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Gymnastics Records Season High Road Score; Falls To No. 5 Auburn

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Gymnastics Records Season High Road Score; Falls To No. 5 Auburn

AUBURN, Ala. – The ninth-ranked LSU Gymnastics team fell to No. 5 Auburn, 197.500-197.750, with a season high road score on Friday night in Neville Arena.

“Overall, I thought it was a very good meet. We stayed aggressive and stayed true to our message,” said head coach Jay Clark. “We’ll continue to keep climbing and keep getting better. This score will help us tremendously once NQS begins and will set us up to move up as we get closer to postseason.”

Aleah Finnegan recorded her first career perfect score on vault, marking her first title on the event. The sophomore also earned her second all-around title against Auburn with a career high 39.800. She now owns 11 titles on the year with four on floor and beam, one on vault and two in the all-around.

“Aleah is doing exactly what I knew was going to happen,” said Clark. “She is growing into her role and maturing as a competitor. This was the most complete meet that she’s put together so far.”

LSU started off on bars in Auburn. Freshman Ashley Cowan made her collegiate debut on Friday night as she scored a 9.775 in the second spot. Sophomore Tori Tatum added a 9.850 while Finnegan added a 9.875 of her own. Senior Alyona Shchennikova recorded a 9.825 before junior Haleigh Bryant anchored with a 9.950. The Tigers recorded a 49.275 on bars to close out the first rotation.

Vault was highlighted by Finnegan’s perfect 10 in the fifth spot. Junior Elena Arenas led off with a 9.800 and Shchennikova followed with a stuck 9.925 routine. Bryant added a 9.900 in the anchor spot. Finnegan hit a perfect omelianchik to record her first perfect career 10 on vault and boost LSU’s score to 49.350 in the second rotation.

It was a 98.825-98.625 Auburn lead at the halfway point in Neville Arena.

Junior Sierra Ballard led things off on floor in her normal energetic fashion to score a 9.825. Shchennikova followed and matched her career high with a 9.925. Finnegan continued her dominant night, scoring a 9.975 to take the co-title on the event, alongside Auburn’s Sunisa Lee and Derrian Gobourne. KJ Johnson also added a 9.875 as the Tigers moved into the final rotation of the night.

Arenas moved into the leadoff spot on beam against Auburn, where she earned a 9.750. Shchennikova topped off her night with a 9.850 before senior Kai Rivers recorded a season high 9.900 in the third spot. Ballard scored a 9.850, as she continues to show consistency in her performances. Bryant added a 9.900 and Finnegan anchored with another 9.950 to match her career high on the event and take the co-title with Lee. LSU earned a 49.425 on beam to record a season high on the event.

Auburn held on to the lead at the end as the meet finished 197.500-197.750 in favor of the home Tigers.

It was another career night for LSU as the team continues to climb. The squad recorded a season high road score with their overall score of 197.500 and a season high beam score of 49.425. Individually, Shchennikova matcher her career high all-around score of 39.525 with her performance against Auburn as well as a new career all-around high for Finnegan.

The Tigers will be back in primetime action on Friday, Feb. 17, as they host No. 2 Florida in the PMAC at 8 p.m. on ESPN2.