LSU gymnastics received a huge boost on Monday when Tigers’ coach Jay Clark announced that seniors Reagan Campbell, Bridget Dean, Sami Durante, Christina Desiderio and Sarah Edwards will return to compete for a fifth season in 2022.
All seniors were granted another year of eligibility by the NCAA due to COVID-19. Olivia Gunter elected not to use her extra year. The Mandeville, Louisiana, native graduated in May.
The five returnees have more than 50 meets over the last four seasons. Campbell, Durante, Desiderio and Edwards have all earned All-America honors at LSU and Dean’s balance beam experience is invaluable.
“Olivia Gunter and her daily presence will be dearly missed, but we are thrilled to have these five returning,” Clark said. “There is no doubt that the progress of the underclassmen this year combined with the experience of these seniors will be a great combination for success.”
The seniors will join outstanding all-around performers Kiya Johnson, Alyona Shchennikova and Haleigh Bryant. Johnson was named the SEC Specialist of the Year in 2021. Bryant won the 2021 NCAA vault title and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year.
Kai Rivers will be healthy and back in the LSU lineup after rupturing her Achilles in the fall. Sierra Ballard, Chase Brock, All-America Olivia Dunne and SEC champion Elena Arenas also bring valuable experience for the Tigers.
Clark will also welcome a talented freshman class in August with Aleah Finnegan, Kaytlyn Johnson and Tori Tatum set to join the Purple and Gold.
This past season, LSU finished second in the SEC championship meet. It also finished second in the NCAA Salt Lake City Regional to advance to the national championship where it failed to advance to the Final Four.