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Gymnastics Set to Compete in Fayetteville Regional Championship on Saturday

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Gymnastics Set to Compete in Fayetteville Regional Championship on Saturday

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The No. 2 LSU Gymnastics team (22-3, 5-2 SEC) is set to compete in the Fayetteville Regional Final on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. CT in Bud Walton Arena.

The Tigers will look to win their 14th regional title and secure their spot in the NCAA Championships as the top two teams in Saturday’s competition will advance to nationals.

LSU finished first in the second round of the Fayetteville Regional on Thursday night to secure their spot in the regional finals on Saturday, where they will face No. 7 Kentucky, No. 10 Arkansas and No. 15 Minnesota. 

The competition will be streamed on ESPN+ with Alex Perlman and Anastasia Webb on the call and live stats will be provided by Virtius. The Tigers will start the meet on beam and rotate to floor and vault before finishing on bars. 

NCAA Postseason History

LSU owns 32 NCAA Championships appearances and 13 NCAA Regional Championships in program history. This year’s regional berth marked the Tigers 41st overall appearance in the postseason and 39th straight berth for the program. 

Since the first year the NCAA sanctioned gymnastics in 1982, LSU has advanced to the NCAA Regional 41 out of 42 years. The 1984 season was the only year LSU did not qualify for regional competition.

The following is the place LSU has finished in each of its 40 previous regional appearances and how many times the Tigers have finished in that spot:

First Place – 13 times (1986*, 2002*, 2004*, 2005, 2008*, 2009, 2013, 2014*, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019) – *Hosted 6 out of 12 times.
Second Place – 16 times (1985, ‘87, ‘88, ‘89, ‘90, ‘93, ‘94, ‘99, 2000, ‘03, ‘06, ‘07, ‘10, ‘12,’21, 2023)
Third Place – 10 times (1982, ‘83, ‘91, ‘95, ‘96, ‘97, ‘98, 2001, ‘11, ‘22)
Seventh Place – 1 time (1992)

Last Time On The Floor

LSU advanced to the round of 16 with the highest score across both sessions of second round competition on Thursday (197.800) and their second highest score at a regional in program history. 

The Tigers got the NCAA postseason started on vault, where Haleigh Bryant led the rotation with a team high 9.925. The LSU vault squad finished the first rotation with a 49.375, trailing Minnesota’s 49.500. 

Ashley Cowan and Savannah Schoenherr posted the highest scores for the Tigers on bars in the second rotation with their 9.900 performances. The duo recorded the third highest score on the day across both sessions of competition to help put LSU in the lead.

LSU finished bars with a 49.375 to give them a 98.750 at the halfway point, taking the lead over Minnesota’s 98.725. BYU followed in third place with their 98.250 and Oregon State in fourth with their 98.075. The squad’s score on bars matched the sixth best score in program history during regional competition. 

McClain, one of the top beam performers in the nation, continued to shine on the event as she put up a team high 9.925 for the Tigers in the third rotation. Her score was the second highest of the day to help her team to a 49.350 finish on beam, the sixth highest regional score in program history. LSU took the lead into the final rotation with their score of 148.075. 

The Tigers went lights out on floor to secure the win on Thursday as all six gymnasts in the lineup posted scores of 9.900 or higher in the last rotation. Konnor McClain, Amari Drayton and Olivia Dunne all recorded a 9.900 for the Tigers, while Bryant and KJ Johnson added a pair of 9.950’s. Finnegan added a perfect 10 in the fourth spot and LSU closed out the meet with a 49.700, a new program best regional score. The previous record was 49.650, set in 2014 at the Baton Rouge Regional.

Finnegan’s perfect score on floor was only the third time an LSU gymnast achieved perfection on the event at a regional. The junior now owns seven perfect scores in her career, the sixth most in LSU history. 

Her performance on floor was enough to secure regional champion honors as she shares the title with Oregon State’s Jade Carey, who also recorded a 10 in the second round competition. 

The Tigers finished first overall in the second session of the NCAA second round in Fayetteville, defeating No. 15 Minnesota, Oregon State and BYU to secure their spot in the regional finals.

Sweet 16 Opponents 

No. 7 Kentucky and No. 10 Arkansas advanced together out of the afternoon session on Thursday to advance to the next round of competition on Saturday.

The Razorbacks placed first in the meet with their 197.325, while the Wildcats followed with their 197.100. Arkansas finished second overall out of the two sessions, the best finish for the Gymbacks since the regional format changed to eight teams in 2019 and the highest in any regional since 2018. It’s the first regional final appearance for Arkansas since 2022.

No. 15 Minnesota moved out of the evening session along with LSU with their score of 196.950. This will be the third time in the last four seasons Minnesota has made the regional finals. The Gophers finished second in both 2021 and 2022, advancing to nationals in both seasons.

Along with the Fayetteville regional, top two teams from each final of the Berkeley, Gainesville and Ann Arbor regionals will determine who make up the elite eight in the NCAA Championship Semifinals on Thursday, April 18 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

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