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Gymnastics Welcomes Kentucky For SEC Opener

SEC Network Live Results Meet notes +0
Gymnastics Welcomes Kentucky For SEC Opener

BATON ROUGE — The top-10 nationally ranked LSU Gymnastics team will host No. 6 Kentucky for their SEC opener on Friday, January 19 at 8 p.m. CT inside the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. 

“We are focused on ourselves and making sure that we adhere to our processes at this meet,” said head coach Jay Clark. “It’s just about continuing onto step three of our climb. We want to perform at the level that we’re capable of and continue to improve week over week. Kentucky is a strong team and we know who we’re on the floor with. They are very clean and execute exceptionally well.”

“It will be great to get back in the PMAC. Ticket sales have been great for our home meets and I would just keep encouraging our fans to get there early and get in the stands and for our students to show up in force. I want our program to be able to announce a sellout and I want it to be an every meet occurrence.”

Introductions of the team begin at 7:52 p.m. CT with the first vault set for 8:05 p.m. CT on SEC Network. John Roethlesberger will be joined on the call by three-time Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman in her NCAA broadcasting debut. Taylor Davis will be the on-site reporter.

Live stats for the competition between the Tigers and the Wildcats will be available on


Friday’s meet is dedicated to cancer awareness. The first 1,000 fans to arrive at the arena will receive a free t-shirt that was created by Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital patients. 

The Tigers spent time visiting the hospital during the fall, engaging with patients, making arts & crafts and playing games. The fingerprints on the t-shirt remind us all to be aware of the warning signs, get checked early and most importantly, support those in the fight against cancer. 

All meet promotions and giveaways items for the 2024 season can be found here.

Series Record

The competition between the Tigers and the Wildcats marks the 96th overall meeting between the two programs. LSU holds the series record over Kentucky at 85-10-0 and are 24-2-0 at home.

Last Time On The Floor

The Tigers finished second in their last meet at the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad Meet with their score of 197.150 in the Maverik Center.

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

The inaugural competition on ABC that highlighted four of the top-teams in the country was the most viewed live regular season gymnastics meet in ESPN history, totaling over 600,000 viewers.

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 on that event and matched the program’s third highest bars score in school history. 

Seniors Haleigh Bryant and Kiya Johnson competed in the all-around for the Tigers at the meet. Bryant posted scores of 9.900 or higher on every event while Johnson’s return to the all-around was highlighted by her 9.950 performance on bars.

In only her second bars routine since beginning her collegiate career as a Tiger, freshman Konnor McClain earned her first perfect 10 on bars to keep the momentum going and help lift her team to victory over the Utes and the Bruins. 

The Tigers also posted a strong 49.525 on floor that was highlighted by junior Aleah Finnegan, who executed a nearly perfect routine and took home the title after scoring a 9.975. Fellow junior KJ Johnson also had a day at the meet, scoring a pair of 9.925’s on vault and floor and finishing amongst the top-5 performers on those events at the meet.

Scouting The Wildcats

In their last competition, Kentucky defeated No. 11 Auburn by a score of 197.475-197.025 in Neville Arena. Senior Raena Worley won her 22nd All-Around victory following a 39.650 overall score on the night.

The Wildcats are 3-1 overall on the season entering their competition at LSU and are 1-0 in conference play.

Kentucky is ranked No. 6 in the week two Road to Nationals standings while also placing in the top-10 on vault and beam. They have an average of 197.150 with their season high score coming in their last meet at Auburn. 

The Wildcats entered the 2024 season after their most accomplished season in program history last season, marking only the second team appearance at the national championships and finishing with their highest ranking of No. 6.

Week Two Rankings

The Tigers head into this week ranked at No. 8 team in the national polls after finishing second in the Sprouts Farmers Market Collegiate Quad Meet last Saturday.

LSU ranks as one of the top-five teams in the country on three events, sitting at No. 5 on vault (49.300), No. 5 on bars (49.513) and No. 2 on floor (49.525). Seven Tigers also placed in the individual rankings.

Bryant remains one of the top all-arounders in the country after week two as she posted scores of 9.900 or higher on every event for the Tigers on Saturday night. In addition to being No. 2 in the all-around nationally, the senior also owns top-25 placements on vault, bars, beam and floor.

A native of Cornelius, North Carolina, Bryant owns averages of 9.900+ on every event after week two and an average of 39.650 in the all-around. 

KJ Johnson and Drayton both share a spot at No. 20 on vault in the individual event rankings. Johnson stuck her yurchenko full at the Sprouts Collegiate Quad that scored a 9.925 for the Tigers in the leadoff spot while Drayton posted a 9.825 in her only second routine on the event. 

Kiya Johnson shares fourth place in the bars rankings after matching her career high on Saturday with her score of 9.950 to help lift the Tigers in the last rotation. The fifth-year senior owns an average of 9.938 on the event through two meets. 

Jeffrey continues to be a consistent bars leadoff for the Tigers as she posted her second 9.900 of the year on the event on Saturday, which places her No. 22 nationally.

Freshman Konnor McClain also earned a spot in the top-20 gymnasts on bars after scoring her first career perfect 10 last weekend. 

Finnegan continues to be one of the top beam and floor performers in the country as she ranks fifth on floor and seventh on beam. The junior posted team-high scores on the two events for the Tigers on Saturday as she executed a nearly-perfect floor routine with her score of 9.975 and earned a 9.925 on beam. She owns an average of 9.938 on both events.

Drayton also still holds a spot in the floor rankings at No. 10 after her debut in the Tigers season opener against Ohio State in week one. 

McClain Named SEC Specialist of the Week 

Freshman Konnor McClain was named the SEC Specialist of the Week for the first conference award of her career, announced by the league on Tuesday afternoon. 

The honor comes after McClain scored her first career perfect 10 on bars in only her second collegiate routine on the event.

The freshman’s performance on Saturday helped lift the Tigers to a 49.650 in the last rotation, marking the program’s highest recorded bars score on the road. LSU finished second at the Sprouts Collegiate Quad Meet, defeating No. 2 Utah and No. 12 UCLA. 

A native of Las Vegas, Nevada, McClain’s perfect score earned her the event title at the meet, the first of her career. She currently sits amongst the top-20 bars performers in the nation after week two as she ranks No. 15 on the event.

Program History 

Head Coach Jay Clark enters his fourth season leading the Tigers and 13th season overall as he continues to grow the LSU Gymnastics program. He is joined by Assistant Coaches Garrett Griffeth, Ashleigh Gnat and Courtney McCool Griffeth. Gnat is in her fourth season with the Tigers while the Griffeth duo enters their third season on staff. 

The Tigers climbed their way to the NCAA Championship Final in Fort Worth for the ninth time in program history in 2023. The Final Four appearance marked the second time that LSU has advanced to the finals since the format began in 2019 and the first time under Clark’s tenure.

Last season marked the program’s 38th straight appearance in the NCAA postseason and 40th overall appearance for the Tigers. With the team advancing out of regionals, LSU marked their 32nd program appearance in the NCAA Championships.

LSU has a total of 16 individual national titles across 10 gymnasts in program history, including current senior Haleigh Bryant who was named the NCAA vault champion in 2021.

The Tigers own four SEC Championship titles in program history, winning three consecutive titles from 2017 to 2019. The last time LSU took home the conference title was in 2019 in the Smoothie King Center, the site of this year’s conference championship.

The 2024 Squad

This year’s roster is composed of 22 gymnasts with 11 seniors, four juniors, three sophomores and four freshmen. The Tigers welcomed two transfers this year in Savannah Schoenherr and Jillian Hoffman and four new freshmen as Konnor McClain, Amari Drayton, Kylie Coen and Leah Miller begin their first year in the Purple & Gold.

Cammy Hall is a sixth-year who is returning this year from injury, while fifth-year seniors Kiya Johnson, Alyona Shchennikova and Kai Rivers all returned for their final year of competition with the Tigers. =

Haleigh Bryant, Sierra Ballard, Chase Brock, Elena Arenas and Olivia Dunne all enter their senior year while Aleah Finnegan, Alexis Jeffrey, Tori Tatum, KJ Johnson begin their junior season. 

Ashley Cowan, Bryce Wilson and Annie Beard enter their second year as Tigers.


All single-meet tickets are available at the general admission level. Ticket prices vary by meet with a range of $10-$14 for adults and $5-$7 for youth (ages 3-12).

Discounted group tickets for 15 or more are available by calling the ticket sales and services staff at 225-578-2184.

For all ticket information, please visit

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