scheduled for March 13-15, 2020, came as a result of the Southeastern Conference’s decision on March 12, 2020 to cancel all collegiate competition (at the time) until March 30, 2020 as well as USA Gymnastics’ decision on March 12, 2020 to cancel events and event sanctions (again, at the time) at least through the end of March.

This decision broke our hearts. Just as our team has worked for over a year to plan and build this event for athletes and fans, we know how much your athletes train and prepare for Elevate the Stage and how much they and our fans look forward to the event each year. Despite this year’s cancellation, we promise to continue working towards our goal: “Our ultimate goal for Elevate the Stage is to provide young gymnasts up-close examples of what happens when you are dedicated and disciplined in your efforts to evolve in the sport, and to give collegiate competitors an environment that feels like that of a national championship.” Kayla Williams

Our team is focused on the future, and is now hard at work preparing for Elevate the Stage 2021. For those competing at the J.O. / Xcel levels, and for those who are collegiate gymnastics fans, we hope you join us in 2021. Next year’s dates, locations, and college meets will be announced soon and we encourage you to join our email list in order to ensure you’re the first to know when our announcements are made.

Though the world, and our gymnastics community, is facing unprecedented times, we want to still celebrate the sport we love. Take a look below as FloGymnastics highlights the best routines from past Elevate the Stage Birmingham meets featuring Alabama and Auburn women’s gymnastics teams.

2016

Lexus Demers, Auburn, vault

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In 2016, Auburn senior Lexus Demers nailed her Yurchenko full for a 9.875, tying for first place with Alabama’s Mackenzie Brannan, despite a 0.05-lower start value.

Keely McNeer, Alabama, uneven bars

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Alabama scored a season-best 49.200 on the uneven bars at Elevate Birmingham in 2016, thanks to this standout performance by junior Keely McNeer. She tied with Auburn’s Kiana Winston for first place with a 9.875.

Lauren Beers, Alabama, balance beam

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The only athlete to break a 9.900 on balance beam at Elevate in 2016, Alabama senior Lauren Beers catapulted the Crimson Tide to another season-best event score with this beautiful routine. 

Angelina Giancroce, Alabama, floor

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Competing in one of her first major collegiate meets, freshman Angelina Giancroce stepped up to the plate with this knockout floor performance, sharing a first-place finish with two other Alabama teammates. 

2018

Nickie Guerrero, Alabama, vault

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Following a hard fall from Shea Mahoney earlier in the lineup, senior Nickie Guerrero anchored for the Crimson Tide with this dynamic Yurchenko 1.5. The vault earned her a 9.875 and a first-place finish alongside shared first-place finish with teammate Abby Armbrecht.

Gracie Day, Auburn, uneven bars

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Sophomore Gracie Day performed this stunning bar routine to set a new career-best 9.950, which helped elevate the Tigers to a season-high 49.400 on the uneven bars. Her score — one of the highest of the entire competition — earned her the event title.

Abby Milliet, Auburn, floor

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The highest floor score of the competition went to redshirt junior Abby Milliet, whose elegance and beauty on this event were unmatched. She anchored with a career-high 9.950, capping off a solid floor rotation for Auburn.

Lexi Graber, Alabama, balance beam

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Seemingly unfazed by a fall in the lead-off spot, Alabama’s Lexi Graber delivered this solid beam routine for a 9.900. Her score helped the team finish strong and secure its fourth-straight Elevate the Stage win over the Tigers.

2019

Ariana Guerra, Alabama, vault

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With a near-stick on her Yurchenko 1.5, Alabama senior Ariana Guerra delivered the best vault of the night, earning a 9.925. 

Lexi Graber, Alabama, uneven bars

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Armed with her signature toe point, sophomore Lexi Graber nailed this bar routine for the Crimson Tide at the 2019 Elevate the Stage event in Birmingham. 

Ariana Guerra, Alabama, floor

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Guerra nabbed her second event title of the meet with another 9.925 on floor. Opening with a giant double layout, her routine helped clinch yet another Elevate title for the Crimson Tide. 

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Chellsie Memmel is just like any other elite gymnast working for a spot on the 2021 Tokyo Olympic team...oh, except that she’s 32, married with two kids, coming back out of retirement after eight years off...and a few other differences. 

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This year is a disappointing time for all sports fans, and gymnastics fans are no exception. After months of canceled meets, pushing back the Olympics, and training centers on lockdown, the latest 2020 gymnastics disappointment is multiple NCAA programs cutting their gymnastics teams. William & Mary cut both their men’s and women’s gymnastics teams in early September, just the latest of many announcements this year about cutting teams. 

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