National Champions

 
 

Jeanie Beadle
1977 AIAW Balance Beam National Champion

A pioneer in LSU gymnastics history, Jeanie Beadle won the Tigers' first individual national championship, claiming the AIAW beam title in 1977. She competed for LSU from 1976-80 and earned All-America status in 1977 and 1978. Her national title marked the first individual title for any female student-athlete in LSU history, and her All-America honors were also a first for a female student-athlete at LSU. As the leader of the team during her career, Beadle guided the Tigers to three straight first-place finishes at the AIAW Regionals. For all her accomplishments and firsts at LSU, the Baton Rouge native was inducted into the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

Nicki Arnstad
2002 NCAA Floor Exercise National Champion

Nicki Arnstad capped an exceptional four-year career by winning the NCAA floor title at the 2002 national championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In the final performance of her career, Arnstad tallied a 9.950 to claim LSU's first NCAA individual national title. She earned a total of four All-America honors during her career as she was recognized twice on the floor and twice in the all-around. Also a two-time First Team All-SEC performer, she still shares the school record on the floor exercise (10.00), posting the perfect score twice during her senior season including at the NCAA Central Regional to lead LSU to the NCAA Championships.

 
 

April Burkholder
2006 NCAA Balance Beam National Champion

One of the most decorated gymnasts in LSU history, April Burkholder ended a stellar four-year career by winning the national beam title at the 2006 NCAA Championships. In her final meet as a Tiger, Burkholder posted a 9.9125 on the beam in Corvallis, Ore., to become LSU's second beam national champion. She recorded a school record 14 All-America honors during her career and was named to the All-SEC team four times. Burkholder was also selected as both the NCAA Central Region and SEC Gymnast of the Year twice (2004 and 2005) and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2003. She is also second in school history with eight perfect 10.00's and the only Tiger with at least one on three different events - scoring four on floor, two on vault and two on beam.

 

Ashleigh Clare-Kearney
2009 NCAA Vault National Champion
2009 NCAA Floor Exercise National Champion

Ashleigh Clare-Kearney finished her outstanding career April 18, 2009, by becoming LSU's first two-time national champion as she captured the vault national title with a 9.900 average and the floor national title with a 9.950 score in Lincoln, Neb. The five-time First Team All-American capped her senior season by earning NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year recognition, and she recorded her third straight First Team All-SEC honor after repeating as SEC Floor Exercise Champion. She was also the SEC Gymnast of the Year as a junior as she became LSU's second SEC All-Around champion in 2008. Clare-Kearney ended her career as LSU's all-time leader in individual titles as she finished with 114, and she was instrumental in leading the Tigers to back-to-back NCAA Super Six appearances in 2008 and 2009.

Susan Jackson
2008 NCAA Vault National Champion
2010 NCAA All-Around National Champion
2010 NCAA Balance Beam National Champion

Susan Jackson became LSU's first gymnast to win a national title before her senior season as she earned the vault national title with a 9.8563 average as a sophomore at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. After finishing as national runner up on vault in 2009 behind Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, Jackson went out on top as a senior in 2010 by capturing two more national titles to become LSU's first three-time champion. She tallied a 39.625 all-around score at the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., to earn LSU's first All-Around national title, and two days later she punctuated her career with a near-flawless performance to earn the beam national title with a 9.9625 score. Displaying consistency all season as a senior, Jackson was named the SEC Gymnast of the Year and NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year, and she became the first LSU gymnast to receive the prestigious AAI Award and Gymnastics Honda Sports Award that both go to the nation's top gymnast. Jackson further cemented her legacy by winning 11 all-around titles in 2010, breaking a 30-year-old school record for the most in a single season.

 

Rheagan Courville
2013 NCAA Vault National Champion
2014 NCAA Vault National Champion

Rheagan Courville capped one of the best seasons in LSU history by winning the vault national title on April 21, 2013 inside Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles, Calif. Courville performed a fantastic vault to score a 9.9250 and take home the title. Her sophomore campaign in 2013 will go down as one of the finest in LSU gymnastics. She won SEC Gymnast of the Year and became the first Tiger gymnast to win three titles at one SEC Championship as she captured the vault, beam and all-around titles. Courville was also named the NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year after she led the nation with nine all-around victories in 2013. She earned First-Team All-America honors on vault, floor and the all-around, First-Team Regular Season All-America honors on vault and the all-around and Second-Team Regular Season honors on beam. In addition to the vault title, Courville finished as the national runner-up in the all-around, cementing her name as one of the top gymnasts in the nation.

 

Ashleigh Gnat
2017 NCAA Floor National Champion

Ashleigh Gnat finished one of the most successful careers in school history by winning the floor title on April 14, 2017 inside Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, Missouri. Gnat totaled a 9.9625 in the anchor spot of the Tigers’ floor lineup that set a school record with a score of 49.7125. Gnat was named the Southeastern Conference Specialist of the Year and NACGC Central Region Gymnast of the Year for a second-straight season. The Lake Mary, Florida native was also selected as the winner of the 2017 AAI Award, which is given to the nation’s top senior gymnast and a finalist for the Honda Award. Gnat finished her career as a four-time SEC Champion and 17-time All-American. She set multiple school records, including the most floor titles in a single season in school history (12) and tied for the most perfect 10.0 scores in a career with nine.

 

Kennedi Edney
2017 NCAA Vault National Champion

Kennedi Edney made her mark as a consistent performer on three events and ended the season in style as the NCAA vault champion. Edney stuck her 1 1/2 vault for a score of 9.9875 on April 14, 2017 inside Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis. Edney’s score marked the highest by an LSU gymnast ever at an NCAA Championship. The Chino, California native became the first freshman national champion in school history. Edney completed one of the most consistent seasons in school history as she became just the second gymnast in school history to earn a score of 9.925 or better on all four events. Edney was named to the All-SEC freshman team and earned two All-America honors.

 

Sarah Finnegan
2017 NCAA Bars National Champion

Sarah Finnegan became the first NCAA bars national champion in school history as she captured the title with a 9.950 at the 2017 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. Finnegan became the third sophomore in school history to win a national championship as she did it in front of her home state. Finnegan ended the season with five All-America honors, including four at the NCAA meet on bars, beam, floor, and all-around. During the Super Six finals, Finnegan shattered her previous career high in the all-around with a 39.625 to tie for the highest score at the NCAA Championship in school history.