BATON ROUGE, LA – LSU Gymnastics head coach Jay Cark has been named the Region 1 Coach of the Year, the Women’s Collegiate Gymnastics Association (WCGA) announced Wednesday.
Clark, who is in his first season as the head coach of the Tigers, led LSU to a second-place finish at Southeastern Conference Championships and the program’s 31st NCAA Championships appearance in 2021. Clark is just the fourth head coach in NCAA Gymnastics history to lead two division I programs to NCAA Championships.
The LSU team went into postseason as the No. 3 overall team and top seed in the Salt Lake City Regional. It marked the 11th time in school history and seventh time with Clark on staff that LSU earned the top seed in an NCAA Regional.
The squad ranked second on vault and floor, sixth on bars and seventh on beam in the country. LSU gymnasts Haleigh Bryant, Sami Durante, Kiya Johnson and Alyona Shchennikova combined to earn seven All-America honors.
Bryant was named the SEC Freshman of the Year and WCGA Region 1 Gymnast of the Year after a stellar debut season. She was named an All-American on vault, floor and the all-around and won a share of the SEC vault title with fellow freshman Elena Arenas. Johnson was named the SEC Specialist of the Year and won the SEC floor title. The sophomore finished the season ranked No. 1 on floor.
LSU will compete in Semifinal II at 5 p.m. CT on Friday, April 16 inside Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. The semifinal will be live on ESPN 2 and feature No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 6 Utah and No. 7 Alabama. The top two teams will advance to the NCAA Championship final at 2:30 p.m. CT on April 17.
WCGA Coach of the Year Honors
Region 1: Jay Clark, LSU & Dana Duckworth, Alabama
Region 2: Melissa Kutcher-Rinehart, Denver
Region 3: Josh Nilson, Temple
Region 4: Jay Santos, Arizona State
Region 5: Jay Ramirez, Towson
Region 6: Justin Howell & Liz Crandall-Howell, California
Division II: Jennifer Llewellyn, Lindenwood
WCGA Assistant Coach of the Year Honors
Region 1: Bill Lorenz & Ryan Roberts, Alabama
Region 2: Natalie Broekman & Brogan Evanson, BYU
Region 3: Cassie Hageman & Rachel Page, Temple
Region 4: Jess Santos & Kristin White, Arizona State
Region 5: Ashley Sauer, Towson
Region 6: Janelle McDonald, California
Division II: Brittany Harris, Cody Llewellyn & Rebecca Stevens, Lindenwood
(Press release provided by LSU Athletics.)