The four-month long gymnastics season takes a toll on every team. But LSU coach D-D Breaux said she believes her Tigers are as physically ready as they can be for this week’s NCAA Championships in Fort Worth, Texas.
“We’re as good as we were going into SECs,” Breaux said before her team jetted off to Fort Worth, Texas, for the season’s ultimate meet.
“As good as we’re going to get.”
The big issues for the Tigers in the NCAA regional LSU hosted two weeks ago was the health of senior All-Americans Sarah Finnegan and Lexie Priessman.
Finngan competed in LSU’s two regional sessions despite battling the flu, but Priessman was held out after re-injuring a biceps muscle in practice.
Finnegan said she is feeling much better than she did two weeks ago.
“Still a little cough and sinus,” Finnegan said. “But I’m great compared to what I was.”
As for Priessman, Breaux said she did full routines this week in practice on uneven bars and floor and also performed on vault. LSU’s hope is that Priessman can compete on at least two events in Friday’s semifinals and three events Saturday if the Tigers reach the championship round.
We’ll let her vault on the practice day (Thursday) and warm up on vault the second day and see how it goes,” Breaux said. “So maybe two events the first night (bars, floor). The second night we’ll lay it out there and put as many 10.0 vaults out there as we can.
“We’re a better team when she’s in there.”
Breaux said none of her gymnasts will be held out of competition because of injury, a victory of sorts as LSU goes in pursuit of its first NCAA title.
“Our trainer has done a great job helping us,” she said. “We’re as good as we can be this point of the season.”
LSU competes in the Session I at noon Friday against UCLA, Utah (which finished second in the Baton Rouge regional) and Michigan. The top two teams advance to Saturday’s 6 p.m. finals against the top two teams from Session II (Oklahoma, Georgia, Denver and Oregon State).
LSU’s session will be televised on ESPN2. Saturday’s finals will be on ESPNU.