LSU Gymnastics Wins SEC Championship, scores 198.075

The LSU Tigers came out on top of the SEC Championship with a score of 198.075. This is the fifth SEC Championship win in program history. PHOTO by LSU Athletics

NEW ORLEANS – The No. 3 nationally ranked LSU Gymnastics team (12-3, 5-2) secured their fifth SEC Championship win.

The Tigers entered the SEC Championship on vault first. KJ Johnson got things started with her notable Yurchenko full in which she scored a 9.875. Aleah Finnegan followed Johnson, earning herself a 9.850. In the third spot, Amari Drayton posted a 9.825. Graduate transfer Savannah Schoenherr entered the competition with a 9.850. To get the Tigers out of their 9.800 rut, Kiya Johnson posted an electric 9.925 Yurchenko double. In the anchor spot, senior Haleigh Bryant earned a 9.975. Bryant’s vault contribution helped to put the Tigers in the first overall spot through the first rotation, tied with the Alabama Roll Tide. 

Through the first rotation, LSU vault and Alabama floor tied 49.475 in the first position. 

The Tigers continued on bars with Kiya Johnson leading the squad, for a change. The standout senior set the tone for her team, posting a 9.825. In the second spot, Ashley Cowan earned a 9.950, a match for her career high. Olivia Dunne entered the SEC championship lineup in the third spot, where she contributed a steady 9.800. Bars regular, Konnor McClain, maintained with a 9.900. Schoenherr followed with a 9.850. In the anchor spot, Bryant secured a 9.925. The bar squad earned a 49.450 overall, a match score for the second highest bars score in LSU program history.

The Tigers finished the second rotation tied for first place once again. This time it was 98.925 for both LSU and Kentucky. 

For the third rotation, the LSU beam squad came to perform. In the leadoff position, senior Sierra Ballard posted a 9.800. Schoenherr entered the beam rotation in the second spot, her first appearance on beam all season. She rose to the occasion, earning a 9.850 for her team. Konnor McClain, No. 5 in the nation on balance beam as a freshman, followed with a perfect 10.00. McClain’s score was the first 10.00 of the championship, her third personal career perfect score, and her second 10.00 on beam this season. Kiya Johnson earned a 9.775 in the fourth position. Bryant added another high score to her all-around appearance, posting a 9.950. To close things out on beam, Finnegan earned a 9.875. The LSU Tigers finished beam with an overall 49.475. This score is also the second highest balance beam score in program history. 

Heading into their final rotation, the Tigers trailed Kentucky by .025. Through three rotations the top scores were as follows: 148.425, 148.400 LSU, 148.200 Alabama, and 147.850 Florida. 

McClain got things started on floor for the Tigers, securing a solid 9.925. Fellow freshman Drayton followed, earning a 9.850. In the third spot, KJ Johnson posted a 9.975. This performance matched her season and career high on floor. Finnegan suffered an out of bounds deduction, earning herself a 9.775 overall. To secure her all-around win, Bryant posted a 9.950. To close out the night, Kiya Johnson gave a powerful 9.975. Johnson’s floor solidified a Tiger win in the Big Easy.

To end the night, The LSU Tigers came out on top of the SEC Championship with a score of 198.075. This is the fifth SEC Championship win in program history.

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Tiger Rag News Services

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