Finnegan Named Finalist for AAI Award
BATON ROUGE – LSU senior gymnast Sarah Finnegan, an NCAA champion, 15-time All-American, All-SEC performer and reigning SEC Gymnast of the Year, has been named a finalist for the 2019 AAI Award, the organization announced Monday.
There are six finalists for the AAI Award, which goes to the most outstanding senior gymnast in the country. Finnegan is joined by Alicia Boren of Florida, Brenna Dowell of Oklahoma, Olivia Karas of Michigan, Katelyn Ohashi of UCLA and Toni-Ann Williams of Cal.
Considered the Heisman Trophy of NCAA Gymnastics, LSU legends Ashleigh Gnat and Susan Jackson brought back the AAI Award to Baton Rouge after outstanding careers in the Purple and Gold.
Finnegan has been paramount in LSU’s success over the last four years that includes back-to-back SEC championships and the highest finishes in school history at NCAA Championships.
Her success has come in all phases of being a student-athlete as a leader in the classroom, community and in competition. As sophomore, Finnegan became the first gymnast in school history to win an uneven bars NCAA championship. In 2018, she ended the season ranked as the No. 1 bars performer in the country and anchored the Tigers’ lineup that finished first in the nation and set multiple school records.
A year ago, Finnegan dominated the league with a sweep of the league all-around title and SEC Gymnast of the Year award. She pushed her career All-America honors to 15 and could break the school record for most in a career set by Rheagan Courville with 23.
In 2019, Finnegan has been the most consistent gymnast in the SEC and in the nation. She has competed in the all-around in every single meet this season and won 11 of 12 all-around titles.
A six-time SEC Gymnast of the Week this season, Finnegan tied April Burkholder for the most beam titles in a career with 24. With 38 title wins this season, Finnegan could also break the single-season set by Susan Jackson and Sandra Smith with 45.
Finnegan owns career highs of 9.95 on vault; 10.0 on bars, beam and floor; and 39.800 in the all-around. She is only the ninth gymnast in school history to a score a 9.95 or higher on all four events and one of four gymnasts in the country to achieve the feat in 2019.
She is an SEC Academic Honor Roll member and an active member of LSU’s efforts in the community with more than 25 hours of service logged in 2019. Finnegan is scheduled to graduate in May with her degree in kinesiology and pursue a career in occupational therapy.
Coaches from across the country will vote for the winner of the AAI Award. The winner will be announced prior to NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, on Wednesday, April, 17.
Finnegan and the squad return to competition at 7 p.m. CT Saturday in New Orleans for the SEC Championships. Following two weeks off, the Tigers will host the NCAA Baton Rouge Regional April 5-6 in the PMAC.
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.