Tiger Gymnasts net win over Kentucky

The 13th-ranked LSU gymnasts returned home Friday to post a 195.875-194.675 win over No. 18 Kentucky in front of 2,115 in the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The team score of 195.875 trails only the 196.100 LSU recorded last weekend at top-ranked Georgia.


"Even though the score doesn't reflect improvement (from last week), we had some major improvement," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "We had some upperclassmen step up and give some really great routines."


Senior April Burkholder and junior Kelly Phelan tied for all-around honors with identical marks of 39.425, season-highs for both. Kentucky's Krystle Cook came in third with a 39.175.


Terin Martinjak began competition for the Tigers on vault with a step forward on her landing, earning a 9.225. But her teammates all recorded marks of 9.675 or better to notch a team score of 49.050. Butler led all performers with a season-high 9.900 followed by Burkholder's 9.875.


After one rotation LSU led the Wildcats, 49.050-48.625. The Tigers maintained that same lead through the second rotation, as LSU and Kentucky each scored a 48.975 on the bars and vault, respectively.


Phelan and Lisa Rennie posted the highs for LSU on the bars with a 9.850 each. Burkholder recorded a 9.775 followed by Emily Ellis and Kelly Lea, who both earned scores of 9.750.


The Tigers moved to beam, an event they have had some struggles in early in the season, for the third rotation. Those struggles continued at the top of the lineup, as LSU had falls from its first and third performers Lauren Klein and Lisa Rennie and had to count Rennie's 9.125.


The remaining Tigers competitors earned marks of 9.775 or better, including Burkholder's meet-winning 9.900, just enough to maintain the lead heading into the last rotation. The Wildcats, who notched a 48.850 on the floor, trailed LSU, 146.500-146.450.


Kentucky then experienced some problems of its own to start beam, both of its first competitors falling off the apparatus. At the same time, LSU put forth its best effort of the season on floor, posting a 49.375 team score.


All of the first four performers notched season-highs, led off by Lea's 9.825. Klein followed with an identical mark, and Ellis then recorded a 9.875. Martinjak and Phelan earned 9.900s to tie for the event crown, and Burkholder closed out competition with a 9.875.


Those performances coupled with Kentucky's miscues were enough to stretch LSU's lead to 195.875-194.675.

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