Auburn needed a near-perfect floor exercise from sophomore Derrian Gobourne in last year’s “gymnastics Iron Bowl.” The defending NCAA National Champion on vault already claimed first for the Tigers in the uneven bars, but her day wasn’t finished yet. Trailing the 10th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, Gobourne began her floor routine with the 16th-ranked Tigers needing something big to send the sell-out crowd at Auburn Arena home happy.
The “superstar,” as senior Skyler Sheppard described her, stomped out a 9.950 that won Auburn’s first home meet of the year and knocked off Alabama in the “gymnastics Iron Bowl” in walk-off fashion.
Oh, and it was Derrian’s 20th birthday.
Derrian Gobourne’s Floor Exercise vs. Alabama
According to AL.com, the Auburn gymnastics team had an all-time record of 10-127 against the University of Alabama before Friday night’s victory. The Tigers last won in 2016, but before then, hadn’t beaten the Crimson Tide since 1980.
“Well it took us, what 40 years, to get to our second win,” Auburn gymnastics head coach Jeff Graba said. “It’s been a long time since Jimmy Carter was president.”
Despite Alabama having the more complete day, the Auburn Tigers took first in every single event — Gobourne won floor and bars (9.925), Sheppard won balance beam (9.925) and junior Drew Watson won vault (9.900) and the all-around (39.425). The meet’s final score was a slim 196.625 to 196.025 margin in favor of the Tigers.
Alabama-Auburn Gymnastics Highlights
Despite seven true freshman on the roster, the Tigers proved their worth in SEC play last year. The team finished 7-7 overall and 4-4 in conference play before the coronavirus pandemic canceled the SEC Championship, NCAA Regional Championship, and the NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas in April.
Auburn hasn’t fared great in 2021 so far. The Tigers are 0-4, including losses to Alabama, LSU, Kentucky and Florida. They take on Missouri on February 12.
Auburn 2021 Gymnastics Schedule
Jan. 8: FLORIDAAdvertisement
Jan. 15: at Kentucky
Jan. 22: at Alabama
Feb. 5: LSU
Feb. 12: at Missouri
Feb. 19: GEORGIA
Feb. 26: at Florida
Mar. 5: ARKANSAS