Sierra Ballard will be returning to LSU gymnastics for the 2025 season

LSU gymnastics star Sierra Ballard will be back in Baton Rouge for one final season. PHOTO BY: LSU Athletics

LSU gymnast Sierra Ballard will be returning to LSU as a fifth-year senior after winning the national championship in 2024.

“There’s just something different about LSU,” Ballard said. “You can’t put it into words until you come here. If I have an opportunity to continue making history with my best friends, in the best place in this world, then I’m going to do that.”

Ballard helped lead LSU’s championship charge when she put in a career-high (9.95) beam performance in the championship to start the Tigers’ title-clinching rotation. She was named an NCAA All-American on beam after her performance in the semifinals.

“It’s hard to put that into words because it’s just so surreal,” Ballard said. “To be part of such insane history that’s going to be talked about forever is the coolest thing that I could have ever dreamed about. It’s the perfect storybook ending. It’s like a long, long story that finally has come to its peak.”

Ballard is the niece of head coach Jay Clark and a Mandeville native and has competed in either beam or floor in every meet for LSU over the last two years. She’s the second LSU senior to return to LSU after NCAA all-around champion Haleigh Bryant announced she would return for the 2025 season.

In addition to the two returning seniors, LSU also has four incoming freshman that will join the team for next season. Kailin Chio, Kaliya Lincoln, Zoe Miller, and Lexi Zeiss will all be coming to Baton Rouge as a part of the No. 4 recruiting class in the nation, according to College Gym News.

LSU will also add former Bowling Green gymnast Kathryn Weilbacher as a transfer.

LSU gymnasts Olivia Dunne, Kiya Johnson, Chase Brock and Alyona Shchennikova have yet to announce if they will be returning for another season.

Florida transfer Savannah Schoenherr is one of the biggest names that will be leaving the squad this season. Schoenherr competed in every event except for floor in the national championship.

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Will Nickel

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