FORT WORTH, Texas — For the third time in four years, the LSU gymnastics team returns back to Baton Rouge as the NCAA runner-up. The Tigers had their highest finish in school history with a score of 197.8250.
The Tigers fell second to a strong Oklahoma team who has won the national championship the last three of the four years, scoring a 198.3375.
Competing in Olympic order, the Tigers began the meet on the vault exercise. The Tigers proved they were ready to fight with an exceptional performance from senior Sarah Finnegan who earned a 9.9125 in the leadoff spot. Senior McKenna Kelley and sophomore Sarah Edwards aided the Tigers scoring 9.8875s in the third and fifth spots.
The Tigers earned a 49.4625 on the uneven bars, the fourth-highest bars score at an NCAA championship meet in school history. Junior Kennedi Edney and senior Lexie Priessman scored a 9.90 in the fourth and fifth spots. Finnegan, the 2019 NCAA uneven bar national champion, anchored for the Tigers earning a 9.9500.
With the strong performance on the uneven bars, the Tigers were propelled to the second spot behind Oklahoma.
Sophomore Christina Desiderio had a triumphant comeback after her fall on the beam in the semi-finals Friday night earning a 9.8875 in the leadoff spot. Sophomore Reagan Campbell also scored a 9.8875 in the fifth spot. Finnegan anchored on the beam earning a 9.9500.
The Tigers remained in second place behind the Sooners after three events.
Desiderio continued her incredible comeback earning a 9.900 in the second spot on the floor exercise. In their last routine as LSU Tigers, Finnegan and Kelley went back to back both earning a 9.9500 in the fifth and sixth spots to finish out the meet.
The Tigers strong performance on floor edged out the reigning national champions, the UCLA bruins, to earn the runner-up title. The Bruins finished in third earning a score of 197.5375.
“I could not have asked this team for a better performance,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “They outperformed themselves from the semifinal. We gave it all we had and there is nothing wrong with finishing second to a great Oklahoma team. I am taking a lot of pride in this second-place finish and great season.”
The LSU senior class of Finnegan, Priessman, Julianna Cannamela, and Kelley wrapped up their careers as the most decorated and perhaps the most adored senior class in school history. The group finished with 126 wins, three of the highest finishes at the NCAA championships and as three-time SEC champions.