Gobourne Leads Tigers into 2023 Season

Auburn gymnastics' super senior Derrian Gobourne smiles during a routine. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY TAYLOR SONDERGRATH / AU ATHLETICS



It is once again gymnastics season on The Plains, and this Auburn squad is more loaded than ever. Leading the way is fifth-year senior Derrian Gobourne, a native of Sarasota, Florida, who has become one of the most well-known athletes across all of Auburn Athletics.  

Gobourne started gymnastics later than most, but there would be no way of knowing that when watching her compete.

“I’ve been doing gymnastics for about 15 years,” Gobourne said. “I started pretty late actually; I started doing competitive cheer. I started when I was about 7 and had a talent in it and just loved it.”

 Like most athletes, Gobourne looks up to one of the best in her sport.

 “Probably Simone Biles just because of everything she has done,” Gobourne said on her favorite gymnast. “She is the most decorated gymnast.”

 An important aspect of competing at a high level is finding a method of staying focused. Gobourne said she uses journaling to do so.

 “I like to journal a lot, not just with gymnastics but with life,” Gobourne said. “I’ll write down everything I want to do in that event. When I write down everything I want to do, it helps me to stay locked in.”

In a sport where you compete as an individual, team chemistry is still vital to the success of a collegiate gymnastics squad. Gobourne said she is aware of this fact and loves reaching milestones with her teammates.

 “I would say performing, but also reaching a goal with my teammates,” Gobourne noted as her favorite aspects of gymnastics. “My first year I won nationals, which was really cool, but it feels really good to achieve a goal with my teammates.” 

During Auburn’s Jan. 20 home opener against Arkansas, Gobourne’s brother Derric went viral for dancing in the crowd while his sister was introduced. Derric is a professional dancer and helps Gobourne with the choreography in her floor routines.

 “It means everything to me; it helps me create something that I like,” Gobourne said about having her brother help create her routines. “There are a lot of girls who can’t really get into their floor routine because it’s not them. Being able to share that with my teammates and the Auburn family is really special to me.”

 This Auburn team currently checks in at No. 5 in the country. With Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee back for another year and a roster that is packed with talented athletes, the sky is the limit for this team. 

“I think this team is very special,” Gobourne said. “Not only are we talented, but we understand each other and can adapt to anything that happens. This team is going to go far because we understand one another and understand that everyone plays a role on this team.” 

While the Tigers boast a tight-knit squad, the Southeastern Conference is home to some of the best gymnastics in the NCAA, making it a tough division to compete in.

 “It’s really fun,” Gobourne said. “Competing in the SEC is very nerve-wracking because there isn’t a team who’s not good. It always keeps you on your toes. It’s really fun competing because you always know it’s going to be a challenge.”

 Gymnastics has blown up in popularity among Auburn fans over the past few seasons. With a plethora of top recruits signed over the next few classes, the enthusiasm is not going anywhere.

 “It means a lot to all of us because we put in so much work,” Gobourne said. “It means a lot — having the Auburn Family backing us up is an amazing feeling. It’s just something that I will never forget.”

 Gobourne has reached many accolades during her time with Auburn, but she said there is still more she would like to accomplish.

 “I want to be an all-American and a regular season all-American on vault,” Gobourne said on her goals for this season. “I want to be an all-American on bar and floor again, win a national championship and go to nationals with my team again.”

 This Auburn gymnastics team can accomplish something special, and the skill, experience and leadership that Gobourne provides will help ensure that the Tigers reach their full potential in 2023. 

“I’m just really excited for this year,” Gobourne said. “We have some really great freshmen, and this team can go farther than last year. I’m really excited to see how this plays out for us.”


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