‘This is our year’: LSU gymnastics eyeing NCAA Championship

‘This is our year’: LSU gymnastics eyeing NCAA Championship
(Source: Josh Auzenne)

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The No. 3 LSU gymnastics squad is looking to finally break through and bring home the programs first NCAA National title to Baton Rouge.

The Tigers will travel to Fort Worth, Texas and compete in the first Semifinal of the day beginning at noon CT on Friday. The meet will be televised live on ESPN2 with Bart Conner and Kathy Johnson Clarke on the call.

LSU was the top finisher from the Baton Rouge regional with the three seed, the squad will begin the meet on beam, before going to floor, vault and closing on bars. This is the same rotation as the Baton Rouge Regional Final.

The Tigers will compete against No. 2 UCLA, No. 7 Michigan and No. 6 Utah in the first session. Mila Clausi of California, Cally Nixon of Kentucky, Brooke Kelly of Missouri and Sidney Dukes of Kentucky will rotate with the squad as individual event specialists. The second session, which will take place at 6 p.m., will feature No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 5 Denver, No. 8 Georgia and No. 13 Oregon State.

The top two teams from each NCAA Semifinal will advance to the first ever Four on the Floor. Prior to this year, LSU advanced to the NCAA Super Six seven times in school history and finished a program-best second in both 2016 and 2017.

The squad feels like this the year they can finally break through and bring home a national title to Baton Rouge.

I’ve never felt this way," says senior Lexie Priessman. “We talk about it all of the time. McKenna (Kelley) and I look at each other like, ‘This is our year.’ It has to be, and why not?”

Nearly the entire Tigers roster has competed for a national title at least once.

“Just knowing all of the hype, all of the excitement, all of the energy, all of the nerves that you experience that level of competition,” says Finnegan. “We’ve done that before. I think that’s definitely an advantage.”

The Tigers and the Georgia Bulldogs are the only two SEC teams representing the conference.

“We want to represent the conference well and bring home a national championship,” said head coach D-D Breaux.

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