4.5.19 Gym Regionals

LSU junior all-around Kennedi Edney performs on the balance beam during the gymnastics regionals in the PMAC on Friday, April 5, 2019.

The two Tiger teams made it out of Session II of the Baton Rouge Regional. 

LSU and Auburn will join Utah and Minnesota in the regional final on Saturday night for a chance to advance to the NCAA Semifinal. 

Even without senior all-arounder Lexie Priessman due to a reaggravated bicep and a limited Sarah Finnegan, the Tigers were able to put up a 197.200 for the highest score of all eight teams in the first round. 

"[The team] know there's a tomorrow in this meet if you do well," LSU coach D-D Breaux said. "The new format, I think, really lends itself to teams that have been in the trenches and competed in hard competition and managed to stay in the meet the entire meet and that's what this team has kind of defined themselves as being.

"Consistency wins.That's what we talk about and do in the gym, especially these last two weeks after SECs. It was emotionally and physically taxing." 

Junior all-arounder Kennedi Edney placed second in the all-around for the first round with a score of 39.475, just behind Utah's MyKayla Skinner at 39.525. 

The Tigers started well, with a 49.250 on vault. Senior all-arounder Sarah Finnegan lead off with a 9.85 and junior all-arounder Ruby Harrold had a team-high 9.90 to lead the way. 

LSU was tied with Auburn, which was on beam on beam to start, at 49.250 after the first rotation. 

LSU pulled ahead of Auburn in the second rotation, where the Tigers were on the uneven bars. 

The Tigers scored a 49.325 on bars, with Finnegan and Edney scoring 9.90s for event highs. LSU had a total score of 98.575 at the "halftime," closely followed by Auburn at 98.375, Arizona State at 97.900 and George Washington at 97.475. 

Auburn stepped up in a big way in the third rotation, when  it was on vault. Those Tigers put up a 9.95 and 9.90 in the four and five spots to lead the team to a 49.350 event score. 

Meanwhile, LSU was on beam, scoring a 49.325 on the event. 

Sophomore all-arounders Christina Desiderio and Bridget Dean started the rotation slow with two 9.775s, but the last three routines brought the score back up with a 9.90 from Edney, 9.875 from sophomore Reagan Campbell and 9.925 from Finnegan. 

Despite a few stumbles, LSU still maintained a sizable lead going into the final rotation. The Tigers had a 147.900, followed by Auburn at 147.725, at Arizona State at 146.925 and George Washington at 146.000. 

Harrold, Campbell and freshman Sarah Edwards started the floor rotation with three-straight 9.85s and senior all-arounder McKenna Kelley anchored with a 9.925. LSU clinched the win without Finnegan having to compete on floor. 

Finnegan had been battling a sickness earlier in the week and Breaux had planning to not have her go on floor unless absolutely necessary. She inserted Campbell and Edwards in place of Finnegan and Priessman and was pleased with the outcome. 

"We knew we had to hit five routines on floor,"Breaux said. "I mentioned it to Ruby and McKenna because I knew they could handle the conversation, but I didn't say that to Sarah or Reagan. We just wanted to hit five routines so we didn't have to put Sarah Finnegan in that situation. I think she'll feel better for that tomorrow."

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