LSU Gold

Gymnastics Faces No. 5 Florida Nationally On ESPN2

Gymnastics Faces No. 5 Florida Nationally On ESPN2

BATON ROUGE — The No. 2 LSU Gymnastics team (7-2, 4-1 SEC) will face No. 5 Florida (9-1, 4-1 SEC) in the nation’s top-dual of the weekend on Friday, February 23 at 6 p.m. CT.

The two top-five teams will compete in front of a sold-out Exactech Arena in Gainesville on Friday night.

“We haven’t executed on the highest level yet. In terms of what our next step is, it’s just to improve our performance. I would like for us to perform like it’s a home meet and have a complete performance on the road. This meet is always a good rivalry and we know it’ll be a tough environment, but at this point, it’s just about us measuring ourselves against ourselves.”

The competition between the Tigers and the Gators will air nationally on ESPN2 with Bart Conner and Bridget Sloan on the call. Taylor Davis will be the on-site reporter. The first routine is set for 6:02 p.m. CT inside the Stephen C. O’Connell Center as LSU will begin on bars.

Live stats for the meet are available on

Scouting The Florida Gators

Friday is the 12th consecutive season both LSU and Florida bring a top-10 ranking into their annual dual meet. The Tigers own an overall series record of 44-77-0 against the Gators and are 8-28-0 away from home. The last time LSU defeated Florida on the road was in 2018. 

A season-best 197.925 elevated No. 6 Florida to win their last competition at the Mizzou at the Lou quad meet. Florida is the nation’s only team to improve its score in each 2024 meet.

Florida’s Anya Pilgrim claimed her second consecutive SEC Freshman Gymnast of the Week honor after her performance at Mizzou to the Lou quad meet.

The freshman, as well as junior Leanne Wong, are amongst the nation’s top all-around gymnasts. 

The Gators improved to No. 5 in the week seven rankings with their average of 197.517 and placed in the top-15 on every event nationally. Pilgrim, Wong, Victoria Nguyen and Sloane Blakely make up the four Gators who earned spots in the individual event rankings this week. 

LSU and Florida make up two of the three conference teams that are tied at the top with 4-1 records, along with Kentucky.

Last Time On The Floor

The No. 3 LSU Gymnastics team defeated No. 12 Auburn in front of a sold out crowd by a score of 198.300-197.100 last Friday night in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The victory marked LSU’s eighth straight win over the visiting Tigers when facing off in the PMAC. The score was also the squad’s third 198 of the year, making LSU the team with the second-most scores on that scale so far this year.

The Tigers recorded a season high 49.725 on beam, which matched the highest score on the event in program history. The score has only been achieved four times in school history, with the last time being in 2018.

Finnegan performed a perfect routine, notching her fifth perfect score and third on floor

LSU hit every routine in front of 12,740 fans in the PMAC, the seventh largest attendance in school history. The night was highlighted by a program-high beam performance that helped the team earn the victory over No. 12 Auburn and secure their fifth conference win and seventh over a ranked opponent this year.

Five LSU Tigers had season high performances against Auburn. Finnegan recorded season highs on vault, floor and beam, while Kiya Johnson’s beam routine was also a season high. Cowan matched her career high on bars and Jeffrey set a new career high on beam with her 9.925 performance.

Finnegan finished the meet as the top performer on vault and floor. She now owns 18 titles in her career and added to her individual event titles with six on floor and two on vault.

Bryant earned a share of the bars title with teammates Schoenherr as well her third straight all-around title and fifth this year. She finished the night with a score of 39.700.

It was Schoenherr’s second title in the Purple & Gold and second on bars.

McClain’s beam routine earned her the victory on the event, moving her total to four this year – three of those coming on beam.

Week Seven Rankings

The Tigers moved up to No. 2 in the national polls after defeating No. 12 Auburn last Friday night in the PMAC.

The victory was the team’s fourth conference win and seventh win over a ranked opponent this year. The night was highlighted by a perfect floor score from Aleah Finnegan and the LSU beam squad who matched the program record score with their 49.725 on the event.

The Tigers took down Auburn for the eighth consecutive time in the PMAC. The score was also the squad’s third 198 of the year, making LSU the team with the second-most scores on that scale so far this year.

LSU improved their average to 197.696 on the weekend in the final week of average rankings before moving to National Qualifying Score (NQS). The squads performance on beam against Auburn helped move them to No. 5 on the event, moving LSU to rank in the top-five nationally on all four events for the first time this year.

The Tigers enter this week with averages of 49.404 (2) on vault, 49.457 (3) on bars, 49.286 (5) on beam and 49.550 (2) on floor.

Haleigh Bryant was the top performer in the Tigers last meet against Auburn as she took home her third straight all-around title this year and earned a share of the bars title.

Bryant remains the No. 1 gymnast in the country for the fifth consecutive week with her average of 39.733 in the all-around. The senior owns an average of 9.900 or higher on every event, placing her in the top-10 across the board in the individual event rankings. She has ranked amongst the top-25 performers on every every for six consecutive weeks.

Kiya Johnson is one of the top-25 gymnasts in the country as she sits at No. 21 in the all-around with her average with 39.465. The fifth-year senior also earned a spot in the individual floor rankings at No. 9 with her average of 9.935.

Konnor McClain holds onto her spot in the individual floor rankings at No. 10 with her average of 9.925 on the event. 

Finnegan Earns SEC Co-Specialist of the Week Honors

Aleah Finnegan earned SEC Co-Specialist of the Week honors for her performance against Auburn. The award is the first of her career. She shares the week seven honor with Missouri’s Mara Titarsolej.

A native of Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Finnegan competed on vault, beam and floor for the Tigers in their last meet against Auburn.

The junior started off hot with the highest vault score on the night as her yurchenko 1.5 earned her a 9.50 to take home the title. She posted another strong 9.925 for the Tigers on beam before finishing on floor, where she scored her third career perfect score on the event and fifth in her career.

Finnegan finished the meet as the top performer on vault and floor against Auburn. She now owns 18 titles in her career and added to her individual event titles with six on floor and two on vault.

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. 

Follow the Tigers

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