For the third time in four seasons, LSU gymnastics navigated the SEC regular season without a single loss.
LSU closed out this year’s perfect season by posting consecutive 198+ scores at home for the first time in school history. It’s getting harder and harder for this team to find new milestones to break. LSU also extended its streak of scoring 197 or better to 33, the second-longest streak in NCAA history.
I’m just saying this team is pretty good. There’s also few ways more satisfying to show off how awesome you are than by beating Auburn. Even more satisfying is looking at the scoresheet and still seeing places where this team can earn more points. Maybe it hasn’t even peaked yet.
That’s a terrifying thought for the rest of the nation. But LSU still has not truly dominated the vault in the ways we know a DD Breaux team can. Only two gymnasts, Myia Hambrick and Kennedi Edney, scored a 9.90 on the first rotation. There were good scores throughout, but not dominant ones, as the team scored 49.325.
That was about the only crack in the door LSU would allow. The Tigers have turned into absolute monsters on the uneven bars, as the team scored over 9.90 on three routines, and that is without specialist Ruby Harrold hitting that mark, scoring a 9.800. The Tigers scored 49.550 on the bars and any hope Auburn had in the meet was already gone at the halfway point.
Another three gymnasts would score 9.90 or above on the beam, with the lowest qualifying score on the rotation being Sarah Finnegan’s 9.850. It was stick after stick, with nary a bobble in sight. The beam is the ultimate gut check rotation, but Satan’s Apparatus has failed to intimidate the Tigers all season long. In fact, this is where LSU usually extends its lead.
And then finally came the 10’s. Sarah Finnegan and Myia Hambrick both earned their first 10’s on the floor of their careers, a surprising stat. It seems that they have always been on the cusp of perfection, but it never gets rewarded on the scoreboard. By the time the dust settled, LSU had a 49.700 on the floor, and a 198.100-195.625 victory.
LSU has a few more weeks of tune ups before the postseason play begins, but now is a good time to take stock of where this team stands. LSU has the second best RQS in the nation behind #1 Oklahoma. It looks very much like LSU is going to need these kind of monster scores to compete for the title. OU as been just a bit better all year in RQS (197.980-197.715), scoring average (197.778-197.553), and even high score (198.375-198.185).
LSU has the scoring lead over Oklahoma at the uneven bars and the floor. The beam is neck and neck, but currently Oklahoma has the edge. No, the gap in these teams scores right now is created by the vault. This is the rotation at which LSU needs to spend the next month trying to find those few tenths of a point in order to win the national title.
SEC regular season champs is quite an accomplishment. Let’s see if this team can add an even bigger trophy over the next few months.