By: Brittney Achord
Da Boot Sports!
It has been a long time rival, the Tigers and the GymDogs. The days of GymDog domination dwindled down and were overtaken by a herd of elephants, a congregation of gators, and an ambush of tigers. While the GymDogs hold a 69-38-2 record over the Tigers, the Tigers have a 4 season winning streak against the GymDogs, and have been victorious the last four straight match ups in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
LSU and Georgia have a lot of history, not just rivalry. LSU Head Coach Jay Clark is formerly from the University of Georgia where the last three years of his career with the GymDogs were spent as head coach. Senior Sami Durante’s mother, Danna Durante, shares common ground with Coach Clark as she stepped in as head coach for the GymDogs after Coach Clark joined the LSU program. Alena Arenas and Sami Durante are both from Athens, training at the same gym, Georgia Elite Gymnastics, that is owned by Arenas’ parents. Chase Brock is from Atlanta, Georgia right outside of Athens. Freshman Haleigh Bryant is formerly from Georgia before moving to North Carolina. The list goes further to show how much of a connection this Tiger team has with the Georgia GymDogs.
Coming off an enormous win on the road against Arkansas, LSU hit the gym this week on a mission to prepare for Friday night’s rumble in the jungle. The pressure is on when you out score every team in the NCAA on the road and have the SEC Freshman of the week for the second week in a row.
The tigers feed off the energy from the fans, and these are some ravenous tigers. In order for the Tigers to walk away triumphant and maintain their winning streak, there needs to be six, not five, but six hit routines on all four events. There needs to be feet glued to the mat on every landing. There has to be complete handstands with toes pointed and stretching as if they were trying to touch the top of the PMAC. There needs to be amplitude, intensity, and gracefulness like none other before. This is how the Tigers ambush the GymDogs in the PMAC.
You can watch Friday night’s meet live on SECNetwork+ through WatchESPN.com. Doors open at 6:15 PM CST. The first vault will take off at 7:35 pm CST.