AUBURN, Alabama (EETV) - For the first time in Auburn history, two Tigers were honored with one of the three SEC postseason awards in the same season. Freshman Sunisa Lee and Senior Derrian Gobourne of the No. 7 Auburn Gymnastics team both earned a Southeastern Conference post season award. Lee was named Freshman of the Year, while Gobourne was awarded Co-Specialist of the Year.
The reining Olympic Gold medalist wrapped up her first collegiate season with a placement on the All-SEC and SEC All-Freshman teams. Lee's teammates, Derrian Gobourne, junior Aria Brusch and freshman Sophia Groth also earned All-SEC recognition.
“Having two major conference awards at the end of the year is such a phenomenal accomplishment for Auburn gymnastics,” head coach Jeff Graba said. “I’m so proud of this team and of Suni and Derrian. This just shows how far this program has come and gives us a glimpse of the bright future it has as well.”
Suni Lee earned this award with only 12 weeks on Auburn's campus. Lee became Auburn’s first SEC champion since 1994 when she won the conference bars title with a perfect 10 last Saturday at the SEC championship in Birmingham, Al. In a single season, she’s won seven all-around titles this year as well as 10 bars crowns, six beam titles, three floor titles and one on vault.
“She has had an enormous impact on our program in this short amount of time and obviously the rest of the conference noticed this as well," Graba added. "I’m very proud of Suni and am excited for what the future holds for her and this team.”
Lee is the first Auburn gymnast to record a 10.0 since 2004 and has four this season. She is ranked first in the SEC and second nationally in the all-around (39.750), while also being first nationally on bars (9.970) and beam (9.980). She’s also in the top 10 on floor (9.950) nationally.
She additionally set the all-around record for Auburn with a 39.825 and six of her all-around scores rank in the top 10 in program history, and been recognized as SEC Gymnast of the Week three times and SEC Freshman of the Week twice this year.
Goubourne earned Co-Specialist of the Year a second-straight season after also earning the honor in 2021. The highlight of her season has been the nine scores of 9.9 or better on floor where she ranks third in the SEC and seventh nationally with a 9.955 National Qualifying Score. The first 10 of her career came on floor against Florida to help her team tie. At the SEC championships, the Sarasota native finished in a tie for second on bars (9.95) and floor (9.95), earning runner up in both events.
“This award for Derrian is absolutely well deserved,” Graba said. “I’m so proud of Derrian and this award is just confirmation for what she has been bringing to our program for years in the toughest conference in the country.”
Gobourne has won three titles on bars and six on the floor exercise this season. She has six scores of 9.9 or better on bars, including a career-high 9.975.
Brusch tied for second on bars at the SEC Championship with a career-best 9.95, earning her first All-SEC recognition. In her rookie season, Groth was a four-time SEC Freshman of the Week. She tied her career high on beam with a 9.95 at the SEC meet this past Saturday, finishing in a tie for second overall.
The Tigers are back in Neville Arena to kick off post-season as they host the 2022 NCAA Auburn Regional. Auburn is scheduled for the afternoon session on March 31, as the second seed and looks to advance to the Sweet 16, April 2.