Auburn gymnast dislocates both knees in career-ending injury during competition

Sam Cerio Auburn gymnastics vs LSU on Friday, January 11, 2019, in Auburn, Ala. Photo: Wade Rackley /Auburn Athletics

Auburn senior Samantha Cerio suffered a devastating injury while performing her floor routine during the NCAA gymnastics regional on Friday.

Cerio performed a double front with a blind landing, suffering the gruesome injury on the landing.

She was taken off on a stretcher.


Cerio suffered two dislocated knees Friday with multiple torn ligaments in both knees, Auburn's head gymnastics coach Jeff Graba said in a statement. Cerio is scheduled to undergo surgery Monday afternoon.

The No. 13 Auburn Tigers would continue in Friday's competition, posting the highest regional score in program history and advancing to Saturday's Regional Final.

The Tigers finished fourth on Saturday with head coach Jeff Graba saying, "I think we were out of gas, emotionally spent. But I thought the girls fought hard. They did a great job. They didn't give up."

Team members and fans posted during the competition using the hashtag #stickitforsam in honor of Cerio.

Sunday night, she thanked everyone for their support.

Cerio posted on Instagram that Friday's competition will be her final gymnastics performance.

In a statement, coach Graba thanked the Auburn and LSU medical staff and emphasized that Cerio is a fighter. "The Auburn Athletics Department is thankful for the outstanding care that the Auburn and the LSU medical staffs have provided to Sam. We also are thankful for the support from the LSU Athletics Department for going above and beyond in this situation. Sam is a fighter and is in great spirits. We couldn’t have a better leader for this team," he said.