BATON ROUGE, La. — For LSU gymnastics, the SEC title defense begins Monday.
Veteran coach D-D Breaux and the LSU gymnastics team host the annual “Gym 101” exhibition Monday night at 6:30 p.m. CT in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Tickets are free, with doors to the PMAC opening at 5 p.m. If you’re unable to make the meet, you can stream it live through WatchESPN on the SEC Network+.
Coming off the best season in school history where the Tigers claimed SEC regular season and postseason crowns and finished as the nation runners-up for the second straight year, LSU will have plenty to show in the exhibition Monday night. The Tigers have to replace three highly-productive seniors from 2017, as well as junior McKenna Kelley, who’ll miss the season with an achilles injury.
As a result, LSU has to replace four participants on floor in 2018, with all-arounders Sarah Finnegan and Myia Hambrick being the only returning competitors. Sophomore Kennedi Edney is also available, with Breaux saying the 2017 national champion on vault will likely anchor the rotation to start the season.
When you have to replace athletes such as Ashleigh Gnat, Sydney Ewing and Shae Zamardi, you can’t expect to have those holes mended in the preseason. Breaux said she hasn’t found a starting lineup she’s comfortable with yet, partially because she has seven freshmen she’s eager to see what they’ll be capable of in a live setting such as Gym 101. Breaux singled out Christian Desiderio and Sami Durante, among others, as freshmen we’ll likely see compete at Gym 101.
Procedurally, Gym 101 should work similarly to a regular meet. Breaux said she wants to have six or seven competitors on each event so the meet doesn’t drag longer than a regular season one would. LSU is mostly healthy with the exception of Kelley and junior Lexie Priessman. Priessman recently underwent a minor procedure on her knee and was just recently cleared to compete. Breaux said Priessman may participate on bars, but if she does, she won’t do her dismount.
Stay posted to SEC Country throughout the night for more updates on LSU gymnastics.