Arguably the most significant question hovering over the Los Angeles Regional is whether or not Suni Lee will compete.

Results at the regional will determine a quarter of the teams that will compete at nationals in Fort Worth, Texas, this April, and whether or not No. 12 Auburn can spring an upset over either No. 4 UCLA or No. 5 Utah largely rests on Lee’s availability.

Los Angeles Regional

Semifinal One

No. 5 Utah, No. 12 Auburn, No. 21 Southern Utah and Washington

Liftoff: Thursday, 3 p.m. MDT

Venue: Pauley Pavilion, Los Angeles (12,829 capacity)


The all-around champion at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, Lee sat out Auburn’s last three meets — at Kentucky on March 4, senior night at home against Penn State on March 10 and the SEC championships on March 18 — with what she described on social media as a nongymnastics-related health issue.

As of Monday, there was no definitive answer to the question of whether Lee will compete for the Tigers in L.A this weekend.

Per Auburn head coach Jeff Graba, the Tigers’ superstar is very much day-to-day.

“We have three days left before the meet and we’ll play it by ear,” Graba told Justin Lee of the Opelika Auburn News. “We always prepare for both scenarios. And I don’t think you have to worry too much if she’s ready to go; I think we know what to do with our lineups at that point. We’ve been really doing a good job of trying to prepare in case she doesn’t go. So nothing new on that, and that’s a doctor decision more than it’s a coach decision.”

If Lee does make her return to the lineup for Auburn she would do so against Utah, No. 21 Southern Utah and Washington, in the first of two regional semifinals on Thursday.

Here are the teams that stand between Utah and another trip to the NCAA gymnastics championships

Graba told the Opelika Auburn News that “anything is available” for Lee if she does return to action, which was clarified to mean that she could compete in the all-around or as an event specialist.

At the close of conference championship season, Lee ranked No. 9 in the country in the all-around and No. 4 on uneven bars, rankings which led to her being named a two-time WCGA All-American.

With Lee, Auburn has proven capable of competing with just about any team in the country — last season, the Tigers advanced to the Final Four alongside Oklahoma, Florida and Utah.

Without her, Auburn has proven a good if flawed team, and finished in fifth place at the recent SEC championships, behind Florida, Alabama, LSU and Kentucky.