SEC Gymnastics Week 4 Recap: The tightest race the conference has ever seen?

By Elizabeth Hunter | January 30, 2024
Kentucky's Raena Worley on floor at the 2024 Mean Girls Super 16.
© Filippo Tomasi/Gymnastics Now

The SEC gymnastics standings continue to fluctuate as Week 4 comes to a close.

Alabama, Florida, and Kentucky all saw season highs last weekend, whereas LSU, Missouri, Auburn, Arkansas, and Georgia were relatively stagnant week-over-week.

We’re now a quarter of the way through the season and a third of the way through the regular season, so it’s no longer about getting the feet wet – building consistency and solidifying lineups will become crucial in the coming weeks. As for the conference favorite? There isn’t just one; this might be the tightest race the SEC has ever seen.

#3 LSU @ #9 Missouri

Final score: Missouri: 197.325 – LSU: 197.225


The Tigers’ final score dropped nine-tenths from last week’s 198.125. Despite freshman Konnor McClain’s perfect 10 on beam, LSU couldn’t stay ahead of Missouri in the fourth rotation. Aleah Finnegan anchored the Tigers on the event, but she had a fall, solidifying Missouri’s win.

“We are obviously disappointed with that result,” said LSU head coach Jay Clark. “We still had a chance to win going into the last routine. The good news is that it’s a regular season meet, but the bad news is that it’s a missed opportunity. If we’re going to be the team that I think we are, then we can’t have this drop in execution on the road. We’re going to go home and get better.”

Kiya Johnson won the all-around with a 39.5, Haleigh Bryant grabbed the bars title with a 9.925, and McClain picked up the beam title with her 10. Bryant was rested on floor this week. We saw Finnegan fill her spot in that lineup, where she had a short landing on a pass that caused her to fall (9.35). 

Ashley Cowan matched her career high on bars and scored a 9.9. Cowan and Bryant’s bars scores helped LSU earn a 49.4 on the apparatus in the first rotation, which was their best event score of the night.


The Tigers pulled off an upset in front of a record-setting 7,336 fans – the best dual meet attendance mark in program history. Even though Missouri’s final score (197.325) dropped from last week’s (197.4), there was no shortage of high mark for the team, with the win also marking Mizzou’s highest-ranked victory in program history.

Mizzou was behind heading into the fourth rotation, but with the energy of the crowd, the Tigers lowest-counted score on floor was a 9.9. Freshman Kennedy Griffin had the crowd chanting 10 when she finished her routine, and she scored a 9.975 to win the floor title. The Tigers scored a 49.6 on the event, which is the second-best score in program history. Freshman Rayna Light competed all-around for the first time, scoring a 39.375 and notching her first career 9.9 on floor. 

Missouri started on vault, where freshman Hannah Horton scored her highest score yet with a 9.95 to claim the vault title. The Tigers tied their second-best bars score in program history in the second rotation (49.4). Senior Amaya Marshall hit a 9.9 on the event for the first time since 2021, leading the way for the Tigers.

The Tigers had their lowest event score on beam (48.9), with their highest score being a 9.825 from Amari Celestine. Sienna Schreiber had an uncharacteristic fall, scoring a 9.35 (dropped). 

#6 Alabama @ #8 Florida

Final score: Alabama: 197.575 – Florida: 197.425


The Tide had their first perfect 10 of the season when Lilly Hudson was rewarded with the mark on vault against Florida. Hudson’s score helped Alabama reach a new season high vault score of 49.4. The Tide also increased their final score for the fourth straight week. 

Alabama started on bars, where the team’s score fell by a little over two-tenths from last week. However, Makarri Doggette and Luisa Blanco both scored 9.925s to be part of a three-way tie for the bars title. The Tide’s vault score in the second rotation pushed Alabama a little more than a tenth ahead of Florida at the halfway mark.

Hudson continued to have an amazing meet on floor, where she scored the team’s highest event score (9.925) and won a share of the floor title. The Tide finished up on beam, where Blanco’s 9.95 routine in the anchor spot secured the win for Alabama and kept the team undefeated. The 49.425 score was a new season-high beam total.

Blanco won the all-around with a 39.700.


The Gators’ loss to Alabama ended their 20 meet home win streak that started in 2019. Although they fell to the Tide, Florida increased its season-best score by one-tenth and set a new season-best 49.525 on beam. 

Florida’s lowest-counted beam score was Leanne Wong’s 9.875. Sloane Blakely and freshman Anya Pilgrim scored back-to-back 9.925s. Victoria Nguyen led the vault lineup with a gorgeous Yurchenko 1.5 that scored a career-high 9.975. Wong scored a 9.95, and Pilgrim scored a career-best 9.925.  

The second rotation was bars, and Ellie Lazzari earned part of the event title with her 9.925 routine. This was her first time competing on the event since 2021.

The last rotation went back and forth between routines to see who would win the meet, but Florida’s floor scores couldn’t keep up with Alabama’s beam scores. The Gators’ floor score dropped by two-tenths from last week. Blakely was the Gators’ highest floor routine with a 9.925, tying for the event title.

Of note: the Gators had three all-around gymnasts: Leanne Wong (39.575), Anya Pilgrim (39.525), and Victoria Nguyen (39.000).

#13 Auburn @ #4 Arkansas

Final score: Arkansas: 197.225 – Auburn: 196.675


The Tigers’ final score dropped by over three-tenths from last weekend’s 197.025. Auburn’s bars (48.875), beam (49.2), and floor (49.325) all took a hit against Arkansas, while vault increased by almost two-tenths. 

“These are the positives we can take away,” Auburn head coach Jeff Graba said. “There were bright spots that I’m really happy with. I’m hoping we can build off of these moments as we get ready for another competition next week at home.”

The first rotation was rough for the Tigers, as they were forced to use Sophia Groth’s 9.525 after freshman Emma Grace Boyd had a fall in the leadoff spot (8.925). Gabby McLaughlin was the leading score with a 9.9 and part of a four-way tie for the bars title. Auburn redeemed itself on vault, with Cassie Stevens and freshman Julianne Huff both scoring 9.9s and splitting the vault title. This is a new career best for Huff. 

In the Tigers’ floor rotation, McLaughlin had the highest score (9.9). Stevens claimed another event title in the final rotation on beam with a 9.9. She was also the all-around winner with a 39.475. 


The Razorbacks took the win at their Compete for a Cause meet on Friday. This was the first time since 2018 that Arkansas has beat Auburn at home. Even with the win, the Gymbacks dropped three-tenths below last weekend’s program-record score (197.525). The team’s vault (49.225) and beam (49.125) score fell by 0.2 and 0.275, respectively. On the flip side, they scored a new season best on bars with a 49.4. 

Arkansas started on vault, where the highest score was a 9.875 from Frankie Price and Leah Smith. The Razorbacks picked up the pace on bars, with three gymnasts scoring 9.9s: leadoff Cally Swaney, Reese Drotar, and anchor Maddie Jones. This is a new career-high for Swaney. The trio shared the bars title with Auburn’s McLaughlin.

The third rotation saw leadoff Kalyxta Gamiao and Jones score consecutive 9.875s to lead the event for the Gymbacks. The energy kicked back up on floor where freshman Hailey Klein scored a new career-best 9.875, Jones and Price scored 9.9s, and Lauren Williams secured the floor title with a 9.95 to reach an event total of 49.475.

#18 Georgia @ #7 Kentucky

Final score: Kentucky: 197.950 – Georgia: 195.650


“I’m really disappointed,” UGA head coach Courtney Kupets Carter said. “This has been a tough start to the season with the injuries we’ve endured and the sicknesses we had this week. This is not who we are as a team.”

Georgia fell hard this week against Kentucky, scoring a season-low 195.650. The Bulldogs highest score was on vault (49.125) in their second rotation. Freshman Ady Wahl scored a new career-high 9.925 with her Yurchenko 1.5, and this was the team’s highest score of the rotation. Freshman Lily Smith competed on vault for the first time this season, scoring a 9.8 and marking her first time in the all-around for Georgia with a 38.975. 

The GymDogs scored a season low on bars (48.975), with the highest score being a 9.85 from Smith and freshman Holly Snyder. This marked Snyder’s first collegiate routine. Georgia moved onto floor, with the highest score being Smith’s 9.9. 

The Bulldogs also scored a season low in their last rotation on beam (48.525). Freshman Anya Turner scored a 9.025, so Georgia was forced to keep Smith’s 9.425. Freshman Zora Morgan made her debut for the GymDogs and scored a team-leading 9.85. In all, the Bulldogs put up 14 freshman routines against the Wildcats.


The Wildcats had an electric meet, celebrating the program’s 50th anniversary. They set a new program record with a final score of 197.95, just shy of 198. Kentucky also had two perfect 10s, which will go down in history as the first-ever perfect scores inside Rupp Arena. 

Kentucky started off on vault with a bang as they tied the program best (49.55), and junior Makenzie Wilson scored her first-career 10. Wilson performed a gorgeous front handspring pike half with great height and a stuck landing. On bars, Jillian Procasky grabbed the title with a 9.9. 

The Wildcats scored a 49.425 in the third rotation, where beam queen Isabella Magnelli claimed the title with a 9.925. Freshman Creslyn Brose made her beam debut scoring a 9.85. 

Although the Wildcats were far ahead of the Bulldogs heading into the last rotation, they continued to crank up the heat, scoring a 49.65, which ties their program best. Raena Worley finally got her long-awaited perfect 10 in the anchor spot causing the whole arena to explode in cheers and applause. Brose also set a new career-high 9.975 on the event.