DOMINATION! GYMNASTICS WINS SEC CHAMPIONSHIP
Communications Graduate Assistant
ST. LOUIS—The No. 2 LSU gymnastics team remained perfect in the Southeastern Conference and captured back to back titles at the meet championships with an NCAA gymnastics record 36-straight team score of 197, Saturday evening at Chaifetz Arena.
The SEC Team Championship is the third in school history as the Tigers won the event in 1981 and 2017. LSU is one of only four teams to record an SEC Team Championship in the league’s history.
The Tigers posted a team score of 197.400 to take down Alabama (196.975), Florida (196.825), Kentucky (196.550), Arkansas (196.425), Georgia (196.350), Missouri (196.100) and Auburn (195.650). With 36 consecutive meets of 197 or higher, LSU has now surpassed Oklahoma (Jan. ’16 – Feb. 18) for the longest streak in NCAA gymnastics history.
Junior Sarah Finnegan became the 22nd gymnast in LSU history to earn the Tigers’ 40th event title after recorded a 39.500 in the all-around. Finnegan is the third current gymnast to garner SEC honors as Myia Hambrick and Lexie Priessman have won SEC event championships.
Finnegan’s all-around title marked her 44th title overall, her seventh all-around title in her career and the sixth this season for the Lee’s Summit, Missouri, native. Finnegan became the sixth gymnast in school history to win the SEC all-around title.
After their respective performances, Christina Desiderio, Kennedi Edney, Sarah Edwards, Finnegan, Hambrick and Priessman garnered All-SEC honors. Forty Tigers have combined to earn 83 All-SEC honors. The honors were Hambrick’s fourth as well as Finnegan’s and Priessman’s second. Head coach D-D Breaux has now coached 83 All-Southeastern Conference performers and 40 individual SEC champions.
Desiderio, Sami Durante and Edwards were named All-Freshman SEC members, tallying LSU’s SEC-All Freshman Team honors to 13.
“Tonight was a slugfest,” LSU gymnastics head coach D-D Breaux said. It was an outstanding evening. Our kids were so solid and so steadfast in the message of staying in the process. It’s not over until the last person goes. Sarah Finnegan had a really strong night to clinch the meet.”
Edwards, Edney Highlight Vault with 9.90s
To open the meet, Finnegan and Julianna Cannamela posted consecutive 9.875s. Hambrick recorded a 9.850 in the fifth spot. Edwards recorded a 9.90 for the third time this season, which matched her career high. Edney anchored the event with a 9.90 to give the Tigers a 49.400 in the opening rotation.
Tigers Post 49.400 on the Uneven Bars
The Tigers posted their second 49.400 of the meet in the second rotation on the uneven bars. Durante and Finnegan opened and anchored the event with 9.85s, and three 9.90s posted by Edney, Hambrick and Lexie Priessman were recorded in the middle to put LSU 0.15 points behind Florida moving into the third rotation.
Finnegan Anchors Beam with 9.925
The Tigers were consistent in the third rotation as senior Erin Macadaeg led off with a 9.80. Hambrick and Edney followed with a 9.90 and 9.80, respectively, and Desiderio notched a solid 9.875. Finnegan performed a beautiful routine to post a 9.925 and cap the rotation score at 49.300. The Tigers’ solid beam score put LSU back in the lead entering the fourth and final rotation.
LSU Closes the Meet as SEC Champions
Sophomore Ashlyn Kirby started off the final rotation with a 9.85, and Desiderio tied her season-high 9.875 in the second spot. Priessman and Edney recorded a 9.875 and a 9.85, respectively. In the fifth spot, Finnegan captured the all-around title and the Tigers’ SEC Championship with a 9.85 as LSU closed the meet with a 49.300 on the floor exercise.
LSU will compete in the NCAA Regionals on Saturday, April 7, at a location and time to be determined. The Tigers will either compete at Utah, Alabama, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Penn State or Minnesota.
Fans can follow the Tigers on the team’s social media channels: @LSUgym on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, www.Facebook.com/lsugym and at YouTube.com/lsugymnastics.