ST. LOUIS, MO (WAFB) - The LSU gymnastics team begins its quest for a seventh Super Six appearance and third in a row beginning Friday at noon.
The back-to-back and defending champion Oklahoma Sooners worked through their rotations Thursday evening in Chafeitz Arena. Back-to-back runner up, LSU, finished up practice in session one Thursday morning. With the national semifinal right around the corner, the Tigers say the anticipation is heightened. They are excited and kind of nervous, but it's nothing they can't handle.
"I feel like we've been working to be here since September," said senior Myia Hambrick. "We're finally here. We finally went through SECs, regionals, and, you know, we were just talking about not looking ahead and today, we're still not doing that. Today was just a practice day. We just used it to get used to the environment, the equipment, and the rotation. Just everything. And I think everyone did a good job. Everyone was really focused. This is the meet that every single team sets their sights on at the beginning of every year, so I've been really fortunate to be here every single year I've been on the team and every time you just walk in and you see 'NCAA' and the logo everywhere and it's just really cool. Everyone has the feel for what it's like and tomorrow we'll be ready to go."
Last year, the quick turnaround hurt LSU, as the team was unable to turn the kind of performance Saturday night like the one it had Friday. Thursday morning, the ladies said there wasn't any looking left or right, but a laser focus in their own zone.
"I think if you're going to get distracted, practice day would be the day that it's most easy and no one did that. Everyone was really focused and locked in, so I feel really good about where we're at," Hambrick added.
"Aaron Macadeg has this thing and she calls it 'WIN' and it's 'What's Important Now,'" explained head coach D-D Breaux. "And I think that's the critical thing about this meet is to focus on the 'What's Important Now' in the win and not the outcome."
The team will have a meeting and prayer circle Thursday night, wake up Friday morning to a light breakfast, and then watch a hype video before heading to the arena.
The 2018 NCAA Championships are broken up into two semifinals with six teams in each bracket. No. 2 LSU will compete against No. 3 UCLA, No. 6 Alabama, No. 10 Arkansas, No. 11 Nebraska, and No. 18 Georgia.
The evening semifinal features No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Utah, No. 5 Florida, No. 8 Washington, No. 9 Cal, and No. 12 Kentucky.
The top three teams from each semifinal will advance to the Super Six at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
The meet held at the Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, will be televised live on ESPN2.