Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Alyssa Leal
BATON ROUGE – The No. 6 LSU Gymnastics team (8-5, 5-3 SEC) defeated West Virginia (11-8, 1-2 BIG 12) with a score of 198.025-196.450 on Friday night to close the regular season in the PMAC.
It was a historical night for junior Haleigh Bryant, who recorded three 10’s and made program history. She became the only LSU gymnast to record three perfect scores in a single meet and only the fifth gymnast in NCAA Gymnastics to do so.
Bryant now owns 10 career perfect scores to place her to the top for most in program history. In the Tigers competition against West Virginia, she recorded her first career perfect scores on bars and floor and seventh on vault to move her total to 10.
“Tonight was a great night. We’ll enjoy this tonight and celebrate our seniors, and then it’s on to the SEC Championship next weekend,” said head coach Jay Clark. “I’m really pleased that this team has fought their way to be in the position that they are as the number two seed at SEC’s. That’s a tremendous accomplishment in all of the adversity that they’ve faced this season. There’s no quit in them.”
Junior Elena Arenas led the Tigers off on vault with her score of 9.875 and senior Alyona Shchennikova followed with 9.850. Junior Chase Brock earned a 9.750 while sophomore Aleah Finnegan followed with a 9.800. Bryant anchored with her eighth perfect score of her career on vault to close out the first rotation. The Tigers took the early lead after the first rotation with a score of 49.300.
On bars, sophomore Alexis Jeffrey earned a 9.775 in the leadoff and sophomore Tori Tatum matched her season-high with a 9.900. Finnegan also matched her career high with a 9.925 in the fourth spot. Freshman Ashley Cowan earned a career high 9.900 in her PMAC debut and third appearance on bars this season. Bryant earned her second 10.00 on the night in the anchor spot to record her first perfect score on bars. It was the first perfect score on the event for a Tiger since 2019.
LSU closed the second rotation with a 49.500 and the Tigers led at the halfway point, 98.800-98.100.
Arenas led off the third rotation with a 9.850 and Shchennikova followed with a 9.875. Jeffrey posted a 9.900 in the third spot. Sierra Ballard scored a 9.825 and Bryant added a 9.875 before Finnegan closed with a strong 9.975 routine to take the win. The Tigers posted a 49.475 on beam and had the 148.275-147.450 lead going into the final rotation.
In the final floor rotation at home, Ballard led off for the Tigers and matched her career high 9.925. Shchennikova and Arenas both posted career highs with their scores of 9.975 and 9.925. Finnegan added another 9.925 in the fifth spot. Bryant recorded her third 10.00 of the night and first on floor to move her career total to 10, setting a new LSU record.
LSU closed out the regular season victorious over West Virginia with a final score of 198.025-196.450.
In the final home meet of the regular season, Bryant took the win with her career high all-around score of 39.875 to match April Burkholder for the highest all-around score in program history.
With her wins on vault, bars, floor and the all-around, Bryant now has 26 titles on the year: nine on vault, three on bars, three on beam, two on floor and nine all-around. The junior moved her career total to 56.
Finnegan took the beam title with her score of 9.975 on the night to earn her 14th title this year and sixth on beam.