Gnat Named SEC Specialist of the Year

by Jake Terry (@LSUjake)
Gnat Named SEC Specialist of the Year

BATON ROUGE – Adding to what has already been a phenomenal season, LSU gymnast Ashleigh Gnat was honored as the Southeastern Conference Specialist of the Year, the league office announced Thursday.

In addition, Sarah Finnegan, Myia Hambrick and Gnat were recognized as All-SEC performers for their efforts at the SEC Championship on March 19.

Finnegan and McKenna Kelley earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors for their performances at the SEC Championship.

A junior from Lake Mary, Florida, Gnat has excelled on vault, floor and beam this season. She ranks No. 1 nationally on vault and floor and is No. 17 on beam.

Gnat captured the SEC floor title with her sixth perfect 10.0 of the season at the SEC Championship to become LSU’s 18th SEC champion overall and the fifth to win the floor title.

This season Gnat leads the SEC with 22 individual titles, including a league-best nine on vault and nine on floor.

Gnat’s six perfect 10s (four on floor, two on vault) are the most by an LSU gymnast in one season.

Gnat earned All-SEC honors by winning the floor title and earning the second-highest score (9.90) on vault at the SEC Championship.

Hambrick captured her second All-SEC honor by finishing second on bars with a 9.925 at the SEC Championship. Last season Hambrick earned All-SEC honors on vault.

Finnegan nabbed All-SEC recognition by placing second on beam with a 9.925 at the SEC Championship.

Finnegan and Kelley earned SEC All-Freshman Team honors by recording the highest score by a freshman in an event at the SEC Championship. Finnegan’s 9.925 was the highest beam score of any freshman, and Kelley’s 9.925 was the highest floor score of any freshman.

Finnegan and Kelley give LSU eight members on the SEC All-Freshman Team since the honor was first awarded in 2011. They join Sarie Morrison (2011), Rheagan Courville (2012), Lloimincia Hall (2012), Jessie Jordan (2012), Jessica Savona (2013) and Hambrick (2015).

LSU has now featured 34 gymnasts who have produced 70 total All-SEC honors in program history.

No. 3 LSU (18-4) returns to action at the NCAA Athens Regional hosted by Georgia on April 2. The Tigers are the No. 1 seed and will compete for a spot at the NCAA Championship against No. 10 Georgia, No. 15 Oregon State, Arizona, George Washington and Michigan State.

Tickets to the regional are available for purchase at

2016 SEC Gymnastics Awards
Gymnast of the Year: Caitlin Atkinson, Auburn
Specialist of the Year: Ashleigh Gnat, LSU
Freshman of the Year: Morgan Porter, Missouri
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Lauren Beers, Alabama
Co-Coaches of the Year: Mark Cook, Arkansas and Jenny Rowland, Florida

2016 All-SEC Team
Katie Bailey, Alabama
Mackenzie Brannan, Alabama
Jenna Bresette, Alabama
Kiana Winston, Alabama
Samantha Nelson, Arkansas
Amanda Wellick, Arkansas
Paige Zaziski, Arkansas
Caitlin Atkinson, Auburn
Kennedy Baker, Florida
Alicia Boren, Florida
Bianca Dancose-Giambattisto, Florida
Alex McMurtry, Florida
Mary Beth Box, Georgia
Brandie Jay, Georgia
Brittany Rogers, Georgia
Rachel Schick, Georgia
Sidney Dukes, Kentucky
Alex Hyland, Kentucky
Sarah Finnegan, LSU
Ashleigh Gnat, LSU
Myia Hambrick, LSU
Britney Ward, Missouri
Becca Schugel, Missouri

2016 SEC All-Freshman Team
Jenna Bresette, Alabama
Samantha Cerio, Auburn
Taylor Krippner, Auburn
Alicia Boren, Florida
Sydney Snead, Georgia
Sidney Dukes, Kentucky
Alex Hyland, Kentucky
Sarah Finnegan, LSU
McKenna Kelley, LSU
Morgan Porter, Missouri
Britney Ward, Missouri