GAINESVILLE, Fla. – In an exciting, back-and-forth scoring affair, the seventh-ranked LSU gymnastics team used a season-high 49.575 on beam in the final rotation to knock off the second-ranked Florida Gators, 197.900-197.875, Friday night in the O’Connell Center.
LSU’s 197.900 is a season-high total and ranks as the sixth-highest total in school history and the highest on the road in program history.
The loss was Florida’s first at home since the 2010 NCAA Super Six and the first in a regular-season meet since Jan. 18, 2008.
LSU improved to 9-2 overall and 5-1 against Southeastern Conference opponents by posting a 49.325 on bars, 49.550 on vault, 49.450 on floor and 49.575 on beam to earn a 197.900.
Florida fell to 6-2 overall and 5-2 against SEC competition with a 49.500 on vault, 49.375 on bars, 49.525 on beam and 49.475 on floor to finish with a 197.875.
“What a great performance from our wonderful group of Fighting Tigers tonight who believed they could come in here and win, and they did it,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “It came down to the last performer on the last event, and Ashleigh Gnat was clutch. She did a fabulous job.
“I can’t praise Erin Macadaeg enough to go in vaulting at the last minute and get a 9.90 and then lead off in this high-pressure environment and give us that kind of routine on beam. We had to pull Sarah Finnegan out of vault because she was throwing up before the meet, but she said ‘I can do bars and beam.’ She went out and did a great job. There were so many little side stories that made this meet so exciting, and I’m proud of the heart and effort our team displayed tonight.”
LSU opened the meet with a 49.325 on bars. Sarah Finnegan led the way with her second straight 9.90 in the event, and she was followed closely by Myia Hambrick and Shae Zamardi who each tallied 9.875s. Julianna Cannamela recorded a career-high 9.85, and Jessica Savona and Randii Wyrick each added a 9.825.
LSU posted a season-high 49.550 on vault, highlighted by Ashleigh Gnat’s 9.95 in the anchor spot. Hambrick finished just behind Gnat with a 9.925, and Sydney Ewing and Erin Macadaeg were next with 9.90s. Cannamela tallied a career-high 9.875 in the leadoff spot to round out the scoring.
The Tigers and Gators were tied at 98.875 at the halfway point of the meet.
In the third rotation LSU scored a 49.450 on floor. Gnat anchored the event with an outstanding 9.95. Wyrick earned a 9.90, and Ewing and Savona followed with 9.875s. Hambrick and McKenna Kelley each added 9.85s.
Down by .075 entering the final rotation, LSU rallied to post a 49.575 on beam to clip the Gators. Gnat led the way with a 9.95 in the anchor spot, followed by 9.925s from Macadaeg and Finnegan. Ewing added a 9.90, and Hambrick rounded out the scoring with a 9.875.
Gnat captured the vault, beam and floor titles with 9.95s on all events to increase her season total to 17 individual titles.
LSU returns home to the Maravich Center next Friday when the Tigers play host to No. 3 Alabama on Senior Night. The meet will begin at 7:30 p.m. CT on March 4.
“We can’t wait to be back home in front of our amazing fans, and we hope they spread the word and pack the PMAC for Senior Night against a great opponent in Alabama,” Breaux said.
Tickets are available for purchase starting as low as $2 by visiting LSUtix.net, calling the LSU Ticket Office at 225-578-2184 or in person on the first floor of the LSU Athletic Administration Building.
1. #7 LSU 197.900 (VT – 49.550, UB – 49.325, BB – 49.575, FX – 49.450)
2. #2 Florida 197.875 (VT – 49.500, UB – 49.375, BB – 49.525, FX – 49.475)
Individual (Includes first place and all LSU competitors)
All-Around – 1. Kennedy Baker (Florida) 39.625, 3. Myia Hambrick 39.525
Vault – 1. Ashleigh Gnat 9.95, t2. Myia Hambrick 9.925, t5. Sydney Ewing 9.90, t5. Erin Macadaeg 9.90, 9. Julianna Cannamela 9.875, 12. Jessica Savona 9.80
Bars – 1. Bridgette Caquatto (Florida) 9.925, t2. Sarah Finnegan 9.90, t4. Myia Hambrick 9.875, t4. Shae Zamardi 9.875, t7. Julianna Cannamela 9.85, t9. Jessica Savona 9.825, t9. Randii Wyrick 9.825
Beam – t1. Ashleigh Gnat 9.95, t1. Alicia Boren (Florida) 9.95, t1. Alex McMurtry (Florida) 9.95, t4. Sarah Finnegan 9.925, t4. Erin Macadaeg 9.925, t6. Sydney Ewing 9.90, 9. Myia Hambrick 9.875, 11. Michelle Gauthier 9.75
Floor – 1. Ashleigh Gnat 9.95, t3. Randii Wyrick 9.90, t7. Sydney Ewing 9.875, t7. Jessica Savona 9.875, t9. Myia Hambrick 9.85, t9. McKenna Kelley 9.85