LSU doesn’t care that it’s the No. 1 gymnastics program in the country at the moment.
In coach D-D Breaux' eyes, it only serves as a distraction.
For three years now the Tigers have been in the same position, claiming the nation’s top spot after the first meet of the year. Both of the previous seasons LSU lost the spot the following week.
In fact, only once in program history have the Tigers held on to the No. 1 spot for consecutive meets when it did so for three weeks in 2014.
On Friday, it tries to buck the trend when LSU goes to No. 7 Florida for the first road meet of the season. LSU opened the season last Friday with a 197.150-195.350 win over Arkansas.
“It’s a numbers game,” Breaux said. “We scored really well and had a great crowd, a lot of energy, a lot of momentum. To be in that place right now, it’s really not in the conversation among us or our staff or our team. It’s a number based on the number we got here compared to scores that were thousands of miles away. Until it becomes a regular pattern and we can see that week in and week out, we’ll take it one week at a time.”
Breaux was quick to point out that defending national champion Oklahoma has yet to compete this season, opening its season at Georgia on Monday. Meanwhile No. 7 Florida scored 195.900 at West Virginia.
But that doesn’t negate the fact LSU had as strong a start as it could ask for last Friday.
On top of being one of only two schools in the country to post a score of 197 or better — which extended the Tigers’ streak of reaching the milestone to 24 consecutive meets — LSU tied for the second-highest bars score in program history with a 49.600.
The only two gymnasts not to break the 9.900 mark for LSU were freshmen Sam Durante and Ruby Harold who both scored 9.875.
Harold was debuting a new bars routine after associate coach Jay Clark tinkered with a few of her skills.
“We want to take it meet by meet, and if it’s a little lower than it was on Friday, that’s OK,” said junior Sarah Finnegan, who claimed the all-around title after setting a personal best. “I don’t think you're going to have a perfect outcome every meet. And that’s all right, especially for regular season, because our goal is in the postseason and our goal is nationals. Everything we do up until that point is just preparing us for nationals.”
Reigning vault national champion Kennedi Edney only competed on bars against Arkansas, but Breaux said she was beginning to practice vault again Sunday. As of Monday, there was no timeline for her return.
“I’m really excited to compete in an arena that’s maybe not all for us,” Edwards said. “But I’m ready to embrace their energy and hopefully come out on top. It's going to be hard maybe not having all the fans cheer for you and maybe not wanting you to do your best, but I’m looking forward to this new challenge.”