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Kiya Johnson says laser-focused LSU is ready for regionals “…we know that we’re going to do our gymnastics when we need to.”

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Here’s more from Kiya!

In the preseason, a lot of fans were really excited about LSU, with gymnasts coming back from injury as well as freshmen and transfers coming in. How did you manage that and stay in your own zone?

That was something we talked about in the fall on our retreat when we got together before the season. We talked about staying in our own zone and staying in our bubble. We knew that outside people or outside factors have expectations for us to do some great things, but we focused on each other and focused on trying to build eachother up through the preseason and I think throughout the season, we’ve shown that we’ve stuck to us and not let any outside factors or voices infiltrate what we’re trying to do. 

What were the team’s goals and talking points going into SECs and how do you feel like the meet went?

Our main goal was to win SECs. That was a goal that we set at the beginning of the year. Our mindset going in was just to do our normal. We kind of feel like we’ve found a recipe that works for us. Later on in the season, we’ve had some success and we just wanted to stick to our normal and not make the meet more than it needs to be and just go out there and have fun.

Now that the meet’s over, I think we did just that. It was a great competition. It wasn’t perfect from start to finish, but we stayed together and again, just had a lot of fun throughout the whole meet.

What did it feel like closing out SECs on floor and getting the trophy handed to your team?

That was probably one of the top three feelings I’ve ever had. It was super exciting. I knew the meet was really close. I didn’t know if we had already clinched the win before I went or not, so I just wanted to go out there and do the routine that I could. The crowd was amazing. We had a lot of LSU fans down in New Orleans. That moment was really special and just really exciting. Getting the trophy was also super exciting and a little surreal. It was something that everybody on this team has dreamed of. To have it finally happen was really cool. 

Is your team’s mindset going into the postseason any different than it was earlier in the season or this time last year?

I think our mindset is pretty much the same, just sticking to our normal. We’ve continued to just build our confidence and consistency, week in and week out. That’s worked for us the last couple of weeks of the regular season, so we want to keep that going into regionals: just be confident in ourselves like we have been and just do our normal gymnastics, not trying to go out there and be perfect or do super crazy things. We just want to go out there and do the things we do in the gym everyday because we know that’s going to be enough.

I think last year, we were kind of just in survival mode at this point. We had a lot of injuries happen and a lot of sickness happened in some crucial times. I think last year was more about making it through and making it to the end. This year, we have a lot more confidence and a lot more depth that we can use if anything happens, so I think we’re in a much better spot this year.



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