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LSU at Four on the Floor Preview

The Tigers look to cap off an improbable season with a title.

The climb ends here.

The LSU Tigers gymnastics team is back in the national championship for the first time since 2019 and the ninth time in program history despite all the setbacks and adversity they’ve faced throughout the season. Not many could’ve expected that this team would even have a shot at the national title three months ago, but they haven’t cared about expectations this year. Florida, Oklahoma and Utah are at Four on the Floor together for the third consecutive season. LSU is the first team under the new format that faced the other three teams at the national final during the regular season, but this shouldn’t be like those first meetings. The meet begins at 3:00 p.m. with a main telecast on ABC. Individual event streams and a four-screen all-around stream can be found on ESPN+.

Utah (begins on floor)

Utah advanced to the finals with the highest score between the two semifinal sessions: a 198.2250. The Red Rocks have been a solid group all season that can hit each event in the clutch. They’ve gone 198+ in their last three meets and have the execution needed to give themselves a chance at their 10th team title and first since 1995. Maile O’Keefe won the all-around and beam national titles on Thursday and became the seventh gymnast in NCAA history with at least four different individual national titles. Utah has the talent and execution of a national championship team and some additional luck. The last two national champions began the final on floor and finished on beam. Utah came into the tournament as the best beam team in the country and head coach Tom Farden’s built his roster around strength on beam. If they can stay solid through the first three rotations, they’ll have a very good chance of ending their long title drought.

Florida (begins on beam)

For the second time in three years, Florida is at Four on the Floor despite having a worse score in their semifinal, a 197.4000, than a team that missed the finals, UCLA with a 197.9125. The Gators caught lucky breaks when both Cal and Denver counted falls in the third rotation. Florida is looking for their first national title since 2015 and is trying to avenge their performance at 2022 Four on the Floor when the title slipped from their grasp at the end. Trinity Thomas competed vault and bars even though she wasn’t listed on any events in the preliminary lineup. She’s looking to finish her college career on top, but she’ll need her team to hit like they did at the SEC Championship to contend with Oklahoma and Utah. The Gators counted a 9.6125 on beam and went 49.0875 in the rotation, their lowest rotation score on any event all season. Jenny Rowland and Tom Farden are each looking to become the second head coach in their school’s history to win a national title. Every program that’s won a national title did so under the head coach that won them their first, but that could change today.

Oklahoma (begins on vault)

Oklahoma is back in the national final for the 10th consecutive season and is looking to repeat as champions for the first time since they repeated in 2016 and 2017. The Sooners scored a 198.1625 in their semifinal session, their ninth 198 of the season. Despite the high score, head coach KJ Kindler made it clear that this wasn’t their best gymnastics nor was it indicative of what they can do today. This is a team of terminators. Every gymnast on their team has a technical mastery of their skills, and it’s hard to point out who will have the most impact. Olivia Trautman won her first national title with a 9.9500 on vault in her final opportunity to win one. It’s OU’s title to lose.

LSU (begins on bars)

For the third straight season, the team that’s joining Oklahoma, Florida and Utah at the final has yet to win a national title. Michigan won their first title in 2021 and Auburn finished fourth in 2022, so there’s no pattern for LSU to follow. Regardless of result, this has been one of the most incredible seasons in program history. They didn’t dominate their way through the season nor win an individual or team title, but they fought hard through every bit of adversity that’s been thrown in their way. They’ve been playing with house money since January and haven’t shown any sense of giving in since February. They may need help from other teams having an off day to hoist the title trophy, but that’s not impossible. This has been an unforgettable climb back to the top. LSU hasn’t released official meet notes and I don’t have an official line-up preview for all four teams yet, but expect mostly the same line-up from the first semifinal with either Elena Arenas or Livvy Dunne in the fourth spot on floor in place of KJ Johnson. It’s going to be an incredible battle for a national title; don’t miss out.