No. 5 Auburn with a 197.350 in Las Vegas; Lee scores a 10.0 on beam

No. 5 Auburn with a 197.350 in Las Vegas; Lee scores a 10.0 on beam

History Links LAS VEGAS – The No. 5 Auburn gymnastics team opened the 2023 season with a bang, scoring a 197.350 in the inaugural Super 16 to finish third. The quadruple meet was held at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas.

The overall score bested the program’s season opener by nearly a full point (196.375 in 2009).

“It was about developing our depth and testing ourselves coming into this meet and I was really happy with how the team performed under pressure,” coach Jeff Graba said. “We beat our program record and we were up against great competition, so I’m excited. It was a great start and we wanted to start the season off right.”

No. 1 Oklahoma won the meet with a 197.925, while No. 4 Michigan came in second with a 197.400. Auburn finished third (197.350) and No. 10 UCLA was fourth (197.275).

Sophomore Sunisa Lee won the all-around with a 39.750, scoring a perfect 10.0 on beam in the second rotation. She led with a 9.95 on bars and earned a pair of 9.9s on floor and vault.

“The team did really well and did a great job putting everything together,” Lee said. “Personally, I feel like I did everything I could. I had a few hiccups and I’m still trying to figure out my routines, but I’m just taking it day by day and I’m happy with tonight.”

The vault team tied a program best with a 49.500 to close out the meet, seeing off a 9.9 or better from the final four competitors. Fifth-year Derrian Gobourne tied a career high and took second with a 9.95 in the anchor spot.

“It felt good to hit that vault,” Gobourne said. “I messed up my steps a little bit, but we’ve done so much in practice that I trusted myself and everyone in front of me. Tonight was a lot of fun and I’m very proud of us.”

Gobourne scored 9.9 or better in all three events competed.

Junior Olivia Hollingsworth competed in the event for the first time since 2021 and finished with a 39.100.

“It was great to be back out there doing everything around,” Hollingsworth said. “I was just trying to soak in the moment and have fun. The team picked up where we left off and I’m really proud of the energy tonight.”

Also competing in the all-around was senior Cassie Stevens. She ended her night full with a vault of 9,925.

The Tigers begin Southeastern Conference competition next week, traveling to the conference champion and no. 2 in Florida. Auburn and the Gators square off at 6:30pm CT on ESPN2 in Gainesville.

The Tigers started with a 49.400 on bars. Hollingsworth and junior Gabby McLaughlin led the way with a pair of 9.85s to set career highs. Stevens also got a 9.85, while Gobourne started her senior season with a 9.9. Lee closed out the rotation with a 9.95 to tie the team for third individually.

The beam team fought hard to earn a 49.150 in the second rotation. Lee led the way with her first 10.0 of the year and fourth overall on beam to win the event. Sophia Groth followed with 9.85, while McLaughlin 9.825. Senior Aria Brusch made her evening debut with a 9.8 and Hollingsworth closed out the scoring with a 9.675.

Auburn put together a 49.300 on floor and was led by two 9.9s from Gobourne and Lee. Brusch followed suit with a 9.875 and Stevens added a 9.85. Hollingsworth contributed 9,775.

Auburn’s 49.500 on vault in the final rotation led all teams in the event. A pair of Tigers hit career highs in sophomore Sara Hubbard (9.9) and Gobourne (9.95). Stevens earned a 9.925 on her Yurchenko 1.5, while Lee debuted her Lopez with a 9.9. Groth led with a 9.825 in the full.

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