Auburn wraps up historic season with fourth-place finish in Women’s Gymnastics Championships

AUBURN, ALABAMA. (EETV) — Auburn Gymnastics wrapped up the best season in program history on the biggest stage on Saturday. The Tigers failed in the Final Four finishing fourth in the talent-packed encounter.

“I would say we proved some people wrong,” head coach Jeff Graba said. “We are very young, so I was really happy with how they reacted. You know, the other three teams that were here tonight were here a year ago and knew exactly what they were going to do.

The Auburn Tigers started on bars in the first rotation. Derrian Goborne kept up the momentum she had built at the end of the semifinals on Thursday and threw a 9.9325. Sunisa Lee followed her score with a 9.9125 of her own

Going into the second rotation, Auburn was second at 49.4250 just 0.088 behind Utah.

Oklahoma was floundering on the ground. The Sooners scored just 49.1875, the lowest score on the ground the team had recorded all season.

The beam proved to be a difference maker for the Tigers. Among Auburn’s top five gymnasts, the highest score was a pair of 9.8375 from Olivia Hollingsworth and Cassie Stevens. Sunisa Lee, who just won the individual beam championship on Thursday, was the only Tiger to score a 9.9 in the event with a flat 9.900.

Florida and Oklahoma rebounded from their first rotations. After recording the season’s lowest score on floor, Oklahoma finished with its best score of the year on vault.

Halfway through the competition, the standings were Utah first, Florida second, Oklahoma third, and Auburn trailing. The Tigers were 0.35 behind other opponents

Auburn looked to bounce back from a poor performance on balance beam with a big floor score. Lee scored an impressive 9.95 and Gobourne followed with a 9.9375. Those two scores were the two highest on the ground all afternoon but weren’t enough to put Auburn back in the chase.

Oklahoma earned the second-highest score in bars program history to put them first in the final rotation of the year.

The Tigers tried to make a jump run with Cassie Stevens with a big score of 9.9375 but without any other gymnasts registering a 9.9, it wasn’t enough to make a push for the podium.

The meeting ended with a fireworks display between Oklahoma and Florida. Trinity Thomas of Florida scored her second straight perfect 10 on the floor, but that wasn’t enough to keep the Sooners at bay. Oklahoma scored a 198.2000 after digging themselves a hole early

The competition’s final scores were Oklahoma winning the championship with a 198.2000, Florida in second with a 198.0875, Utah in third with a 197.7500, and Auburn in fourth with a final score of 197 ,3500.

Fourth place is the best finish to a season in Auburn Gymnastics history. The previous highest ranking was 6th in 1993 and 2015.

“I think this team just decided this story, we just cut it and started a new record book. It almost took you almost having to stop carrying all the baggage that people think you’re not. not capable. We went to the Final Four and scored higher than we had ever scored in the playoffs in the history of the program”

The Tigers didn’t leave Fort Worth without equipment, Sunisa Lee won the individual beam championship on Thursday. Lee is the first lone individual champion in Auburn history. Derrian Gobourne was the first to earn a share, doing so on vault in 2019.