The LSU gymnastics team is peaking at the right time.
The No. 2 Tigers qualified for tomorrow’s NCAA Championship with a season-high 198.275 in Friday night’s NCAA Semifinals, behind records aplenty across all four apparatuses. LSU advances to tomorrow’s Super Six alongside Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Florida and Alabama.
LSU shattered its previous NCAA best of 197.600 with today’s mark. The team’s final score not only set a season high, but is the highest score any team has ever posted at the NCAA Championship. In the event, freshman Kennedi Edney posted the best vault score of any competitor with a 9.9875. Ashleigh Gnat did the same on the floor exercise with a 9.9625, as did Sarah Finnegan with her 9.95 on bars. Edney, Gnat and Finnegan were each crowned national champions for the effort.
After opening the meet on a bye rotation, LSU came out for its first event – the floor routing – in a dazzling fashion. The team posted a score of 49.7125, setting a record for the best floor session in LSU gymnastics history and the highest floor score ever achieved in an NCAA Semifinal. This success came behind four scores of 9.950 or better, as Myia Hambrick, Sarah Finnegan and McKenna Kelley all scored 9.95 and Gnat’s 9.9625.
— LSU Gymnastics (@LSUgym) April 15, 2017
After floor, LSU headed to vault. Different apparatus, no change. The Tigers continued dominating, as Edney led the way by embodying her “fire-breathing dragon” persona with a career-high 9.9875. Senior Sydney Ewing didn’t lag far behind, posting a 9.9625 of her own. In all, LSU posted a 49.5625 on vault, barely a tenth of a point behind its season high.
The Tigers took another bye in the fourth rotation, then headed to bars, where the squad took a bit of a step back but continued to perform. LSU posted a 49.4125, nearly identical to its season average, led by Finnegan’s 9.950 and Lexie Priessman’s 9.925.
In their final rotation on the balance beam, LSU cemented the win in what looked like an effortless fashion. Hambrick finished off her all-around with a 9.9375
— Jacques Doucet (@JacquesDoucet) April 15, 2017
What’s next for LSU gymnastics?
The Tigers will stay in St. Louis tonight to prepare for tomorrow’s Super Six. The meet will begin at 8 p.m. CT and will be broadcast on ESPNU. You will be able to watch streams of the full event, as well as apparatus-specific streams online through WatchESPN and the Watch ESPN App.
LSU has never won an NCAA Gymnastics championship and is the reigning national runner-up.