Gymnastics Competes for Fourth-Straight SEC Title

by Brandon Berrio | Assoc. Director of Creative and Digital Content
Meet 9 SEC Championships +0
Gymnastics Competes for Fourth-Straight SEC Title

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The fourth-ranked LSU gymnastics team (5-3, 4-3 SEC) will compete for its fourth-straight SEC championship and the program’s fifth overall at 7 p.m. CT Saturday inside the Von Braun Center. 

The meet will be televised live on SEC Network with Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke on the call. It will also be streamed live on WatchESPN.com and the app with event specific links to each apparatus so that fans can enjoy all of the action.

As the second seed in the meet, the Tigers will begin on bars and follow with beam, floor and vault. LSU will compete alongside No. 1 Florida, No. 8 Alabama and No. 9 Arkansas in the evening session.

It will serve as a final score to count toward the squad’s NQS, which will ranks the team for seeding at NCAA Championships.

“This is a really exciting opportunity for our team,” head coach Jay Clark said. “It is the healthiest we have been in a while going into postseason, so we are looking at our top lineup across the board. More than half of our lineup has never competed at SEC Championships so I know they are excited for the opportunity to show why they are the top team in the SEC.”

LSU Goes for Four-Peat at SEC Championships in Huntsville
The LSU Gymnastics program has won the last three SEC Championships as the premier team in the most difficult conference in the country. LSU won its second league title in school history and the first since the inaugural championship at the 2017 championships in Jacksonville. 

The squad then defended its crown in 2018 in St. Louis. The Tigers completed the three peat at SEC Championships in New Orleans in 2019.. With a win on Saturday night, it would mark the fourth time in SEC history that a team has win four league titles in a row: Georgia (2004-07);  Georgia (1991-94); Florida (1982-85)

LSU’s History at the SEC Championship
LSU captured the SEC title when the Tigers hosted the first championship in 1981. Here is a breakdown of LSU’s finishes at the SEC Championship: 

1st Place – 4 times (1981, 2017, 2018,2019); 2nd Place – 5 (1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2015); 3rd Place – 10 (1982, 1983, 1991, 1994, 1997, 1998, 2004, 2013, 2014, 2016); 4th Place – 17 (1984, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1993, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012); 5th Place – 3 (1992, 1996, 2011); 6th Place – 0; 7th Place – 0; 8th Place – 0 

Gymnasts at the SEC Championships
Twenty-two LSU gymnasts have combined to win 44 SEC titles since 1981. A total of 94 All-SEC honors have been earned over the years and 14 SEC All-Freshman team honors. Sarah Finnegan, Rheagan Courville and Sandra Smith own the record for most SEC titles with five. Finnegan captured back-to-back all-around titles in 2018 and 2019. She also won three event titles in 2019. A combined four perfect scores have been earned by Ashleigh Gnat, Finnegan, and Courville.  

Last Time Out
LSU scored a 197.875 to finish the regular season with a victory over Missouri. Freshman Haleigh Bryant opened the night with a perfect 10 on vault, her first career 10. Sophomore Kiya Johnson punctuated the night with a 10 on floor. It marked her fourth career 10, second on floor and second this season. Johnson and Bryant shared the all-around title with a 39.625. Senior Sami Durante and sophomore Alyona Shchennikova also took home the bar title.

Fans can follow the Tigers on the team’s social media channels: @LSUgym on Instagram and Twitter, www.Facebook.com/lsugym and at YouTube.com/lsugymnastics.