Feb. 6, 2010
Courtesy of LSU
BATON ROUGE – For the first time since 2002 LSU beat the nation’s No. 1 ranked team as the 12th-ranked LSU gymnastics team upset the top-ranked Crimson Tide in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center with a 196.475-196.050 victory Friday.
LSU last beat the No. 1 ranked team on Feb. 1, 2002, when the Tigers upset No. 1 Utah 196.125-196.100. The win over the Crimson Tide also marked LSU’s first at home against Alabama since one week after the upset of Utah on Feb. 8, 2002, when the Tigers won, 196.925-196.575.
Not only did LSU (4-3, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) pull off the upset of Alabama, but sensational senior and No. 1 ranked Susan Jackson tied a school record by winning her fifth-straight all-around crown to open the season with a career-high 39.725 total.
“This is a huge victory for us in our gymnastics, but it is also a confidence booster,” LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. “A win like this does so much to validate how we are training and what we are doing in preparation for the end of the season. It is all about getting to the end of the season healthy, and we are really excited to be at this middle point of our season and turn the corner on a real positive note.”
LSU jumped out in front of the Crimson Tide in the first event as Alabama had to count a fall on bars. The Tigers scored a 49.150 on vault while Alabama managed a 48.275 on bars.
Jackson led the Tigers with her third 9.95 score on vault this season, and sophomore Gloria Johnson tied her career high with a 9.90 to finish second in the event. Senior Summer Hubbard set a new career high with a 9.80 to guide the Tigers.
In the second rotation, LSU posted a 49.050 on bars while Alabama chipped into the Tigers’ lead with a 49.150 on vault. Jackson won the bars title with a 9.925 while junior Samantha Engle tied her season high with a 9.85. Freshman Shelby Prunty set a career high with a 9.775, and senior Kayla Rogers also posted a 9.775.
Alabama (5-1, 3-1) cut into LSU’s lead in the third rotation with a 49.325 on floor, but the Tigers set a season high on beam with a 49.050. Jackson paced LSU and finished second on beam with a 9.90 while Engle (9.825), Sabrina Franceschelli (9.80) and Johnson (9.80) all posted season-best scores in the event.
Heading into the fourth rotation, LSU led Alabama, 147.250-146.725, and the Tigers displayed outstanding consistency on floor by scoring a 49.225 to secure the victory.
Rogers led off with a 9.875 while Franceschelli tied her season high with a 9.80. Hubbard added a 9.825, Engle tallied a 9.775, and Jackson punctuated and cemented the victory with a season-best 9.95.
Jackson tied former LSU All-American Sandra Smith for consecutive all-around titles to open a season as Jackson won her fifth-straight all-around crown. Smith won five straight to open her freshman season in 1980. Not only did Jackson win the all-around, but she also added the vault, bars and floor titles and tied for second on beam with the 9.90.
Jackson’s 39.725 all-around mark beat the 39.700 she tallied last season on March 7, 2009, against North Carolina State.
“I went out there and had fun like we all wanted to,” Jackson said. “Our team motto this meet was to go out, relax and have fun, so that is what I did. I went out and did what I was capable of doing – what I try to do every day in the gym.”
LSU will look to continue the momentum and build on the new season-high score when the Tigers play host to Texas Woman’s on Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Maravich Center.
1. LSU 196.475 (VT – 49.150, UB – 49.050, BB – 49.050, FX – 49.225)
2. Alabama 196.050 (VT – 49.150, UB – 48.275, BB – 49.300, FX – 49.325)
Individual (Includes first place and all LSU competitors)
All-Around – 1. Susan Jackson 39.725; 4. Sabrina Franceschelli 39.050; 5. Summer Hubbard 38.625
Vault – 1. Susan Jackson 9.95; 2. Gloria Johnson 9.90; t7. Summer Hubbard 9.800; t9. Ashley Lee 9.775; 11. Sabrina Franceschelli 9.725; 12. Kayla Rogers 9.675
Bars – 1. Susan Jackson 9.925; t3. Samantha Engle 9.85; t7. Kayla Rogers 9.775; t7. Shelby Prunty 9.775; 9. Sabrina Franceschelli 9.725; 10. Summer Hubbard 9.700
Beam – 1. Ashley Priess 9.925; t2. Susan Jackson 9.90; t5. Samantha Engle 9.825; t7. Sabrina Franceschelli 9.80; t7. Gloria Johnson 9.80; 11. Shelby Prunty 9.725; 12. Summer Hubbard 9.300
Floor – 1. Susan Jackson 9.95; 5. Kayla Rogers 9.875; t6. Summer Hubbard 9.825; 8. Sabrina Franceschelli 9.80; t9. Samantha Engle 9.775; 12. Ashley Lee 9.075