Suni Lee wins National Individual Beam Championship for Auburn Gymnastics


FORT WORTH, Texas — Youth and experience have collided on a generational roster in Auburn gymnastics this season.

The two almost claimed fame on sport’s biggest stage. In the end, a freshman joined a senior in an exclusive club.

Suni Lee is the program’s second individual national champion. She did it with a 9.9625 on beam. Auburn’s first champion? That would be senior Derrian Gobourne, who won the 2019 crown on vault. Three years later, as Lee joined her at the title club, Gobourne nearly crowned herself again (literally).

Lee, the 2021 Olympic all-around gold medalist, was Auburn’s anchor in the first rotation. At the start of the evening session, there was a tie at five for the best balance beam score (9.9375).

Lee quickly broke the hypothetical five champions. She blocked her beam landing. Soon Adeline Kenlin of Iowa and Sienna Schreiber of Missouri finished right behind her with 9.95 each. Lee finished second in the individual all-around with a 39.6750, behind Trinity Thomas of Florida.

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Thomas also snatched a national championship from Gobourne. The Auburn senior scored a routine 9.9625 on the ground – the same one that has electrified Neville Arena crowds all season. The choreography includes him placing an imaginary crowd on his head.

Thomas was Florida’s ground anchor on the final rotation of the night. She scored the only perfect 10 of the semis in any event.

Lee’s championship-winning beam routine helped No. 7 seed Auburn advance to the team final on Saturday (Noon CT, ABC).

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Suni Lee wins National Gymnastics Championships for Auburn


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