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Gymnastics Finishes Second in Sprouts Collegiate Quad; Tops No. 2 Utah, No. 12 UCLA

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Gymnastics Finishes Second in Sprouts Collegiate Quad; Tops No. 2 Utah, No. 12 UCLA

WEST VALLEY CITY, UTAH – The No. 5 LSU Gymnastics team finished second in the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad Meet with their score of 197.150 on Saturday afternoon in the Maverik Center.

The Tigers broke the 197.000 mark on the national stage in only their second meet of the year and first road meet. LSU topped No. 2 Utah (196.975) and No. 12 UCLA (197.100) on the day, falling only to No. 1 Oklahoma who won the meet with their score of 197.900.

The LSU bars squad boosted the team to a second-place finish in the quad meet with their score of 49.650 in the last rotation. The score was the highest recorded on the road and matched the program’s third highest bars score in school history.

“I’m just proud of the way we fought back and finished second to beat two very strong teams,” said head coach Jay Clark. “We learned how to fight our way out of holes, but we have to stop digging them in the first place. That’s where we just need to get tougher. Our team knows the expectation and we have to be able to handle success as well as we handle adversity.”

LSU started the competition off on beam as junior Alexis Jeffrey leadoff with a 9.775. Freshman Annie Beard made her debut in the lineup, but suffered a fall to score a 9.225. Senior Sierra Ballard went unphased in the third spot and posted a 9.775 while Bryant followed with a 9.900. Fifth-year senior Kiya Johnson recorded a 9.375 before junior Aleah Finnegan anchored with a 9.925 to help the Tigers close the first rotation with a 48.750.

Finnegan’s score on beam tied for third place on the day while Bryant tied for sixth on the event.

Following Olympic style rotation, LSU moved on to floor for the second rotation in the Maverik Center. Ballard held down the leadoff spot with a 9.825. Senior Olivia Dunne followed with a 9.850 in the second spot. KJ Johnson and Finnegan led the second rotation for the Tigers as both posted season-high floor scores with a 9.925 and a 9.975, respectively. Bryant scored a 9.900 to set up Kiya Johnson in the anchor spot, who earned a 9.875 in her first floor appearance since returning from injury.

LSU posted a 49.525 on floor, sitting in the third overall spot going into the second half of the meet. Finnegan’s floor performance earned her the win on the event, while KJ Johnson’s score shared for the second highest floor score on the day. Bryant and Kiya Johnson finished as two of the top-10 gymnasts on floor in the meet.

On vault, KJ Johnson started off strong for the Tigers with her score of a 9.925. Freshman Amari Drayton earned a 9.825 in the second spot, followed by Finnegan with a 9.800. Savannah Schoenherr scored a 9.700 and Kiya Johnson contributed a 9.775 with her yurchenko double. Bryant anchored with a 9.900 to close out the vault squad with a 49.225.

KJ Johnson’s season high score earned her a share of third place on the event as well as Bryant, who tied for sixth place.

The Tigers last rotation in the Maverik Center saw six stuck routines and was led off by Jeffrey, who matched her season high with a 9.900. Junior Tori Tatum entered the lineup for the first time this year and earned a 9.850 in the second spot. Kiya Johnson contributed a 9.950 for the Tigers to match her career high and set up freshman Konnor McClain, who recorded her first career perfect 10.00 in only her second bars routine in college gymnastics. Schoenherr followed with a 9.875 and Bryant anchored with a strong 9.900 routine.

After entering the rotation fourth in the standings, LSU fought until the end to defeat the Utes and the Bruins. Jeffrey, Johnson, Bryant and Schoenherr all earned a spot in the top-10 bars performers on the night while McClain took home her first title.

McClain’s perfect score on bars was the seventh 10.00 on the event in school history, with Sarah Finnegan being the last Tiger to do so on the road in 2019.

The Tigers are back in action on Friday, January 19 as they welcome Kentucky for their SEC opener in the PMAC at 8:00 p.m. CT on SEC Network.

Stay up to date with all things LSU Gymnastics by following the team’s social media channels @LSUgym on Instagram and Twitter and Facebook.