LSU won a national title this weekend, which is always fun. LSU gymnastics fell short in the Super Six finals, finishing fifth overall, but they do go home with some lovely parting gifts thanks to Rheagan Courville's outstanding weekend.
Courville nailed her vault, scoring a 9.9250. She was only the second of 23 gymnasts to compete on the vault, so she spent the next hour waiting to see if her score would hold up. Thankfully, it did. She becomes just the sixth Tiger to win an individual title, though it is becoming a more common occurrence recently. Ashleigh Clare-Kearney won two titles in 2009, and Susan Jackson won three individual titles from 2008-2010, including the All-Around in 2010.
Courville fell just short of the All-Around, scoring a 39.575, good for second place in the nation. We will certainly take a runner up finish in the All around to go with the Vault national title, especially considering Courville is just a sophomore and will hopefully have two more chances to bring home some more titles and maybe catch Jackson's all time school records.
On Saturday, LSU finished fifth in the nation with a team score of 197.050. It was the eighth time this season LSU scored over a 197, tying a school record. The fifth place finish ties the 2008 squad for second best finish in school history.
Even better for this team, Britney Taylor is the only senior all-around gymnast on the team. This is a young team that should, hopefully, get even better. This was this group's first taste of the Super Six, and it largely showed. With experience, this team can compete for national titles. It's a pretty exclusive club, this is just Florida's first title and they've been seemingly knocking on the door forever. Which just goes to show how difficult it is to win the title.
LSU didn't have a bad meet on Saturday, they just didn't have a great one, and it takes a great one to win the title. LSU performed pretty much right at its season averages with one notable exception: the vault. LSU averaged a 49.403 on the vault on the season, but only managed a 49.175 at the Super Six meet. If LSU would have scored a 49.50, above the season average but the score they achieved in the semifinals, LSU finishes tied with Alabama for second overall.
It's impossible to be disappointed with this performance. The team could have scored higher, and in fact did score higher in every other postseason meet. But no one was catching Florida on Saturday, so it's not like the team missed out on a national title. This team is very good, but it's not quite that good...