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Gymnastics Celebrated 2022 Season At Team Banquet

Gymnastics Celebrated 2022 Season At Team Banquet

BATON ROUGE, La. – LSU Gymnastics celebrated the 2022 season on Sunday afternoon as the program held its first banquet in three years at L’Auberge Casino.

Head coach Jay Clark and assistant coaches Ashleigh Gnat, Garrett Griffeth, and Courtney McCool-Griffeth presented the athletes with various awards recognizing their efforts in the classroom, in the arena, and in the community.

The program welcomed staff, family, friends, and boosters to recognize all of the accomplishments from 2022 as well as introduce the newcomers for the 2023 season.

The banquet began with the presentation of letter winners and the introduction of the four newcomers. Lettering at LSU honors the athletes for their hard work and dedication. There was a total of 20 letter winners from the 2022 season.

Cammy Hall, Annie Beard, Ashley Cowan, and Bryce Wilson were recognized as the four newcomers for the upcoming season.

The awards portion of the program began with senior honors. Rebecca D’Antonio, Reagan Campbell, Bridget Dean, Christina Desiderio, Sami Durante, and Sarah Edwards were welcomed back and awarded for their accomplishments throughout their years at LSU.

Taylor Dennehey, the team’s Academic Advisor, presented the academic awards that recognized excellence in the classroom. A total of 16 student-athlete’s earned SEC honor roll for achieving a GPA of 3.0 or higher. KJ Johnson and Tori Tatum earned Freshman SEC Honor Roll.

Ten student-athletes received WCGA Academic All-American honors for achieving a GPA of 3.5 or higher. This moved the program total of NCAA Academic All-Americans to 183.

The scholar athlete of the year was presented to Rebecca D’Antonio for her academic leadership and performance in the classroom.

The next portion of the banquet recognized the student-athletes performances in the arena. McCool-Griffeth presented the Dee-Dee Fulmer award. Dee-Dee was an advocate for women’s athletics at LSU and a fervent supporter of the program. This award honors a gymnast who demonstrates a strong commitment to academic and athletic excellence. Haleigh Bryant was honored with the award, which represents Fulmer’s spirit and drive.

Leighann Westfall presented the L-Club Captain Award, presented by the National L-Club to Christina Desiderio and Kiya Johnson for their leadership and commitment to team excellence.

Serving Baton Rouge and the surrounding community is something that is important to the program. Sami Durante was awarded the SEC Community Service Award. 

LSU had two All-SEC performers in 2022. Haleigh Bryant and KJ Jonson earned All-SEC honors for finishing in the top two scores on an event at the SEC Championships. Bryant finished second on beam with a score of 9.95, while Johnson finished as the top freshman on vault with a 9.90.

2022 also saw three NCAA All-Americans. Bryant, Durante, and Kiya Johnson continued the streak of excellence on the competition floor and raised the program’s total number of All-Americans to 261. Bryant received All-American honors on vault and uneven bars, Durante on uneven bars, and Johnson on vault.

Griffeth presented KJ Johnson with the Newcomer of the Year Award, awarded to the freshman who came in and made an impact on the competition floor.

Griffeth also presented the Returner of the Year Award to Haleigh Bryant, who utilized her down-time throughout the summer to ensure she was in the best place to compete and had a remarkable sophomore year, earning three perfect scores on vault.

Gnat presented the first annual consistency award to Bridget Dean, who demonstrated consistency in training and in competition year-round. 

Elena Arenas earned the Perfect 10 Award. The Perfect 10 Award belongs to the gymnast who demonstrated a perfect 10 work ethic and carried an attitude of excellence with them every day in practice. 

The Eye of the Tiger Award, named after Olivia Gunter, demonstrates the gymnast who is selfless and understands what it truly means to be an LSU Gymnast. Gunter, who competed for the Tigers from 2018-2021, is the ultimate example of what it means to embrace your role as a teammate. The Eye of the Tiger Award went to Lexi Nibbs.

The final award of the day was presented by the coaching staff to Kiya Johnson, the MVP of the 2022 season. The MVP award recognizes the person who puts the most points on the board and contributes the most from a competitive standpoint.

Full list of awards:

Senior Awards – Rebecca D’Antonio. Reagan Campbell, Bridget Dean, Christina Desiderio, Sami Durante, Sarah Edwards

SEC Honor Roll – Elena Arenas, Sierra Ballard, Chase Brock, Haleigh Bryant, Rebecca D’Antonio, Bridget Dean, Christina Desiderio, Olivia Dunne, Sami Durante, Sarah Edwards, Kiya Johnson, Lexi Nibbs, Madison Rau, Kai Rivers, Kamryn Ryan, Alyona Shchennikova 

Freshman Honor Roll – KJ Johnson, Tori Tatum

WCGA Academic All-American – Haleigh Bryant, Rebecca D’Antonio, Bridget Dean, Christina Desiderio, Olivia Dunne, KJ Johnson, Kiya Johnson, Maddie Rau, Kamryn Ryan, Tori Tatum 

Scholar Athlete of the Year – Rebecca D’Antonio

Dee-Dee Fulmer Gilbert Award – Haleigh Bryant

L-Club Captains – Christina Desiderio, Kiya Johnson

SEC Community Service – Sami Durante

All-SEC – Haleigh Bryant, KJ Johnson

NCAA All-American – Haleigh Bryant, Sami Durante, Kiya Johnson

Newcomer of the Year – KJ Johnson

Returner of the Year – Haleigh Bryant

Consistency Award – Bridget Dean

10.0 Award – Elena Arenas

Olivia Gunter Eye of the Tiger Award – Lexi Nibbs

MVP Award – Kiya Johnson