2024 SEC Gymnastics Championships Preview: A must-watch battle of powerhouses

By Elizabeth Hunter | March 22, 2024
LSU's Aleah Finnegan at the 2023 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships.
© Matthew Smith/Gymnastics Now

The 2024 SEC Gymnastics Championships will be Saturday, March 23 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, with Session 1 happening at 3:30 p.m. ET, followed by Session 2 at 8 p.m. ET.

Seeding for the SEC Gymnastics Championships is based on each team’s regular season National Qualifying Score (NQS).

The top four seeds will compete in the coveted evening session, held at 8 p.m. ET. LSU (1) will compete against Florida (2), Kentucky (3), and Alabama (4).

Arkansas (5), Missouri (6), Auburn (7), and Georgia (8) make up the bottom four seeds and will compete in the first session of the day at 3:30 p.m. ET.

SeedTeamTeam NQS

How to watch

The meet will take place on Saturday, March 23, with SEC Network having an overall meet stream and event-specific streams.

3:30 p.m.Session I
No. 5 Arkansas 
No. 6 Missouri
No. 7 Auburn
No. 8 Georgia
SEC NetworkLive Scoring
8 p.m.Session II
No. 1 LSU
No. 2 Florida
No. 3 Kentucky
No. 4 Alabama
SEC NetworkLive Scoring

#3 LSU

The Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the SEC and No. 3 nationally. They are the clear favorites heading into this weekend and are hungry for a conference win after being on a dry streak since 2019. The championship is also happening in LSU’s backyard, so a heavy fan turnout can be expected for the Tigers. LSU finished with the highest average attendance in the nation this season for the second time in program history. Over 75,000 Tiger fans came out across six home meets, so a home field advantage may come into play at the championship. 

When it comes to individual titles, it’s always a toss-up, but it’s fair to say that the Tigers have several top contenders. In the SEC, Haleigh Bryant is ranked No. 1 in the all-around and on vault and No. 2 on bars, beam, and floor. Freshman Konnor McClain is ranked No. 1 on beam, and Kiya Johnson is ranked No. 3 on floor. With this in mind, LSU has the talent to make the podium on more than one event. 

#4 Florida

“We are not the No. 1 seed and ya know what, I’m okay with that,” Florida Head Coach Jenny Rowland said. “I’m always up for a good upset and always ready for a good fight.”

The reigning back-to-back SEC champs are right on the Tigers’ tail, looking to continue their SEC domination. The Gators have already been crowned the regular season champs this year after taking down LSU at home and Kentucky on the road, so they could easily finish on top this weekend.

Leanne Wong is the front-runner for a possible individual podium finish for Florida. She is ranked third in the all-around and first on bars.

The Gators utilize quite a few freshmen in their lineups, so that will be one aspect to watch as those gymnasts experience the pressure of collegiate postseason competition for the first time.

#6 Kentucky

The Wildcats saw their first evening session since 2019 last year and are running it back this season with the No. 3 seed. Kentucky has broken record after record this year, and if they can reach another 198 this weekend, they may be able to claim their first ever conference championship.

The Wildcats could also be celebrating an individual win by the end of the night. Makenzie Wilson is ranked No. 2 on vault after scoring two 10s this season, and star gymnast Raena Worley is ranked No. 2 in the all-around and on bars and No. 1 on floor after earning multiple perfect scores on the event.

#7 Alabama

Claiming the last spot in the evening session is the Crimson Tide with the fourth seed. Alabama has proven this season that they can consistently score in the 198 range no matter the location. The Tide is due a championship win since they haven’t held the trophy since 2021. Luisa Blanco is going to be the gymnast to watch for Alabama as she nears the end of her fifth year and puts up a majority of the big scores for the team. 

#12 Arkansas

The Gymbacks may be the No. 5 seed, but coming off a program-high score of 198.1, they are still a top contender in the SEC; the only drawback for Arkansas is having to compete in the afternoon session, when scores tend to be tighter. Arkansas has never won an SEC title, but under the guidance of Head Coach Jordyn Wieber, they are becoming a real threat. The dynamic duo of Frankie Price and Lauren Williams on floor could produce some huge scores for the Razorbacks. 

#13 Missouri

With a season-high score of 197.600, it doesn’t look like the Tigers are at a mathematical disadvantage for the race for the team title. Individually, Missouri has Sienna Schreiber ranked No. 2 on beam, and Jocelyn Moore just scored her first-ever perfect 10 on floor last weekend.

#14 Auburn

The Tigers have already proven that they can take down top-ranked teams like Alabama when all the pieces lay correctly. However, Auburn didn’t reach 198 this regular season and to be a winner in a conference like the SEC, that is what they will have to do. Cassie Stevens is ranked in the top 10 for all-around, vault, and beam.

#18 Georgia

The GymDogs went 1-6 in the conference and their highest score was a 197.550. The last time the Bulldogs won the conference was 2008 under Suzanne Yoculan. There is hope for the GymDogs with freshman standout Lily Smith, who is in contention to claim the bars title this weekend. Even more so than Florida, Georgia has utilized its freshmen heavily this season.