SEC Championship Session Two
Individual Event Streams: Vault | Bars | Beam | Floor | Quad Box
|Full Results||Alabama 197.875||LSU: 197.775||Florida: 196.975||Kentucky: 196.825|
|Auburn: 196.275||Missouri: 196.125||Arkansas: 195.600||Georgia: Withdrew|
|Arenas, Blanco & Bryant: 9.950||UB: Adams, Blanco & Doggette 9.950||BB: Baumann, Blanco, Graber & Lazzari 9.950||FX: Johnson 10.000||AA: Blanco 39.800|
The Big Storyline: It was a wild ride from the start at this session, and like everyone expected (right?), the Alabama Crimson Tide reigned supreme for the first time since 2015. Luisa Blanco ended the meet for the Tide with a 9.950 on beam, adding another event title to her repertoire. LSU came in hot for a solid second place, but even its program record SEC vault rotation couldn’t muster up the 0.100 needed to beat Alabama. Arguably the biggest shock of the night was how vulnerable Florida looked without Trinity Thomas on three events; the Gators fell to a disappointing third after looking nearly untouchable all season long, even in Thomas’s absence on previous occasions. The Gators weren’t the only ones with uncharacteristic mistakes; Arkansas also had a disappointing day, struggling on bars and overall looking less confident than it has all season.
Postseason Implications: LSU jumped Michigan to sit in third in the national rankings. Based on projected standings, the Tigers will travel to Salt Lake City for their regional while Alabama gets to stay home and host.
Records: Alyssa Baumann is the first gymnast to be the SEC beam champion three times.
- No. 1 Florida | 197.944 NQS | 198.225 season high
- No. 4 LSU, 197.700 NQS | 198.050 season high
- No. 8 Alabama | 197.319 NQS | 197.725 season high
- No. 9 Arkansas | 197.225 NQS | 197.425 season high
If you can only watch one meet, here’s why it should be this one… The SEC evening session features some of the most difficult and well-executed gymnastics being done in the country. Florida is the favorite to win, but the Gators have underperformed at the meet in the past. It’s also unclear if Trinity Thomas will compete in the all around after she suffered an ankle injury in warmups two weeks ago. Her absence may open the door for other teams. Arkansas has scored two program records in 2021 and is capable of scoring a third in this session. LSU has won the last three SEC conference meet titles and will be looking for its fourth Saturday night.
If this is one of many meets you’ll be watching, don’t miss this… Florida’s beam rotation is the best in the country and went 49.700 earlier this season. The Gators have significant depth with multiple gymnasts who can achieve perfection on the apparatus. LSU’s Haleigh Bryant’s front pike half is must-see on vault. Right before her vault, Kiya Johnson will perform the best DTY in NCAA gym. Lexi Graber’s floor routine achieves a perfect balance of flexibility, grace, power and tumbling. The senior has gone 9.975 twice this year.
What’s the bigger picture to keep an eye on? Trinity Thomas can achieve a college gym slam with a 10 on vault. If she competed the event, she has a chance to do it. LSU’s ranking has dropped to No. 4 with a surging and talented Michigan team overtaking it last week. If the Tigers don’t perform well here, California just may surpass them heading into regionals as well.
By the Numbers
- Florida: 10 titles, last won in 2016
- LSU: 4 titles, last won in 2019
- Alabama: 9 titles, last won in 2015
- Arkansas: 0 titles
- Team: 198.375 (Georgia 1997)
- Vault: 49.800 (Georgia 1997)
- Bars: 49.700 (Georgia 2014)
- Beam: 49.625 (Florida 2019)
- Floor: 49.725 (Georgia 2004)
Last Time Out
LSU won its third consecutive SEC title, led by Sarah Finnegan’s perfection on floor. Florida was not able to overcome the Tigers in 2019 but tallied the highest beam rotation score in SEC championship history.
*Special thanks to Drew Porche for all of the Records Watch data provided in this preview.
- Video Type: SECN
- Video: https://www.espn.com/watch/player/_/id/d1dfa3a1-5766-42bf-b881-a19bbc746856#bucketId=1
- Scores: https://stats.statbroadcast.com/broadcast/?id=337454
- Live Blog: http://collegegymnews.com/2021/03/19/live-blog-sec-championship-session-two-2/
- Live Blog Editor: Brandis