Gymnastics Holds Successful Intrasquad
BATON ROUGE — The preseason sixth-ranked LSU gymnastics team held its first intrasquad meet Friday at the practice gym inside the Carl Maddox Field House.
Although the weather outside the gym consisted of freezing rain and light snow, fans, friends and family still came out and packed inside the gym to watch the gymnasts perform routines in preparation for the season opener Jan. 8 against Maryland in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
“We saw a tremendous amount of team effort in the meet,” head coach D-D Breaux said. “The upperclassmen were lifting the freshmen to reach new heights.”
Sophomore Gloria Johnson posted a 9.80 on beam, despite being only six months removed from shoulder surgery.
Breaux said all the freshmen put together solid performances throughout the meet, but the highlight from the freshmen class was Shelby Prunty‘s 9.85 score on beam.
The freshmen were not the only Tigers to perform well at the meet as two senior all-arounders, Susan Jackson and Sabrina Franceschelli, both turned in 39-plus all-around marks.
Seniors Summer Hubbard and Kayla Rogers picked up where they left off in 2009 as All-Americans by turning in outstanding performances in their respective events.
Vaulting was a standout event for the Tigers as nine gymnasts performed a 10.0 start value in the meet. Assistant coach Bob Moore said Hubbard will be key to the vaulting lineup this season, and he said she has consistently performed 9.90 vaults in practice.
Redshirt sophomore Nikki Lyons returned to the vault and bars lineups for the meet as she saw her first action in more than a year. Lyons had ankle surgery in 2009 that forced her to miss the entire season.
Junior Samantha Engle turned in the most outstanding performance of the meet as she dazzled the coaches and onlookers on bars. Assistant coach Philip Ogletree said he believes Engle’s bar routine will be one of the nation’s best in 2010.
“I was pleased that what we are seeing this preseason is close to where we ended last season,” Breaux said. “We had some inconsistencies that will work out in time. The high points were extremely high, and I am confident that freshmen like Kaleigh Dickson will lead our freshmen class to reach the level of excellence that it will take for our team to return to the Super Six.”