It’s the most wonderful time of year! It’s gym season!
Tonight, the LSU Tigers unofficially kick off the season with the GYM101 Showcase at 6:30pm. It is a free event and it is an awesome chance for anyone in town to get a sneak peek at the team, and maybe remind yourself how the sport works. I mean, I know we’re a #GymSchool now, but that’s a recent development. It’s okay if you still need the refresher course.
Even though it is an exhibition, there will be a judge on the floor to score the routines, so it will give us an idea of the talent we have on hand. The Tigers will perform on all four rotations. Say hi to Satan’s Apparatus for me.
For those of us who live out of town, we can stream the event on ESPN3 or whatever it is they call their streaming service these days. The SEC Network crew will be on hand, so you can start on your season long campaign of complaining about the announcers.
The Tigers are ranked third in the preseason poll, behind Oklahoma and Florida. This is a fair ranking given what we’re losing from last year’s squad plus the additional loss of McKenna Kelley to an Achilles injury. The All-American and defending SEC floor exercise champion is out for the season.
It’s a huge loss on the floor, but that is traditionally one of LSU’s deepest events. We will miss having that anchor, but don’t expect scores to dip too much. She was also expected to be in the vault rotation, but Kelley was more of a specialist on the floor. Honestly, her biggest absence will be felt on the sidelines, as she is one of the emotionally leaders of the team.
Also gone due to graduation are Shae Zamardi, Sydney Ewing, and the incomparable Bug herself, Ashleigh Gnat. Honestly, you could make a pretty solid case by the end of the year, Sydney Ewing was even more valuable than Gnat to the team.
But fear not, tiger fans. This team is still loaded.
Myia Hambrick leads the senior class and will almost certainly be a national title contender in the all-around. Erin Macadaeg is a beam specialist and could be called upon to anchor the unit. One never truly conquers Satan’s Apparatus, but she usually fights it to a draw. Macadaeg scored a 9.90 or better in every round of the NCAA tournament last year.
Lexie Priessman, Sarah Finnegan, and Olympian Ruby Harrold will form the backbone of the team. And last year’s super freshman Kennedi Edney has just begun to scratch the surface of her talent. She faltered a bit in the early goings of the NCAA postseason, only to shine brightest on the big stage of the Super Six.
This team is stacked, and is still a legit national title contender. It’s the best team on campus and maybe the most fun. The SEC is stacked full of top ten teams and national contenders as well, so there’s great action to look forward to nearly every week.
Get a jump on it tonight. Geaux Tigers.