Posted at 9:05 am on April 15, 2017

Gymnastics wins three titles en route to Super Six berth

Chris Parent | LSUSports.net
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By Tiger Rag News Services 

ST. LOUIS. – No. 2 LSU posted a 198.275 for the highest score ever by any team at an NCAA Championship to secure a spot in the program’s sixth Super Six in school history Friday evening at Chaifetz Arena.

It was a historic night as three gymnasts won individual national championships for the most at a single meet in school history. Senior Ashleigh Gnat, sophomore Sarah Finnegan and freshman Kennedi Edney all won individual national championships.

Gnat captured the floor title with a 9.9675. It marked the third floor title in school history and the first since volunteer coach Ashleigh Clare-Kearney did it in 2009. Finnegan took home the first bars national championship in school history after posting a 9.95 in the fifth spot of the lineup.

Edney stuck her Yurchenko 1 ½ to capture the vault title outright for a 9.9875 and a new career high. Edney became the first freshman in school history to win a national championship with the outright title win. The Chino, California native set the highest score by an LSU gymnast ever at an NCAA Championship.

Junior Myia Hambrick and Finnegan each posted a 39.5875 in the all—around to tie for fourth overall. The duo’s score was the third-highest score in the all-around at an NCAA Championship in school history.

LSU will return to action at 8 p.m. CT Saturday for a shot at the national championship. The Tigers will face off against Oklahoma, Alabama, Florida, UCLA and Utah. The meet will be televised live on ESPNU and streamed on WatchESPN.com.

Tomorrow’s rotation will be the exact same for the Tigers with the squad starting on bye before competing on floor and vault. The team will take another bye before closing out the meet on bars and beam.

Breaux on the Historic Night
“It was an incredible first night of competition and there was so much energy in the building tonight,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “I am really excited and proud of what our team did. It’s been a great season and I can’t expect this team to do any more than they’ve done tonight. We’ll regroup and go out there tomorrow night with a lot of energy and the same outlook as tonight.

Tigers Open Record Books on Floor
The Tigers’ floor team totaled an incredible 49.7125 for a school record and the best vault score ever in an NCAA semifinal. Senior Sydney Ewing started things off with a 9.90 and fellow senior Shae Zamardi added a 9.8875.

The squad never looked back in the rotation as the next four Tigers all earned a score of 9.95 or higher. Hambrick, Finnegan and McKenna Kelley all totaled 9.95s on floor with Finnegan’s score setting a new career high. Gnat closed out the opening rotation with a 9.9625 for the floor title and second-highest flor score in NCAA Championship history.

Vault Picks up Best Score at an NCAA Meet in School History
Fresh off the momentum from an incredible opening rotation, the Tigers continued the hot start with a 49.5625 for the highest vault score at an NCAA Championship in school history. Hambrick earned a 9.8625 in the second spot and Ewing followed with a career high 9.9625 on a stuck 1 ½.

After a 9.85 from freshman Ruby Harrold, Edney drilled her vault in the fifth spot for a 9.9875. Gnat then closed out the second rotation with a 9.90 for the Tigers heading into the bye.

Tigers Close out Bars Strong
After the Tigers’ final bye, the squad went out and posted a score of 49.4125. Zamardi got things off to a strong start with a 9.85. Hambrick and Edney followed with a 9.8375 and 9.85 in the second and fourth spots respectively. Finnegan performed an incredible routine for a 9.95 and Lexie Priessman closed out the rotation with a 9.925.

Beam Seals the Super Six Birth
The squad closed out the night with a 49.5875 to blow away the previous best at an NCAA Championship meet set last season. Erin Macadaeg started things off with a 9.90 for the best leadoff performance by a gymnast on Friday. Hambrick followed with a 9.9375 in the second spot. After a 9.7875 by Edney, Finnegan and Gnat closed out the rotation with scores of 9.9125 and 9.9375.

Fourteen Tigers Claim All-America Honors
Fourteen LSU gymnasts claimed All-America honors on the night for the most in a single year in school history. Finnegan led the way with four honors on bars, beam, floor, and the all-around. Gnat and Hambrick took home three honors on the night. Edney, Ewing, Priessman and Kelley also each earned honors.

LSU’s 2017 NCAA Event National Champions (scores from Sessions I and II combined)

Vault
Kennedi Edney, 9.9875

Bars
Sarah Finnegan (tie), 9.9500

Floor
Ashleigh Gnat (tie), 9.9625

Session II Final Team Results (top 3 advance)
1, LSU, 198.2750
2, Florida, 197.8125
3, Alabama, 197.6000

4, Nebraska, 197.2125
5, Michigan, 196.4625
6, Georgia, 195.8000

Session I Final Team Results (top 3 advance)
1, Oklahoma, 197.7250
2, UCLA, 197.5000
3, Utah, 197.0500

4, Washington, 196.5625
5, Denver, 196.4750
6, Oregon State, 196.3625

LSU’s Session II Individual Scores

Vault
1, Kennedi Edney, 9.9875
3, Sydney Ewing, 9.9625
5, Ashleigh Gnat, 9.9000
15, Myia Hambrick, 9.8625
17, Ruby Harrold, 9.8500
34, Sarah Finnegan, 9.7750

Bars
1, Sarah Finnegan, 9.9500
4, Lexie Priessman, 9.9250
19, Shae Zamardi, 9.8500
19, Kennedi Edney, 9.8500
23, Myia Hambrick, 9.8375
30, Ruby Harrold, 9.8125

Beam
1, Myia Hambrick, 9.9375
1, Ashleigh Gnat, 9.9375
5, Sarah Finnegan, 9.9125
6, Erin Macadaeg, 9.9000
6, Sydney Ewing, 9.9000
32, Kennedi Edney, 9.7875

Floor
1, Ashleigh Gnat, 9.9625
2, Myia Hambrick, 9.9500
2, Sarah Finnegan, 9.9500
2, McKenna Kelley, 9.9500
11, Sydney Ewing, 9.9000
13, Shae Zamardi, 9.8875

All-Around
4, Sarah Finnegan, 39.5875
4, Myia Hambrick, 39.5875

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Cody Worsham

Editor at Tiger Rag
Cody Worsham has been the editor of Tiger Rag since 2012. He covers LSU football and basketball and is a graduate of the LSU Manship School of Journalism.

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