AAI Award | American Athletic Inc.
2016 AAI Award

2017 AAI Award

For over 26 years, American Athletic, Inc. (AAI) has presented the prestigious AAI Award to the most outstanding senior female gymnast in the country. This award is considered the Heisman Trophy in gymnastics. Every year, college coaches are asked to submit their nominations for this award. The coaches then vote to narrow down these nominations to finalists, and ultimately the winner. AAI recognizes the achievements and dedication of each AAI Award Nominee and is proud to support NCAA® gymnastics.

Every year, we are presented with a talented pool of athletes nominated for the AAI Award, this year being no different. Each athlete had impressive honors and career stats, involvement in their communities and solid plans for the future. Because of all these things combined, along with votes from the coaches, we were presented with a tie. Instead of the normal 6 finalists, we had 7. From there, the winner was chosen.

The 2017 AAI Award Winner is...

Ashleigh Gnat-LSU


Senior Ashleigh Gnat is an outstanding all-around performer who is a vocal team leader and one of the most dynamic gymnasts in the country. During her career, Gnat has led the LSU Tigers to two NCAA Super Six appearances as well as a historic sweep of the Southeastern Conference regular season and tournament championships in 2017. At the SEC meet, Gnat captured event titles on vault, beam and floor. The No. 1 vault performers in the country based on RQS, gnat stuck her double-twisting Yurchenko in the anchor spot of the lineup for a perfect 10.0. It marked Gnat's nation-leading third 10.0 on vault this season and the ninth perfect score of her career, which tied Jennifer Wood for the school record. Gnat also anchored the squad's beam and floor lineups with 9.95s for the titles. Overall, Gnat's three titles in 2017 tied Rheagan Courville (2014) for the most at a single SEC Championship in school history.

This season, Gnat earned regular season All-America honors on vault as well as floor and beam, after ranking fourth and eighth respectively in the events. Gnat's 14 All-America honors for her career are tied with April Burkholder for the second-most in school history. Gnat owns 10 floor titles for the season, which ties the school record for the most in a single season in school history. In LSU's career titles ranking, Gnat sits at No. 5 on floor with 21 titles, No. 6 on vault with 22 titles and No. 7 on beam with 12 titles. Gnat also ranks eighth in school history with 60 total titles. Overall, Gnat has been a large contributor to the Tigers' work in the community as a member of the SEC Community Service team in 2016. Gnat has been a part of three-straight Tiger Cup wins, which is awarded to the LSU team that owns the highest team GPA along with the most community service hours. She is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member and was named an Academic All-American in 2016. Gnat will graduate in May 2017 with a degree in sports administration.

Ashleigh is the 2nd gymnasts to receive the AAI Award from LSU.

"The fact that our peers voted on absolutely the right person was amazing. Every coach should have the opportunity in their lifetime to coach someone of her character and talent. She epitomizes what every student-athlete should be. I'm so proud that she can bring this award to our university. This is the Heisman trophy for our sport, and I am so proud the right person won it." - D-D Breaux

"It's a huge honor to be considered for this award. There are so many talented girls in the NCAA. It's an honor to represent LSU that way. They have provided every opportunity, and I am just thankful to be part of this team and this organization. I'm very proud of this, but we still have a lot of work to do and our main goal is still ahead of us this weekend."-Ashleigh Gnat

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2017 AAI Award Finalists

Congratulations to all the 2017 AAI Award Nominees and Finalists!

Past Winners of the AAI Award

1991 - Joy Selig from Oregon State University

1992 - Missy Marlowe-Anglesey from University of Utah

1993 - Tammy Marshall from University of Massachusetts

1994 - Chari Knight from Oregon State University

1995 - Beth Wymer from University of Michigan

1996 - Jenny Hansen from University of Kentucky

1997 - Kristin Quackenbush from West Virginia University

1998 - Kim Arnold from University of Georgia

1999 - Jenni Beathard from University of Georgia

2000 - Heidi Hornbeek from University of Arizona

2001 - Mohini Bhardwaj from UCLA

2002 - Andree Pickens from University of Alabama

2003 - Theresa Kulikowski from University of Utah

2004 - Jamie Dantzscher from UCLA

2005 - Richelle Simpson from University of Nebraska

2006 - Courtney Bumpers from University of North Carolina

2007 - Janet Anson from Iowa State University

2008 - Ashley Postell from University of Utah

2009 - Courtney Kupets from University of Georgia

2010 - Susan Jackson from Louisiana State University

2011 - Kylee Botterman from University of Michigan

2012 - Amy Glass from Boise State University

2013 - Vanessa Zamarripa from UCLA

2014 - Emily Wong from University of Nebraska

2015 - Georgia Dabritz from University of Utah

2016 - Lindsay Mable from University of Minnesota

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