Let’s be honest, LSU gym has gotten off to s a slow start this season. There’s plenty of excuses: graduation, plenty of injuries, and simple strategy of not trying to peak too early. All of these are valid excuses, but still excuses.
That didn’t change the truth of the matter that LSU sat 5-2 (2-2 SEC) going into this weekend, only once this season having cracked the 197.00 point barrier, and that was in a loss to Florida. No one doubts this team’s talent, but at the same time, they have not come close to putting it all together.
Potential is great, but there comes a point you have to start turning potential into production. That’s what this weekend was for LSU gym.
The weekend started with a trip to Missouri to compete in the GymQuarters Mardi Gras Invitational against Iowa St, Missouri, and Lindenwood. LSU wouldn’t need a huge score to win this one, but this was the first night all season everything clicked.
LSU scored season highs on nearly every rotation, en route to a dominant 197.875 score. Kiya Johnson, of course, led the way with a 39.750 and titles on the vault (10.0), bars (9.925), and floor (9.95). LSU didn’t need those scores to win the meet, but it did need those scores in the context of the season.
This is a team that need to flex its muscles and show that it could score big like the true Four on the Floor contenders. And then they needed to do it again.
Fresh off the win on Friday, LSU came home to host Kentucky. It was LSU’s most convincing win of the SEC season. To be fair, Kentucky scuffled a bit on their second rotation, the vault, only scoring a 48.825, leaving the door wide open for LSU to march through. And march through they did.
By the meet’s midway point, LSU was already up 148.825 - 148.175. There’s really not much chance to come back from that unless LSU totally self-destructed, which they were in no mood to do this weekend.
LSU was solid but unspectacular on the beam, and then put on a show on the floor to put the meet to bed. Kentucky never had a chance, and LSU sent the crowd home happy with a large 197.500 - 196.625 victory.
Kiya Johnson won her twentieth individual title of the season, and her sixth of eight possible all-around titles. I’m just saying, the freshman might be pretty good.
The Kentucky meet featured a few more falls and mistakes than the GymQuarters, but none showed up on the final scoreline, as every error was isolated and the score dropped. It wasn’t a perfect meet, but it was a huge team win. Any time someone fell down, the team lifted them up. To do so on short rest after a meet on Friday is even more impressive.
LSU gym has been struggling this season, but this was the first weekend they gave fans a glimpse at the final product they are working towards. Finally, the production arrived, and the team put up two of their biggest results of the season.
It’s not a finished product yet, but LSU is rounding into its postseason form.