lsugymnastics.040619 HS 698.jpg

Auburn's Samantha Cerio is taken from the floor after suffering an injury while performing her floor routine in an NCAA Gymnastics Regional Semi-Final, Friday, April 5, 2019, at LSU's Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge, La.

Auburn senior Samantha Cerio suffered a devastating injury on floor during Friday's NCAA Regional meet with LSU. Despite her career-ending injury, Cerio said Sunday that gymnastics will always be her "first love."

[Update: April 8, 2019, 12:50 p.m.: Auburn confirms Cerio tore ligaments in and dislocated both knees. She'll have surgery Monday afternoon with Dr. James Andrews.]

Making a tumbling pass in the middle of her routine, Cerio landed badly and fell to the mat clutching both legs in pain. The meet was halted for several moments as paramedics put air casts around both of her injured legs and carried her away on a stretcher to a standing ovation from the 5,537 fans in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

Cerio said goodbye to the sport in a heartfelt Instagram post Sunday.

 
 
 
View this post on Instagram

Friday night was my final night as a gymnast. After 18 years I am hanging up my grips and leaving the chalk behind. I couldn’t be prouder of the person that gymnastics has made me to become. It’s taught me hard work, humility, integrity, and dedication, just to name a few. It’s given me challenges and road blocks that I would have never imagined that has tested who I am as a person. It may not have ended the way I had planned, but nothing ever goes as planned. Thank you Auburn family for giving me a home and a chance to continue doing the sport that will always be my first love. I am honored to have had the privilege to represent the navy and orange AU for the past 4 years with my team by my side. Thank you for letting me share my passion with you. Thank you for letting me be a part of something bigger than myself. War Eagle Always 💙🧡

A post shared by Sam Cerio (@sam_cerio) on Apr 7, 2019 at 10:30am PDT

Cerio thanked the sport for teaching her hard lessons and helping her grow as a person. And though her path did not go as planned, "nothing ever goes as planned," Cerio reflected.

Gymnastics will always be her "first love," Cerio said in a comment below the post, in which she also thanked the Auburn community and her teammates:

"Thank you Auburn family for giving me a home and a chance to continue doing the sport that will always be my first love," she said. "I am honored to have had the privilege to represent the navy and orange AU for the past 4 years with my team by my side. Thank you for letting me share my passion with you. Thank you for letting me be a part of something bigger than myself."

Staff writer Scott Rabalais contributed to this report.