LSU is being cautious but optimistic when it comes to sophomore Kennedi Edney’s availability this week.
Edney underwent an MRI on her knee Sunday after being scratched from vault and floor Friday in the Tigers’ 197.450-196.725 win over Alabama. LSU coach D-D Breaux said Monday that Edney’s good to go for Saturday’s Metroplex Challenge meet in Fort Worth, Texas (Edney practiced Monday), but it remains to be seen if she can compete in all four events as an all-arounder.
“We’re easing her back in to see how much she can compete this week,” Breaux said. “If she’s ready, she’ll be in the all-around.”
What Edney did, she did well against Alabama, tying for second with a 9.925 on uneven bars and tying for second on beam with a 9.875.
Priessman on floor?
Breaux was also asked about the possibility of getting junior Lexie Priessman in on floor after she competed only on vault and bars in LSU’s first three meets.
“We have to see if she can hit that last landing,” Breaux said of Priessman, who has battled multiple injuries through her college career.
“I’d love to do floor exercise this week,” Priessman said. “I’m working hard to get on the floor.”
Priessman won the 2017 Southeastern Conference uneven bars in March while competing on torn knee cartilage. She underwent offseason knee and shoulder surgery and said she’s fully recovered … to a point.
“I don’t think I’ll ever be 100 percent (physically) again,” Priessman said. “But this is definitely the best I’ve felt since I’ve been at school.”
SEC honors Finnegan, Durante
LSU's Sarah Finnegan and Sami Durante snagged two of the Southeastern Conference's three weekly honors Tuesday, with Finnegan named gymnast of the week and Durante named freshman of the week.
Finnegan, a junior, won or shared three individual titles against Bama, setting career highs on vault (9.90) and uneven bars (9.975) while sharing first-place in the all-around with senior Myia Hambrick (39.550). Finnegan was also gymnast of the week after LSU's opening win against Arkansas.
Durante, the daughter of former Georgia coach Danna Durante, led off LSU's strong effort on bars with a season-best 9.90. Georgia sophomore Sabrina Vega was named SEC specialist of the week.
No. 2 behind OU
Despite a season-high score against Alabama, LSU slipped to No. 2 behind two-time defending NCAA champion Oklahoma in this week’s national rankings.
Gymnastics rankings early in the season are strictly based on season averages. LSU is at 197.283, while Oklahoma is at 197.538 after a 197.550 Jan. 15 at Georgia and a 197.525 Sunday against Iowa and Texas Woman’s University.
LSU (3-0 overall and in SEC) also ranks second nationally on bars, beam and floor and third on vault.
Hambrick ranks first nationally on floor after three straight scores of 9.950. Edney is fourth on bars while Finnegan ranks fifth nationally in the all-around.
Saturday’s meet will be a four-team competition with LSU taking on No. 4 UCLA, No. 14 Washington and No. 28 North Carolina State. It will be a similar competition to the four-team rotations at the SEC Championships in March in St. Louis, with gymnasts forced to compete through the distractions of three other events going on at the same time. It will be a similar situation at NCAA regional and championship meets.
“There’s a lot of stuff going on,” Finnegan said. “In (dual) meets, everyone takes turns.”
Being on the podium is more bouncy compared to SEC meets which are on a padded floor, requiring an added adjustment, Finnegan said.
It’s worth the challenge to Breaux, who like most coaches from top programs recruits heavily in Texas. Injured junior McKenna Kelley is from Houston, while senior Lauren Li is from the Metroplex area in suburban Plano and freshman Reagan Campbell is from Coppell.
“It’s a major meet on a huge national stage that draws a lot of young athletes,” Breaux said.
It'll cost you
The Metroplex Challenge will not be televised but will be shown streaming online by FloGymnastics.com.
The website charges $147 per year ($12.25 per month) or $29.99 for a single month’s content.
Team SEC Pct. Overall Pct. High
LSU 3-0 1.000 3-0 1.000 197.450
Kentucky 1-1 .500 4-1 .800 196.950
Florida 1-1 .500 2-1 .667 197.125
Missouri 1-1 .500 1-1 .500 196.325
Auburn 1-1 .500 2-3 .400 196.625
Alabama 1-1 .500 1-2 .333 196.725
Georgia 1-1 .500 1-2 .333 196.725
Arkansas 0-3 .000 0-3 .000 196.525
LSU 197.450, Alabama 196.725
Georgia 196.725, Auburn 196.375
Florida 196.325, Kentucky 195.950
Missouri 196.325, Arkansas 196.150
Georgia at Arkansas, 6 p.m. (SEC Network)
Oklahoma at Florida, 6 p.m.
Missouri at Alabama, 7:30 p.m.
Kentucky at Auburn, 7:30 p.m. (SEC Network)
Metroplex Challenge (LSU, N.C. State, UCLA, Washington), 6:45 p.m.@
@-Fort Worth, Texas
NCAA women’s gymnastics top 10
Team Average High
1. Oklahoma 197.538 197.550
2. LSU 197.283 197.450
3. Utah 197.142 197.450
4. UCLA 196.917 197.300
5. Florida 196.450 197.125
6. Kentucky 196.325 196.950
7. Alabama 196.308 196.725
8. Michigan 196.242 197.550
9. Boise State 196.038 196.225
10. Arkansas 196.008 196.525