Alabama edges LSU for SEC gymnastics championship

LSU's Kiya Johnson won the SEC floor exercise with the fifth perfect score -- a 10 -- of her career.

LSU’s streak of SEC gymnastics championships ended Saturday night.

Barely.

Alabama needed a 9.950 score on the balance beam from sophomore Luis Blanco on the final routine of the SEC gymnastics championship meet to give the No. 8 ranked Crimson Tide a narrow 197.875 to 197.775 victory over No. 4 LSU as co-No. 1 national Florida finished third in Huntsville, Ala.

The Crimson Tide led after each rotation and LSU trailed 0.275 heading into to the vault, the Tigers’ final event of the night.

And it was LSU’s best event also, scoring a 49.625 with all five vaulters scoring 9.900 or better. Freshmen Haleigh Bryant and Elena Arenas led the way with a score each of 9.95 that earned them a share of the event title with Alabama’s Blanco.

LSU sophomore Kiya Johnson won the floor exercise with a 10, the fifth perfect score of her career and the 10th ever by an SEC gymnast in the league championships. She also finished second in the all-around with as 39.625, just behind winner Blanco’s 39.800.

LSU’s other top five event finishes included:

Uneven bars: Olivia Dunne and Sami Durante, tied for 5th, 9.900

Floor exercise: Aloyna Shchennikova and Haleigh Bryant, tied for 5th, 9.925.

The Tigers will now wait to see if they host an NCAA Regional April 2-3.

Final team totals: Alabama 197.875, LSU 197.775, Florida 196.975, Kentucky 196.825, Auburn 196.275, Missouri 196.125, Arkansas 195.600

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