The exposure of her athletes and sport to a broader audience is what LSU gymnastics coach D-D Breaux has worked toward her entire career.
Friday gave Breaux a taste of a possible side effect.
Television pauses dotted LSU’s 197.350-192.675 throttling of Missouri in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center, rendering the Tigers unable to seize momentum and leaving Breaux searching for ways to slow her team down in practice.
“We would hurry up and then stop, hurry up and stop,” she said. “Maybe we need to train with these big, giant pauses between our performances. In the gym, we try to keep it moving: one routine after the other. I thought the team handled it really well.
“It’s the nature of the beast. We wanted this. I imagine we’re in for a whole season of this.”
The Tigers’ 197.350 on Friday night, aired online on SEC Network+, set a season high. Senior Rheagan Courville took home her first all-around title of the season, notching a 39.625 to accompany titles on vault (9.950) and bars (9.950).
Their 49.500 on floor to end the meet, headlined by career highs from Randii Wyrick and Ashleigh Gnat, shattered their season high.
Wyrick was subject to an even longer delay as speaker issues sprung up in the PMAC just before her floor routine was set to begin.
“I was just in la-la land like I usually am,” Wyrick said.
“Probably makin’ up dance moves,” Courville butted in.
“Yeah, thinking of dance moves,” Wyrick agreed. “Staying warm. It didn’t really affect me too much. Don’t let that stuff bother me.”
It showed, as Wyrick broke her previous career best by .075 in her first floor routine of the season.
Sophomore Sydney Ewing tied her career high with a 9.90 on beam, coming just after freshman Erin Macadaeg’s fall during the team’s second routine of the rotation.
Ewing, who kept her tradition of not watching Macadaeg’s performance before her, suffered a fall on beam last week and had atonement in mind.
“After last week, I knew this was an important meet for me to hit to know I could do it,” Ewing said. “I just kind of erased last week and pretended like it didn’t happen.”
Ewing’s hit started a torrid anchor stretch for the Tigers on beam. Sophomore Gnat followed with a 9.80 before Courville set a season high with a 9.875 and senior Jessie Jordan tied her season high with a 9.925, leading to a season-high tying 49.325 score.
Though it was devoid of momentum and Courville admitted the team wasn’t all the way happy with a score of 197-plus, Breaux said she saw signs of growth in a team she’s destined for bigger things.
“We’re like this unpolished stone,” Breaux said. “Underneath that stone, when we start rubbing it, it’s going to be amazing.”