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 and Gnat closed out the meet with 9.975s.
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.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Record totals. Record marks.
There were spectacular performances throughout Saturday's NCAA Gymnastics Super Six team final, held in front of a sold-out Chaifetz Arena crowd of 6,057.
Florida's team total of 197.700 is the program's fourth highest among its 15 NCAA Super Six appearances.
Three perfect marks were posted by three different gymnasts Saturday, including an uneven bars 10.0 by Gator junior Alex McMurtry. The first 10.0s ever in the NCAA Super Six competition were turned in Saturday by UCLA's Peng-Peng Lee and Oklahoma's Maggie Nichols.
The Gators were solid on each event Saturday. For the second consecutive season, Florida opened NCAA Super Six competition on balance beam. The Gators' team total of 49.30 equals UF's third-highest on the event in NCAA Super Six competition. McMurtry led the Gators with a 9.9125.
Florida came off of bye to floor exercise where they turned the day's second-highest total of 49.50. Three Gators turned in marks of 9.925 or better on the event - Kennedy Baker (9.925), Alicia Boren (9.95) and McMurtry (9.95). Boren and McMurtry were among a four-way tie for first on floor in Saturday's competition.
On vault, the Gators turned in a 49.3625, again the second-highest total on the event of the evening. McMurtry's 9.9375 was third among the Super Six vaulters.
McMurtry's 10.0 on uneven bars is the first by a Gator in NCAA Championships' competition. The last to earn a 10.0 in NCAA Super Six competition was Utah's Georgia Dabritz in 2015. Two Gator freshmen also turned in 9.9 bar marks - Amelia Hundley and Rachel Gowey.
- Florida took third in the NCAA Super Six. The Gators have finished in the top four in each of the last six NCAA Super Six competitions (1st - 2013, 2014, 2015; 2nd - 2012; 3rd - 2017 & 4th - 2016)
- This was Florida's sixth consecutive appearance in the NCAA Super Six and 15th in the program's history.
- The Gators improved on its preseason prediction, as the team was picked No. 5 in the Road to Nationals preseason poll.
ST. LOUIS, Mo. - The Alabama gymnastics team closed out its 2017 campaign by finishing sixth at the NCAA Championships with a team score of 196.000 Saturday night in Chaifetz Arena, in St. Louis.
Oklahoma won its second-consecutive national title and fourth overall with a score of 198.375. LSU and Florida finished second and third, respectively, giving the Southeastern Conference half of the final six. UCLA finish fourth and Utah was fifth.
With its finish, Alabama is the only team in the nation to finish in the top-six nationally each of the last ten years. Overall, Alabama has posted 33 top-six NCAA finishes.
Alabama scored a solid 49.325 on the floor exercise, led by junior Kiana Winston's 9.925 in the anchor position. The Crimson Tide then closed with a 49.1625 on the vault led by 9.85s from sophomore Abby Armbrecht, senior Katie Bailey and junior Nickie Guerrero.
The Crimson Tide struggled through its first two rotation of the night, scoring a 48.8875 on the uneven bars to open the meet, led by senior Keely McNeer's 9.9. That was followed by a 48.625 on the balance beam, paced by Guerrero's 9.9.
Alabama earned its spot in the NCAA Super Six Team Finals with a 197.600 in the semifinal round on Friday night. It was the Tide's third-highest score of the season. In 35-consecutive years at the NCAA Championships, Alabama has finished no lower than ninth.