30 Greatest Tigers of the Decade: #8 April Burkholder

#8 April Burkholder

April Burkholder was an All American 14 times.  Fourteen.  Now, I know gymnastics sort of hands out All American awards like cnady, but this is one hell of an LSU record.  She is LSU's all time leader in the all around, beam, vault, and floor.  Other gymnasts may tie her record, but never beat it, as she posted a perfect ten in three events a total of eight different times.  Her place in history is secure, and she's the only gymnast to ever make All-SEC all four years.

As a freshman in 2003, she led the team with 20 event titles.  That's right, she showed up and was immediately the top performer on the team.  That's usually a good sign for an athlete's career.  She set the top team mark in every event and was the fourth in the conference in the all around.  Burkholder capped her season being named SEC Freshman of the Year.

After dominating the SEC as a freshman, she expanded her gaze to the NCAA's as a sophomore.  She won another 21 event titles, and earned All American honors in vault, beam, and all around.  She became the first Tiger gymnast to ever be named SEC Gymnast of the Year, and she also became the first Tiger to post a perfect 10 since 1997.  She continued in the same vein in her junior year, adding another SEC Gymanst of the Year and Central Region Gymnast of the Year.  She also became the first LSU gymnast to ever post two perfect 10's in the same meet.  She also earned All-American honors in every event.  Because that's how she rolled.

There wasn't a whole lot to add in her senior year.  Just first team All American honors in four events plus the all around.  Burkholder also won her first NCAA individual title, on the beam.  The only event Burkholder did not score a perfect 10 in at least once was the bars (9.95 was her high).  She finished her career with 108 inidividual titles to go with her national title.  April Burkholder graduated as the most decorated individual athlete in Tiger history.    

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