By Tiger Rag News Services
ST. LOUIS – The LSU gymnastics team closed out a historic season with a furious comeback to finish second at the NCAA Championships with a team score of 197.7375 for the second-highest score at an NCAA meet in school history Saturday evening at Chaifetz Arena.
Down by .150 heading into the final rotation, the Tigers’ beam squad posted an incredible score of 49.725 to roar back into second place. The beam score tied for the best in school history and was the best for any team ever at an NCAA Championship.
In her final performance as a Tiger, senior Ashleigh Gnat hit beam for a 9.975 to capture second place. Sophomore Sarah Finnegan also nailed her beam prior to Gnat for a 9.975. The pair’s scores marked the best at an NCAA Championship on the event in school history.
Finnegan ended with a 39.625 in the all-around to tie Susan Jackson for the best performance at an NCAA Championship in school history.
Breaux on the Night
“Tonight we couldn’t get any traction or build any momentum,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “I am so proud though of the way we fought back tonight though and closed the night on beam. That was an incredible performance by the entire beam lineup.”
Finnegan Leads Way on Floor
The squad started the night with a solid 49.325 on floor. Finnegan led the way for the team with a 9.9125. McKenna Kelley and Gnat closed out the rotation for the Tigers with 9.90s. Myia Hambrick totaled a 9.85 in the third spot and LSU counted a 9.7625 from Shae Zamardi in the second spot.
Vault Goes 49.300 Heading into Bye
Gnat and freshman Ruby Harrold led the way on vault for the Tigers with 9.8875s. Freshman Kennedi Edney picked up a 9.85 in the fifth spot of the lineup. The squad also used a 9.8375 from Finnegan in the leadoff spot and 9.8375 from senior Sydney Ewing.
Tigers Bounce Back With Strong Bars Rotation
The Tigers bounced back with a strong 49.3875 on bars with a leadoff of 9.8375 from Zamardi. Hambrick added a 9.85 in the second spot. Edney, Finnegan and Priessman closed out the rotations with scores of 9.90.
Beam Caps off Incredible Comeback
LSU saved its best for last to cap off the night with an NCAA record-breaking performance. Erin Macadaeg set the stage in the leadoff with a 9.9125. Hambrick carried the momentum and posted a 9.95. Edney added a strong 9.9375 in the fourth spot. With Florida already setting the standard in the final rotation, Finnegan added a 9.975. Gnat closed out the meet with a 9.95 to secure seconD.
Breaux, Clark, Moore Sweep Coach of the Year Honors
Breaux was named the NCGA Coach of the Year for the second time in her career. Breaux led the squad to a 34-2 record overall for the most wins in a single season in school history. The Tigers completed the historic sweep of the Southeastern Conference championships and brought home three individual NCAA Championships. Bob Moore and Jay Clark were also named NCGA Co-Assistant Coaches of the Year for their efforts.
2017 NCAA Super Six – Final Team Standings
1, Oklahoma, 198.3875
2, LSU, 197.7375
3, Florida, 197.7000
4, UCLA, 197.2625
5, Utah, 196.5875
6, Alabama, 196.0000
NCAA Super Six – LSU Individual Scores