JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux usually gets what she wants.
Breaux lobbied the Southeastern Conference for years to add a regular-season championship to her sport in addition to the championship contested here Saturday night. She finally got what she wanted this season, and her Tigers replied by winning the SEC with a perfect 7-0 dual meet record.
Now Breaux has trained her powers of persuasion on another target:
She wants the SEC Championship meet in New Orleans as soon as 2019.
“We’re starting on that again as soon as we get home,” Breaux said before Saturday’s meet. “We’re going to make our efforts to get the SEC and New Orleans people talking much earlier.”
The 2018 SEC meet will move to St. Louis and is expected to be held in Duluth, Georgia, in 2020, though that has not been announced.
Breaux lobbied to get this year’s meet in New Orleans, presumably at the Smoothie King Center, but Jacksonville renewed its efforts to get the meet at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.
She doesn’t know if she’ll succeed, but Breaux said: “There’s a 100 percent chance it won’t happen if I don’t try.”
Speaking of championships …
LSU was presented with the regular-season trophy here Friday during a pre-meet practice session. The team promptly took the big piece of wooden hardware to Jacksonville Beach for a series of surf-side selfies near where the team had dinner.
“It was a neat experience for them,” Breaux said. “Some of those kids never get to see the beach.”
The LSU team flew home to Baton Rouge immediately after the meet to await is NCAA regional assignment. An announcement will be made at 3 p.m. Monday live on NCAA.com.
There are six pre-determined regionals around the country: Gainesville, Florida; Fayetteville, Arkansas; Lincoln, Nebraska; Champaign, Illinois; Morgantown, West Virginia; and Seattle. LSU could be sent to any of those sites, though it’s highly unlikely to go to Gainesville because the No. 2-ranked Tigers and No. 4 Gators should both be in the final top six of the national rankings. That would make both teams No. 1 seeds in their respective regionals.
Six teams plus unattached individual gymnasts go to each of the six regionals. The top 18 teams in this week’s final Regional Qualifying Score average (RQS) will be seeded on an S-curve as the top three seeds in the six regionals. The next 18 teams in the RQS will be placed in regionals with consideration given to conference affiliations and geography.
Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena was the site of LSU men’s basketball’s first- and second-round victories en route to the 2006 Final Four. The Tigers beat Iona 80-64 and Texas A&M 58-57. … LSU won the first SEC Championship meet in 1981 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center. Schools are no longer allowed to host the meet on campus. … The Tigers came into the meet as the nation’s top team on vault with an average of 49.500. Florida and Oklahoma were tied for second (49.440).