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Gymnastics Seeking First National Title, Competing In NCAA Championship Final on Saturday

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Gymnastics Seeking First National Title, Competing In NCAA Championship Final on Saturday

FORT WORTH, Texas – The No. 2 LSU Gymnastics team (28-3, 5-2 SEC) will look to take home their first national title as they compete in the NCAA Championship finals on Saturday, April 20 at 3 p.m. CT in Dickies Arena.

The Tigers advanced to the finals for the 10th time in school history after finishing first in NCAA Semifinal I on Thursday. This year marks back-to-back final four appearances under head coach Jay Clark.

No. 2 LSU will take on No. 3 California, No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Utah in the championship, which will be aired nationally on ABC with John Roethelisberger and Aly Raisman on the call and Taylor Davis as the on site reporter.

LSU will begin the meet on floor while Florida will start on vault, Utah on bars and Cal on beam. All teams will rotate in Olympic order.

ESPN+ will continue to surround the televised action on Saturday with 15 live additional streams, including apparatus streams and a quad-box option. Samantha Peszek and Bridget Sloan will be the stream commentators on vault and beam and Anastasia Webb and Kennedy Baker will cover bars and floor. 

For direct links to every ESPN+ stream, please click here. Live results for the competition will be available via StatBroadcast and can be found here.

Last Time on The Floor

The Tigers secured their spot in the championship on Thursday afternoon after finishing first in semifinal I with a score of 198.1125. The team score marked the second highest for the LSU Gymnastics program at NCAA Championships.

LSU and California (197.7125) advanced out of the first semifinal of the day while Utah and Florida were the top two teams from semifinal II to make up the Final Four. 

The Tigers opened the meet with a 49.325 on vault. The event was highlighted by a pair of 9.900’s from Savannah Schoenherr and Haleigh Bryant, who earned All-America honors for their performance on the day. LSU was in second behind California after one rotation. 

LSU posted their second highest nationals score on bars in the second rotation. Bryant led the team with her score of 9.925 to close out the Tigers’ 49.475 rotation and push the team to first at the halfway point.

The LSU beam squad delivered with five scores of 9.900 or higher for a 49.5875 and the  program’s second-highest nationals score on the event. Schoenherr had a career high 9.925 performance on the event while Bryant posted a 9.95, the third-highest score for an LSU gymnast at NCAA Championships and the best in a semifinal.

The floor team set the LSU record for highest event score at NCAA Championships with a 49.725 to leave no doubt in the final rotation. The rotation was highlighted by Aleah Finnegan’s 9.9626, which earned her national champion status on the event for the first time in her career.

The Tigers performance on the day secured their first place finish over California, Arkansas and Stanford and was the highest score across both sessions of semifinal competition in Fort Worth.

Bryant led the way in the meet for the Tigers with an all-around score of 39.7125 for the highest in a semifinal in school history. Bryant’s all-around performance and Finnegan’s floor performance earned them NCAA individual titles. 

Bryant, Finnegan Named NCAA Champions | Details

Haleigh Bryant and Aleah Finnegan were crowned 2024 NCAA Champions after their performances in the semifinals on Thursday in Dickies Arena.

The duo finished as the top performers in the all-around and on floor across both sessions of semifinals on Thursday. This year’s two individual titles from Bryant and Finnegan marks the second most in a single season. LSU had the most national champions in 2017 with three different gymnasts claiming titles. 

Bryant recorded a 39.7125 in the semifinals to claim the individual all-around title for only the second time in school history. This is her second national title in her career, with her first coming on vault in 2021. Susan Jackson is the only other gymnast to win the all-around title in 2010. 

The senior finished as one of the top 10 performers on every event with her scores of 9.900 on vault, 9.925 on bars, 9.950 on beam and 9.9375 on floor at the meet on Thursday. 

Finnegan claimed her first individual national title of her career last night and fourth program title on floor. The junior recorded a 9.9625 in the semifinals to finish as the top performer on the event and join an elite group of floor national champions in Nicki Arnstad (2002), Ashleigh Clare-Kearney (2009) and Ashleigh Gnat (2017).

With her title last night, Finnegan joined her sister in the record books and became the first sibling duo to own national titles in program history. Her sister, Sarah Finnegan, is a two-time NCAA bars champion.

LSU now owns 18 national titles across 11 gymnasts since 1977. 

Seven Gymnasts Claim Postseason All-America Honors | Details

Seven LSU gymnasts combined for 16 postseason All-America honors following their performances in the NCAA Semifinals on Thursday afternoon in Dickies Arena.

NCAA postseason All-America awards are based on the top eight event scores in both sessions of the semifinals. Gymnasts that place 1-4 on an event in their respective session will earn first team honors while spots 5-8 will earn second team honors. LSU competed in the first session on Thursday, where Haleigh Bryant, Kiya Johnson, Savannah Schoenherr, Sierra Ballard, Aleah Finnegan, KJ Johnson and Konnor McClain all finished amongst the top eight performer

LSU now owns 327 All-America honors in program history and 26 on the year (10 regular season, 16 postseason), which is the third most in a single season. The program record for most All-America honors in a single season is 28 set in 2018. The 2017 season follows with 27. 

The Tigers 16 honors at NCAA’s this year matches the most in LSU postseason history.

Bryant earned five more All-America honors after her standout performance in the NCAA semifinals that won her a national title. The senior tallied five honors on all four events and the all-around during the regular season as she once again swept the All-America honors in the postseason. 

She is now the first LSU gymnast to record All-America honors on every event and the all-around in both the regular season and the postseason, and just the second to claim honors on every event in the postseason.

Bryant has earned 10 All-America honors in 2024 to move her career total to 27 (14 regular season, 13 postseason), the most by any LSU gymnast in school history. Her five postseason honors in 2024 moved her to the top spot to surpass the previous record of 23, which was held by Sarah Finnegan and Rheagan Courville. 

Kiya Johnson earned three postseason honors, including first team honors on floor and the all-around to move her total to 12 in her career, moving her to eighth most alongside Susan Jackson in program history. She posted a score of 9.9375 on floor and a 39.6125 in the all-around, while also earning second team honors on beam with her score of 9.900.

Finnegan, already a six time All-American, added another to her resume after finishing as the top floor performer across both sessions of semifinal competition on Thursday with her score of 9.9625.

Schoenherr had a standout night in her first postseason appearance with the Tigers, claiming All-America honors on vault and beam with her scores of 9.900 and 9.925. She is now a five time All-American in her career. 

Ballard, McClain and KJ Johnson all claimed their first career All-America honor following their performances in Thursday’s semifinals.

Ballard’s award came on beam with her score of 9.900, while Johnson posted the second highest floor score in session I with her 9.950. 

McClain took home All-America honors in her NCAA Championships debut on bars, beam and floor. She recorded a pair of 9.9125’s on bars and beam and a 9.9375 on floor.

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