When Kylie Coen performs, gymnastics seems easy. A 2021 regional and national all around champion and Nastia Liukin Cup qualifier, she boasts career highs of 9.950 on bars and floor thanks to her flawless execution, perfect form on every skill and captivating floor choreography.
While Coen has always been an exciting gymnast to watch, this was her year. She posted career highs on all four events, scored a huge 39.225 at Region 3 regionals and scored over 9.900 on floor in the three final competitions of the season. These are scores that would be impressive even in the NCAA, let alone in level 10.
On floor exercise, Coen’s form on her tumbling is gorgeous, but even more so is her dance, for which she credits her “exceptional” choreographer Beatrice Mihaila at Empire Gymnastics Academy. “She hears the music and creates a story around it,” Coen said.
Her huge 9.950 on floor was a big contributor to her nationals victory in May, which is her favorite moment of her career to date. “The way I felt and the excitement from my coaches and my family was my favorite part,” she said.
What helped her achieve such important results this year, she revealed, was the fact that she started coaching, which “changed the way I looked at gymnastics” and boosted her confidence.
Coen’s success, however, didn’t come easy. Over the years, she had three elbow surgeries, and last May she won nationals on a broken wrist, from which she’s currently recovering.
Given the tortuous path, Coen was especially elated when LSU offered her a full-ride scholarship.
It wasn’t the only college Coen visited—she notably paid an official visit to Florida, too. The Tigers, however, felt special because, she said, they “made me feel like I was home” and “the staff and the team [are] just incredible.”
Once in Baton Rouge, she looks forward to competing in the PMAC “with the best group of girls” and has ambitious goals for herself and her team. “Individually I would love to be NCAA all around champion, but team-wise, which I feel is more important, [my goal] is to win a couple of NCAA championships,” she said.
Given that LSU recently recruited current elites Konnor McClain and Zoe Miller, among others, for the 2024 season, Coen’s team goals don’t seem too far-fetched.
While Coen still has two more years of high school to go before joining the Tigers, she’s already embraced the team’s spirit, even modifying her childhood nickname to make it more LSU-esque. “My last name is Coen, and I have always been called Coco,” she explained. “We decided that when I committed, we could change it to Ceaux Ceaux because that’s how LSU changes the words. [It was] so fun coming up with the new nickname.”
Article by Talitha Ilacqua
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