LSU gymnasts win tiebreaker with Michigan to earn trip to NCAA championships

LSU gymnasts win tiebreaker with Michigan to earn trip to NCAA championships
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Using a huge effort on the balance beam and a clutch performance on the floor, the sixth-ranked LSU gymnastics team earned its way back to the NCAA championships in dramatic fashion Sunday.

The Tigers had a 9.95 from Haleigh Bryant in the anchor spot on floor to tie third-ranked Michigan for second with a 197.75 Sunday at the Denver regional.

Denver, ranked only 13th, won the meet with a 197.875 and Oregon State was fourth with 197.65.

The Tigers won the tiebreaker with all six scores counting, giving the Tigers a 237.1 while Michigan had two falls and totaled just 235.725.

Reaching the NCAA championships in such fashion was a little bit of redemption for the Tigers, who failed to make the NCAAs last year after they struggled on the beam at regionals.

On Sunday, the Tigers totaled a 49.425 on the event, the second-highest mark of the session on the beam, with home team Denver (49.625) posting the highest mark.

While beam was the clutch performance the Tigers needed, the 49.525 on the uneven bars proved to be pivotal.

LSU was fourth after the first rotation when it scored just 49.375 on the vault, but it posted the49.525 on the bars with Bryant scoring a 9.975, Alexis Jeffrey a 9.95 and Tori Tatum a 9.9.

That effort pushed the Tigers into second place at 98.9 behind Michigan (98.975).

The Wolverines weren’t as steady as the Tiger, though, with LSU earning a 49.425s on both the beam and floor to close out the meet.

Bryant was outstanding for the Tigers, finishing the meet with a 9.95 on the floor to post a 39.75 all-around score. In addition to the 9.975 on the bars, she also had a 9.875 on vault and 9.95 on beam.

Also on Sunday, No. 7 California won the Pittsburgh regional with a 198.075 and No. 2 Florida was second with a 197.8 to advance to nationals. Michigan State (197.65) and Arizona State (197.475) were eliminated.

On Saturday, No. 5 Utah and No. 4 UCLA advanced out of the Los Angeles region and top-ranked Oklahoma and No. 9 Kentucky advanced out of the Norman region.


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