AUBURN, Alabama – First-year student Sunisa Lee and senior Derrian Gobourne of Auburn’s No. 7 gymnastics team have been honored by the Southeastern Conference, each earning postseason awards voted on by the league’s head coaches. Lee was named Freshman of the Year, while Gobourne was named Joint Scholar of the Year, released Wednesday.
Additionally, Lee was placed on the All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman teams, while Gobourne, junior Aria Brusch and freshman Sophie Groth also achieved All-SEC recognition.
It’s the first time in program history that two Tigers have received one of three SEC postseason awards in the same season. Additionally, Auburn has had at least one All-SEC performer every year since 2012.
“To have two major conference awards at the end of the year is a phenomenal achievement for Auburn gymnastics,” said the head coach. Jeff Graba noted. “I’m so proud of this team and Suni and Derrian. It shows how far this program has come and also gives us a glimpse of its bright future.”
Lee became Auburn’s first SEC champion since 1994 when she won the conference bars title with a perfect 10.0 last Saturday, putting her on the All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman teams. Overall, she won seven all-around titles this year as well as 10 crowns on bars, six titles on balance beam, three titles on floor and one on vault.
“For Suni to get this award after just 12 weeks on campus is just amazing,” Graba said. “She had a huge impact on our program in such a short time and obviously the rest of the conference noticed that too. I’m very proud of Suni and I’m excited for what the future holds for her. her and this team.”
The St. Paul, Minnesota product became the first Auburn gymnast to record a 10.0 since 2004 and has four this season so far — two on bars and two on balance beam. She ranks first in the SEC and second nationally in the all-around (39.750), while also ranking first nationally on bars (9.970) and beam (9.980). She is also in the top 10 on floor (9.950) nationally.
Lee set Auburn’s all-around record with a 39.825 and six of his all-around scores rank in the top 10 in program history.
She has been named SEC Gymnast of the Week three times this year and SEC Rookie of the Week twice.
Gobourne, of Sarasota, Fla., was named SEC Co-Specialist of the Year for the second consecutive season after also winning the honor in 2021.
“This award for Derrian is absolutely well deserved,” Graba said. “I am so proud of Derrian and this award is just confirmation of what she has brought to our program for years at the toughest conference in the country.”
Gobourne earned All-SEC recognition after two second-place finishes at this year’s championships. She tied for second on bars (9.95) and floor (9.95).
She has competed on vault, bars and floor at every competition this year. The highlight of her season was nine scores of 9.9 or better on the floor where she ranks third in the SEC and seventh nationally with an NQS of 9.955. The first 10.0 of his career came on the floor against Florida, helping the Tigers tie the SEC champion with a 198.575.
Gobourne has won six floor titles and three bars crowns this season. She has six scores of 9.9 or better on bars, including a career-high 9.975. The senior also tied her career best on vault with a 9.95 on the road at LSU.
Brusch, a Cincinnati junior, earned the first All-SEC recognition of her career after finishing tied for second on bars in the SEC Championship with a career-best 9.95.
Groth, a freshman from West Des Moines, Iowa, also earned the first All-SEC honor of her early career. The four-time SEC rookie of the week matched his career on balance beam with a 9.95 in the SEC meet last Saturday, finishing tied for second place overall.
The Tigers return to action next weekend, hosting the 2022 NCAA Auburn Regional at Neville Arena. Auburn enters the afternoon session March 31 as the No. 2 seed and is expected to advance to the Sweet 16 on April 2.