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Finnegan Named SEC Gymnast of the Year

Finnegan Named SEC Gymnast of the Year

BATON ROUGE – LSU junior Sarah Finnegan has been named the 2018 Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year, the league announced Thursday.

Finnegan is the sixth LSU gymnast to earn the top honor in the league, joining April Burkholder (2004, 05), Ashleigh Clare-Kearney (2008), Susan Jackson (2010), and Rheagan Courville (2013).

The Lee’s Summit, Missouri native won the sixth SEC all-around title in school history after posting a 39.500 at the league meet. She clinched the 2018 SEC Championship for LSU in the fifth spot of the floor lineup to give the Tigers back-to-back titles.

Finnegan is the first gymnast ever at LSU to finish No. 1 in RQS on bars. She also finished as the No. 4 performer on beam and in the all-around, and No. 7 performer on floor.

In the SEC, Finnegan ranks No. 1 on bars, beam, and all-around; No. 2 on floor and No. 9 on vault. This season she scored a perfect 10.0 on bars, beam and floor. Finnegan joined April Burkholder as the only gymnasts in school history to earn a 10.0 on three different events in the same season.

Finnegan, an All-American on all four events in the regular season in 2018, was the anchor of LSU’s bars lineup that set two school records as well as the second-highest score on the event in the nation since 1998. LSU’s bars lineup finished the season ranked No. 1 for the first time in school history. She also anchored the Tigers’ beam lineup that posted a 49.725 to tie the school record.

A five-time recipient of the SEC Gymnast of the Week award, Finnegan has won 16 career beam and bars titles for second and fourth, respectively in school history.

Finnegan along with Christina Desiderio, Kennedi Edney, Sarah Edwards, Myia Hambrick and Lexie Priessman were also named All-SEC performers. Sami Durante, Desiderio and Edwards earned SEC All-Freshman team honors. The six All-SEC team members are the most for any team in the league as well as the most by an LSU team at a meet in school history.

The All-SEC Team is comprised of athletes with the top two scores (including ties) on each event and the all-around from the first and second sessions of the SEC Championship. The SEC All-Freshman Team consists of freshmen with the top score on each event and the all-around from the first and second sessions of the championship meet.

The second-ranked Tigers will take the weekend off for the first time this season before traveling to Raleigh, North Carolina for the NC State Regional at 3 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 7. The Tigers own the top seed, and the top two teams will advance to the NCAA Championships. The squad will take on Nebraska, Oregon State, George Washington, NC State and Maryland.

Fans can follow the Tigers on the team’s social media channels: @LSUgym on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat, and at

2018 SEC Gymnastics Awards
Gymnast of the Year: Sarah Finnegan, LSU
Event Specialist of the Year: Alex McMurtry, Florida
Freshman of the Year: Sarah Shaffer, Arkansas
Coach of the Year: Mark Cook, Arkansas

Ariana Guerra, Alabama
Nickie Guerrero, Alabama
Kiana Winston, Alabama
Sophia Carter, Arkansas
Hailey Garner, Arkansas
Sydney Laird, Arkansas
Sarah Shaffer, Arkansas
Braie Speed, Arkansas
Amanda Wellick, Arkansas
Samantha Cerio, Auburn
Gracie Day, Auburn
Drew Watson, Auburn
Alyssa Baumann, Florida
Alicia Boren, Florida
Rachel Gowey, Florida
Amelia Hundley, Florida
Alex McMurtry, Florida
Rachel Slocum, Florida
Rachel Dickson, Georgia
Marissa Oakley, Georgia
Sydney Snead, Georgia
Sidney Dukes, Kentucky
Alex Hyland, Kentucky
Mollie Korth, Kentucky
Christina Desiderio, LSU
Kennedi Edney, LSU
Sarah Edwards, LSU
Sarah Finnegan, LSU
Myia Hambrick, LSU
Lexie Priessman, LSU
Shauna Miller, Missouri
Morgan Porter, Missouri
Aspen Tucker, Missouri
Britney Ward, Missouri

All-Freshman Team
Lexi Graber, Alabama
Sophia Carter, Arkansas
Sydney Laird, Arkansas
Sarah Shaffer, Arkansas
Drew Watson, Auburn
Alyssa Baumann, Florida
Megan Skaggs, Florida
Marissa Oakley, Georgia
Christina Desiderio, LSU
Sami Durante, LSU
Sarah Edwards, LSU