COLUMBUS, Ohio - Behind a fantastic team effort, the seventh-ranked LSU gymnastics squad captured the NCAA Columbus Regional title with a 197.275 and clinched a berth in the NCAA Championships Saturday night in Ohio State's St. John Arena.
It marks the 12th regional title in LSU history and the first since the Tigers won the 2009 Columbus Regional, and the 197.275 ranks as the third-highest regional score in school history.
Sixth-ranked UCLA finished second in the final standings with a 196.950, followed by Arizona at 196.100, Ohio State at 196.050, North Carolina State at 195.275 and Central Michigan at 194.925. The Bruins will join LSU at the NCAA Championships in UCLA's Pauley Pavilion on April 19-21.
The Tigers also earned at least a share of every individual title as Rheagan Courville won the vault with a 9.925, Sarie Morrison won bars with a 9.90, Jessie Jordan won beam with a 9.95, Lloimincia Hall won floor with a 9.95 and Jordan tallied the all-around title with a 39.450.
LSU improved to 20-6 on the season as the Tigers posted their sixth 197 score of the year, recording a 48.975 on bars, 49.350 on beam, 49.500 on floor and 49.450 on vault to finish with a 197.275.
"We started out tight on bars, but we bounced back with three strong events to finish on top," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "I am so proud of the ladies for handling the pressure of the meet and coming out with a championship performance.
"We are excited about heading back to nationals, and we are ready to get back in the gym and improve before we head to LA."
LSU opened the night with a 48.975 on bars in the second rotation. Sarie Morrison led the way with a 9.90, marking her eighth bars score of at least a 9.9 and her 11th bars title of the season. The Tigers also counted 9.80s from Britney Ranzy and Randii Wyrick, a 9.75 from Kaleigh Dickson and a 9.725 from Jessie Jordan.
LSU roared into the lead in the third rotation after the Tigers tallied a 49.350 on beam, the second-best beam total of the season. Ericka Garcia led off with a solid 9.825, and Dickson followed with a 9.85. Britney Taylor posted a 9.80, and Lloimincia Hall recorded a 9.825. Competing in the fifth spot, Courville earned a 9.90, and Jordan anchored the lineup with a career-high 9.95 to win the event and put the Tigers ahead after two events.
LSU headed into the bye before floor leading with a 98.325 through two events. UCLA was second at 98.275, and Arizona was a quarter-tenth behind the Bruins in third with a 98.250. Ohio State was fourth at 97.900, NC State was fifth at 97.550 and Central Michigan was sixth at 97.000.
The Tigers increased the lead with a 49.500 on floor, highlighted by Hall's 9.95 to earn her 10th floor title of the year. Courville, Jordan and Mathis all posted 9.90's while Dickson and Jessica Savona added 9.85's to give the Tigers the top team floor total of the night.
LSU clinched the regional title with a 49.450 on vault in the final rotation. Courville led the way with a 9.925 to win the title, and Randi Lau and Taylor both added 9.90's. Jordan scored a 9.875, and Morrison earned a 9.85 to round out the scoring.
LSU will return home in preparation for the NCAA Championships on April 19-21 in Los Angeles. The Tigers will find out on Monday what semifinal session LSU will compete.