Lee, Gobourne among ESPN’s ‘must watch’ gymnasts of the 2023 season

Another exciting season of Auburn Gymnastics gets underway on Saturday, and two members of Auburn’s roster are earning time in the spotlight.

Auburn gymnasts suni lee and Derrian Gobourne were recognized by ESPN this week as gymnasts to watch ahead of the 2023 season. Both made an impact in last season’s Final Four run, and are expected to take their talents to a higher level this season.

Lee joins a list of Olympic gold medalists who return to their respective programs as sophomores, which includes Oregon State’s Jade Carey, UCLA’s Jordan Chiles, and Utah’s Grace McCallum. Lee revealed last November that the 2023 season would be her last so that she can place focus on the upcoming XXXIII Olympic Summer Games in Paris in 2024.

Lee, the 2021 Olympic all-around champion, helped lead Auburn to a fourth-place ranking, its best-ever finish in program history. Individually, she won the NCAA title on beam and finished second in the all-around. She recently revealed this would be her final season of collegiate gymnastics. “I want to be the best teammate I can be and continue the amazing legacy we were able to build last season,” she told ESPN in November about her goals for the year. We have a feeling she’ll do just that.

Gobourne is another athlete that keeps fans watching. She competes in every event but is most known for her spectacular floor routines. ESPN’s D’Arcy Maine is excited to watch Gobourne’s floor exercise this season and says that Gobourne has the chance to become a viral hit.

The 2022 NCAA floor runner-up opens this standout routine with “God Save the Queen,” while placing an invisible crown atop her head, and this is exactly the kind of energy and confidence we can all use in the new year. It’s giving a little 2020 Nia Dennis with some of the Beyonce/Homecoming music choices — and we can’t wait to watch on repeat all season long.

Auburn opens the season on Saturday, Jan. 7 in Las Vegas at the Super 16 Challenge. The Tigers will compete among the NCAA’s top gymnastics programs including Michigan, UCLA, and defending national champion Oklahoma.


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Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire