Da Boot Sports
LSU Sports Communications
By: Alyssa Leal
BATON ROUGE – The No. 6 LSU Gymnastics team finished on top in the Podium Challenge as they took down No.7 California, No. 23 Washington and George Washington with a score of 197.700 on the road in the Raising Cane’s River Center.
“This is a team that continues to step up. I’m just proud of them and their resilience,” said Head Coach Jay Clark. “I’ve been doing this for 33 years and I don’t know if I’ve seen a year that has had as much adversity as this one. They just continue to believe and continue to fight, and they're doing it for each other and for LSU.”
Junior Haleigh Bryant won the all-around for the eighth time this season with her score of 39.650 on the night. She now owns 16 all-around titles in her career to tie her at sixth for career-best in LSU history.
LSU began the meet on vault, where junior Elena Arenas led the squad off with a huge 9.900 routine. Senior Alyona Shchennikova followed with a 9.850. Junior Chase Brock matched her career high and hit a 9.975 in the third spot. Freshman Bryce Wilson made her second career appearance on vault and scored a 9.850 before junior Haleigh Bryant anchored with a 9.975. The Tigers earned a 49.550 in the first rotation.
Sophomore Alexis Jeffrey led off the bars squad with a 9.900 and junior Olivia Dunne followed with a 9.825. Sophomore Tori Tatum posted a 9.875 while freshman Ashley Cowan made her second collegiate appearance and posted a 9.850. Shchennikova scored a 9.800 in the fifth spot and Bryant anchored with a 9.900. LSU scored a 49.350 in the second rotation.
The Tigers were tied with California at the halfway point with a score of 98.900, followed by Washington’s 98.625 and George Washington’s 98.300.
On beam, Arenas started things off with a 9.825 followed by a 9.725 from Shchennikova. In her second career appearance on beam, Jeffrey scored a 9.850. Junior Sierra Ballard recorded a strong 9.900 and Bryant added a 9.850 in the fifth spot. In her return to the beam lineup, freshman Bryce Wilson anchored with a career high 9.850.
Ballard led off with a 9.850 routine on floor to begin the final rotation in the River Center. Shchennikova earned a 9.900 in the second spot followed by Brock, who continued her night with a 9.925 to match her career high. Arenas scored a 9.875 and Jeffrey scored a 9.750 before Bryant anchored with her Bryant anchored with her 9.975 to close out the competition with a floor score of 49.525.
The Tigers battled their way through adversity to come out victorious in the quad meet with California, Washington and George Washington. LSU finished with a 197.700 on the night, followed by California’s 197.675, Washington’s 196.000 and George Washington’s 195.125.
Bryant earned her eighth all-around and vault titles with her scores of 9.975 on vault and 39.650 in the all-around to move her total to 22 titles this year She now owns 52 titles in her career to tie her at tenth in program history for most individual titles.
Brock recorded her first win after also taking the vault title in the quad meet. Her scores of 9.975 on vault and 9.925 on floor marked back-to-back meets that the junior recorded career high scores.
The Tigers return home for senior night and the final regular season competition of the season next Friday, March 10, against West Virginia at 7 p.m. CT on SEC Network Plus.