Gymnastics Set to Defend NCAA Regional Title
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – The 11th-ranked LSU gymnastics team will go after a school record third-straight NCAA regional title as the Tigers will compete at the NCAA Northeast Regional hosted by Penn State at 5 p.m. CT Saturday in Rec Hall.
Competing at its 26th-straight NCAA regional, LSU (11-7-1) captured the NCAA Central Regional titles in 2008 and 2009, and a first-place finish at Penn State would mark the first time the Tigers have won three-straight regional titles. LSU won back-to-back titles on one other occasion in 2004 and 2005.
“The regional is always the toughest meet of the year emotionally and physically,” head coach D-D Breaux said, “but I feel like our SEC schedule and Championship prepares us well. We had a practice session today to get used to the equipment and the venue, and all I ask my kids is to do what we have done the last half of the season and compete hard.”
With a first or second-place finish in the regional, LSU would advance to the NCAA Championships for the ninth consecutive season.
The Tigers enter the regional as the No. 2 seed behind undefeated and second-ranked Oklahoma. Penn State is the No. 3 seed, and Maryland, Ohio State and New Hampshire will also compete for a spot in the national championships.
“The competition is tough,” Breaux said. “It is a very competitive region, and this will be a real battle for the top two places.”
Jackson, the 2010 Southeastern Conference Gymnast of the Year, will also look to defend her regional all-around crown. Last season, Jackson won the central regional title with a 39.600 total.
Jackson will also attempt to break another LSU record with an 11th all-around title of the season at the regional. Jackson is currently tied with former Tiger Sandra Smith with 10 titles in a season.
Junior Samantha Engle ranks 19th in the beam rankings with a 9.870 regional qualifying score, and Hubbard ranks 16th on bars with a 9.885 RQS.
Sophomore Gloria Johnson has stepped up as she earned Second Team All-SEC honors at the SEC Championship with a 9.875 on vault.
Live audio will be provided in the Geaux Zone on LSUsports.net, and fans can also find a live stats link on LSUsports.net. Live updates will be available on twitter by following @LSUgym.
If LSU finishes in first or second place, the Tigers will continue their quest for a third-straight Super Six berth at the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., April 22-24.