Gymanstics posts season high in loss

The 13th-ranked LSU gymnastics team posted a season-high 196.550, but it was not enough to win the meet as Auburn bettered that mark with a 196.700, a season-high of its own, in front of 2,523 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday night.

Auburn (6-7, 1-3 Southeastern Conference) notched season-highs on all four events in recording its fourth highest tally in school history to beat LSU (8-5, 2-2 SEC).

"They came in our house and they beat us, plain and simple," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "They controlled their gymnastics. They did the very thing we have been practicing and doing, and we did not do it tonight."

Senior April Burkholder experienced individual success, winning the 22nd all-around title of her career with a 39.600. Junior Kelly Phelan also put forth her best effort in the all-around of her career with a 39.450 that gave her a fourth-place finish for the meet.

"The two all-arounders did great," Breaux said. "I just can't say enough positive things about both April and Kelly and what they did."

LSU opened the meet with a solid performance on vault, posting a season-high 49.325. Burkholder and Phelan both stuck their routines, earning marks of 9.950 and 9.900, respectively, season-highs for both gymnasts. Emily Ellis (9.850), Nicki Butler (9.825) and Kelly Lea (9.800) rounded out the scorers for that event.

Auburn began with a 49.050 on bars to trail LSU by .275 after one rotation. However, Auburn then bettered LSU's performance on vault with a 49.375 of its own while LSU recorded a 48.975 on bars. That placed Auburn ahead after two events, 98.425-98.300.

Burkholder and Lisa Rennie notched the highs on bars for the Tigers with identical marks of 9.850. Lea recorded a 9.775 followed by Phelan and Ellis each with 9.750s.

LSU scored another season-best on beam with a 49.100. Burkholder posted a 9.900 while Phelan and Rennie both earned marks of 9.875.

It was not enough to recapture the lead, however, as Auburn had a 49.200-point performance on the floor in the third rotation. LSU trailed, 147.625-147.400, headed to its final event.

On the floor, Martinjak and Phelan both posted 9.925s with Burkholder earning a 9.900. But LSU had to count a 9.575 from Butler, giving the Tigers a 49.150 on the event.

Auburn notched a 49.075 on beam in the final rotation to maintain its lead and earn just its third win over LSU in Baton Rouge in 19 tries.

LSU returns to the PMAC for a meet versus Oklahoma on Friday, Feb. 24 before going back on the road to Shreveport for a tri-meet with Centenary and Iowa the following weekend.

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