SEC Gymnastics Week 4 Preview: Alabama and Florida battle in anticipated matchup, Kentucky could hit 198

By Elizabeth Hunter | January 25, 2024
Florida's Leanne Wong on floor at the 2023 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships.
© Matthew Smith/Gymnastics Now

Another wild ride of SEC gymnastics matchups can be expected by fans heading into this weekend.

With No. 9 Missouri, No. 13 Auburn, and No. 18 Georgia being ranked a gap below their opponents, they will be looking to pull off upsets. Whereas No. 3 LSU, No. 4 Arkansas, and No. 7 Kentucky will be looking to raise their overall scores once again this week, making it even harder to be beat. No. 6 Alabama vs. No. 8 Florida is sure to be a nail-biting meet where every tenth counts.

Read below to learn more about what’s to come in Week 4.

#3 LSU @ #9 Missouri

Week 4 Matchup: Friday, January 26 @ 8:30 p.m. ET | LSU @ Missouri – Live Stats | Video (ESPN)


The Tigers are back on the road this week after an explosive performance at home in Week 3 grabbed them two perfect 10s and a 198+ final score. Haleigh Bryant was named SEC Gymnast of the Week on Tuesday for the second time this season and is tied for the No. 1 spot in the nation in the all-around. 

Routines to watch: 

  • Sierra Ballard on floor: Although she is only averaging a 9.867 on this event, she is LSU’s leadoff for a reason. LSU head coach Jay Clark expressed that he was aggravated last week and thinks Ballard’s score should be consistently higher.
  • Savannah Schoenherr on bars: Head coach Jay Clark said that Schoenherr may not be an all-arounder, but her reliable scores on bars and vault make her a standout athlete. 


Missouri took a loss to LSU in 2023 but are looking to secure the win at home on Friday night. The Tigers scored their highest score of the season (197.400) against Georgia last weekend but will need to increase their score on vault (+0.1), bars (+0.4), and floor (+0.2) if they are looking to upset LSU. Mara Titarsolej was named SEC Specialist of the Week on Tuesday for her near-perfect 9.975 bars performance last weekend.

Routines to watch:

  • Mara Titarsolej on bars: She produces a difficult yet textbook bars routine with extended handstands and a stunning Bhardwaj (Pak salto with full twist).
  • Jocelyn Moore on vault: Moore scored a season-best 9.95 vs. Georgia and scored a 10.0 on vault last season, so she very well could have another 10.0 in the near future. 

#6 Alabama @ #8 Florida

Week 4 Matchup: Friday, January 26 @ 7 p.m. ET | Alabama @ Florida Live Stats | Video (ESPN2)


The Tide dropped from No. 3 to No. 6 this week despite the fact that they increased their final score last weekend vs. Arkansas. This puts Alabama out of the top 5 for the first time since the season started. The last time the Tide beat the Gators was 2021, but their average final score (197.292) is slightly above Florida (197.213), so this could be the year they end the losing streak.

Routines to watch:

  • Ella Burgess on beam: Burgess has been an indispensable athlete for the Tide on beam. She choreographs the event so well and shows beautiful composure when her team needs it most.
  • Lilly Hudson on floor: She is the one who sealed the tie for Alabama last week with her 9.95 on floor. Not only does she love her routine, but you can always see the team, the crowd, and even the coaches dancing along with her. 


The Gators are ready for this Friday after selling out their home arena. Florida’s main focus in order to beat Alabama will need to be bars. Alabama is currently No. 1 in the country on bars, averaging a 49.558, whereas Florida is No. 16, averaging a 49.175.

Routine to watch:

  • Lori Brubach on floor: With her floor music filled with Pitbull bangers, Brubach does a great job of getting her team and the crowd pumped for the floor rotation. Florida head coach Jenny Rowland said that she put Brubach in the Gators leadoff position for a reason, and she has done a great job kicking the team off on this event. Brubach has scored a new collegiate-best each time she’s taken the floor this season (9.875 on Jan. 12 and 9.9 on Jan. 19).

#13 Auburn @ #4 Arkansas

Week 4 Matchup: Friday, January 26 @ 8 p.m. ET | Auburn @ Arkansas – Live Stats | Video (ESPN)


The Tigers have not lost to Arkansas since 2021, but going into this matchup, Auburn is averaging lower than the Razorbacks on every event. However, the two teams are only separated on each event by less than two-tenths, so it is still a toss-up as to who will win despite the gap in the rankings. 

“Our ranking this week shows that we are slowly improving,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “However, we have a big task ahead of us going on the road to No. 4 Arkansas. We are capable of performing better, and we will need to start doing that in order for our ranking to continue to improve.”

Routines to watch:

  • Paige Zancan on beam: Zancan made her Neville Arena debut last week and performed a gorgeous routine (9.825). If she stays in the lineup, she could show some great improvement over the course of the season. 
  • Gabby McLaughlin on floor: McLaughlin scored a career-high 9.925 on floor last week and shows attitude mixed with grace in her choreography. She has put up a very reliable routine the past two weeks.


The Gymbacks remain ranked at No. 4 this week following their tie with Alabama. After making history last weekend by setting a new program high score of 197.525, Arkansas will be looking to increase its score this week and make history once again. The Razorbacks are currently ranked in the top 10 on every event, with their highest ranking being No. 3 on floor (49.488) and their lowest ranking being No. 9 on bars (49.313).

Routine to watch:

  • Kalyxta Gamiao on beam: Arkansas has relied on her as their beam leadoff multiple times in her career, and she carries that spot with pride and finesse. She tied her career-best 9.925 last weekend, and it would not be surprising to see her improve that number again this season..

#18 Georgia @ #7 Kentucky

Week 4 Matchup: Friday, January 26 @ 7 p.m. ET | Georgia @ KentuckyLive Stats | Video (SECN)


The Bulldogs climbed two spots in the rankings this week after surpassing the 197 mark for the first time this season. Georgia beat Kentucky in 2023, but it will be a road test for the GymDogs this year. The Bulldogs aren’t ranked far behind the Wildcats on beam and bars but would have to raise their score by more than two-tenths on floor and more than four-tenths on vault to pull off an upset. Freshman Lily Smith was named SEC Freshman of the Week after her 10.0 bars routine vs. Missouri. 

Routines to watch:

  • JaFree Scott on vault: She took up the responsibility of filling the hole in Georgia’s vault lineup last weekend and competed the event for the first time in her collegiate career, scoring a 9.825. It will be interesting to see if Scott stays in the lineup and how she improves throughout the season.
  • Jaydah Battle on beam: UGA head coach Courtney Kupets-Carter called Battle the Bulldogs’ difference maker on beam and you can see that in her steadiness and the way she commands the event.


The Wildcats have stepped up to the plate this year and proven to everyone what a powerhouse program they are. Kentucky has increased its final score every week, and if they can get their beam score to consistently reflect Week 2’s score (49.425), then they could easily become a 198+ team. 

Routine to watch:

  • Raena Worley on bars: Let’s be honest, it is about time that Worley got her perfect 10.0. She has never scored a 10.0 in college, and as she nears the end of her collegiate career, it’s a coin toss to see which event gets it first. She earns nearly-perfect scores every week, and this past weekend it was a 9.975 on bars, so keep an eye out for her bars routine against the Bulldogs.