LSU advances to NCAA Championships

The No. 7 LSU gymnasts (18-12) advanced to this year's NCAA Championships with their second-place finish of 195.825 in regional competition at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center on Friday night in front of 2,855 behind Kelly Phelan's share of the all-around title.

Oklahoma took first place with a 196.375 and Penn State third with its mark of 194.900. Kentucky (194.075), Michigan State (193.575) and Ohio State (193.000) round out the scorers.


"We're going to nationals," LSU head coach D-D Breaux said. "We're doing something a lot of schools don't have the chance to. I thought we had a superlative competition, and the mistakes we made were because we were trying too hard."


Phelan won a share of the all-around with her 39.400. It was the junior's third all-around title of the year. She shared the crown with Oklahoma's Brittney Konchak-Schumann.


The Tigers began the night on vault with a 49.100 effort. Phelan led the way with a 9.875 and Nicki Butler and April Burkholder both posted 9.850s.


Oklahoma led after one rotation with its 49.200 on the floor to open competition.


LSU sat out the second rotation with a bye, while Oklahoma moved to vault. The Sooners notched a 49.050 in their second event, increasing their tally to 98.250.


The Tigers competed on bars next, recording a 49.025 behind six performances of 9.775 or better. Burkholder's 9.850 led all LSU competitors while Butler, Phelan and Lisa Rennie all posted identical 9.800s.


That mark, which brought the team total to 98.125 kept LSU in second place behind Oklahoma's 98.250. Penn State held the third-place mark of 97.700 after three rotations.


LSU went to beam for its third event, with all scorers posting a 9.750 or better. The Tigers received two 9.850s from Burkholder and Martinjak and two 9.800s from Phelan and Rennie.


With only one event remaining, LSU trailed the Sooners, 147.350-147.175 for second place. Oklahoma completed its competition in the fifth rotation on beam with a 49.025, giving the team a final score of 196.375 for the meet.


The Tigers moved to floor with a chance to win, but falls by Burkholder and Butler in their final tumbling passes cost LSU in the final rotation and secured the victory for Oklahoma. The team finished with a 195.825, which was enough for second place to advance the Tigers to the NCAA Championships.


The Championships, hosted by Oregon State, begin April 20 in Corvallis, Ore.



Team Competition

1.      Oklahoma - 196.375 (VT-49.050,UB-49.100,BB-49.025,FX-49.200)

2.      LSU - 195.825 (VT-49.100,UB-49.025,BB-49.050,FX-48.650)

3.      Penn State - 194.900 (VT-194.900,UB-48.550,BB-48.650,FX-48.950)

4.      Kentucky - 194.075 (VT-48.700,UB-48.450,BB-47.725,FX-49.200)

5.      Michigan State - 193.575 (VT-48.850,UB-48.250,BB-47.500,FX-48.975)

6.      Ohio State - 193.000 (VT-48.250,UB-48.100,BB-47.650,FX-49.000)


Individual Scoring (winner plus all LSU competitors)


AA - t1. Kelly Phelan, Brittney Konchak-Schumann (OU) - 39.400


VT - 1. Krystle Cook (UK) - 9.900; 2. Kelly Phelan - 9.875; t3. Nicki Butler, April Burkholder - 9.850; t15. Emily Ellis - 9.775;  t18. Terin Martinjak - 9.750; 41. Teri Gibson - 8.900


UB - 1. Lori Winn (OU) - 9.875; 2. April Burkholder - 9.850; t6. Nicki Butler, Kelly Phlelan, Lisa Rennie - 9.800; t11. Emily Ellis - 9.775, Kelly Lea      


BB - 1. Haley DeProspero (OU) - 9.85; t2. April Burkholder, Terin Martinjak - 9.850; t5. Kelly Phelan, Lisa Rennie - 9.800; t10. Nicki Butler - 9.750; t14. Lauren Klein - 9.725


FX - 1. Kelly Phelan - 9.925; t3. Emily Ellis - 9.875; t24. Kelly Lea - 9.775; t28. Terin Martinjak - 9.750; 38. Nicki Butler - 9.325; 39. April Burkholder - 9.300

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