NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Rheagan Courville, Lloimincia Hall and Jessica Savona all captured Southeastern Conference titles to lead the sixth-ranked LSU gymnastics team to a season-high 197.700 and a third-place finish at the SEC Championships on Saturday night in Verizon Arena.
Competing in session II, No. 1 Florida won the SEC title with a 198.000, No. 3 Alabama finished second at 197.800 and No. 5 Georgia came in fourth with a 197.325. No. 12 Auburn (196.550), No. 16 Arkansas (196.400), Missouri (195.525) and No. 19 Kentucky (194.600) finished fifth through eighth, respectively, after competing in session I earlier on Saturday.
LSU (15-6) picked up five wins at the meet, including the third win over Georgia this season.
Courville, a University High graduate, captured at least a share of three individual titles. She tied with Florida’s Bridget Sloan for the all-around crown with a career-high 39.750. Courville won sole possession of the vault title with the first perfect 10.0 of her career, and she tied with Georgia’s Brittany Rogers and Shayla Worley for the beam title with a career-high tying 9.95.
After winning the SEC floor title as a freshman last season, Hall defended her crown with a 9.95, and Savona also shared the conference floor title with a career-high 9.95. Alabama’s Diandra Milliner and Florida’s Sloan and Kytra Hunter shared the floor title as well.
“We had such good momentum in our first two events because we knew for us to have a chance we had to dominate floor and vault, and I am proud of the kids for a strong effort tonight,” LSU coach D-D Breaux said. “We have improved by leaps and bounds on bars, but the kids got a little tentative trying to hit landings.
“Overall, we did a great job tonight, but we know we can do even better than this. We are excited about the NCAA postseason, and we can’t wait to compete again.”
LSU’s 197.700 ranks as the third-highest team score in school history and the highest score ever for the Tigers at the SEC Championships.
LSU posted a 49.625 on floor, the second-highest floor total in school history and the second-highest floor total of any team in SEC Championship meet history.
LSU added a 49.525 on vault, the sixth-best vault total in team history, to propel the Tigers to the 197.700. LSU also finished with a season-best 49.375 on beam as well as a 49.175 on bars.
LSU opened the meet on floor, and got off to a roaring start with a 49.625 to take the lead after one rotation. Hall and Savona led the way with 9.95’s. Courville scored a 9.925 while Jessie Jordan and Maliah Mathis provided 9.90’s to round out the Tigers’ scoring. The 9.90 marked a career high for Jordan.
Through one rotation, LSU was in first place at 49.625 with Georgia in second at 49.500, Alabama in third at 49.400 and Florida in fourth at 49.375.
The Tigers earned a 49.525 on vault in the second rotation to maintain the overall lead in the session. Courville led the way with the first perfect 10.0 of her career on the vault, and it marked only the sixth 10.0 score on vault in SEC Championship history. Jordan set a career high with a 9.925, while Britney Ranzy earned a career mark with a 9.875. Sarie Morrison added a 9.875, and Kaleigh Dickson and Randi Lau posted 9.85’s during the rotation.
Heading into the third event, LSU was on top at 99.150, followed by Florida at 98.875, Georgia at 98.850 and Alabama at 98.800. The Tigers tallied a 49.175 on bars in the third rotation, led by Morrison’s 9.90 – her seventh score of 9.9 or higher this season. Courville recorded a 9.875, while Randii Wyrick added a 9.825 and Dickson earned a 9.80. Jordan and Ranzy both scored a 9.775 at the beginning of the lineup.
Through three rotations, LSU stood in third place. Florida took the lead with a 148.375, followed by Alabama at 148.350, LSU at 148.325 and Georgia at 148.075.
LSU ended the meet with the best beam total of the season at 49.375, led by Courville’s 9.95 and Britney Taylor’s career-high 9.925 from the leadoff spot. Dickson set her personal best with a 9.875, and Jordan added a 9.825. Hall posted a 9.80 as the final counting score for the Tigers in the event.
Jordan finished .025 off her career high in the all-around with a 39.425, and Dickson equaled her career best with a 39.375.
Alabama originally scored a 197.900, but the Crimson Tide finished with a 197.800 after they were penalized a tenth off the final team score for competing gymnasts out of order in their bars lineup.
Georgia earned a 197.625 at first, but the Gym Dogs challenged a ruling that one of their gymnasts stepped out on floor. Georgia lost the video challenge which resulted in a three-tenths deduction off the final team score, so the Gym Dogs finished with a 197.325. Had the ruling been overturned, Georgia would have finished with a 197.675 and remained in fourth place.
LSU will now wait to find out where the team will travel for postseason competition. The NCAA Regional Selection Show will begin at 2 p.m. Monday on NCAA.com and will reveal which 36 teams will compete across the six regional sites on April 6.