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LSU Gymnastics Team Earns Top Seed

Monday, March 23, 2009 - 9:16pm

The NCAA announced Monday that the LSU gymnastics squad will head to the Central Regional hosted by Ohio State as the top seed.

LSU (16-5) will be joined by No. 2 seed Oregon State, No. 3 seed Ohio State, No. 4 seed Kent State, No. 5 seed Kentucky and No. 6 seed Michigan State.

The regional meet will begin April 4 at 5 p.m. CDT in Ohio State’s St. John Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

The Tigers maintained a regional qualifying score of 196.760, and they checked in at No. 5 in the national rankings released by GymInfo Monday.

LSU scored a 196.550 and finished fourth at the Southeastern Conference Championship, but the score did not factor into the Tigers’ RQS. Alabama won the SEC Championship and scored a 197.300 to move to No. 3 in the rankings which caused Stanford and LSU to move down a spot.

Georgia, which finished second at the meet March 21, held on to the No. 1 ranking with a 197.255 RQS while Utah remained second with a 197.190 score. Alabama was third at 196.925, Stanford fourth at 196.825 and LSU fifth.

Florida remained at No. 6 with a 196.715 RQS, Oregon State was eighth at 196.520 and Oklahoma was ninth at 196.465. Arkansas rounded out the top 10 with a 196.440 RQS.

Auburn stayed put at No. 11 with a 196.410 score, and Kentucky checked in at No. 24 with a 195.295 RQS, marking the fourth straight week that all seven SEC teams were ranked in the top 25.

In the event rankings LSU was listed in the top 10 in three events as the Tigers were No. 4 on bars with a 49.335 RQS, No. 5 on vault with a 49.295 score and No. 9 on beam at 49.105. LSU is just outside the top 10 on floor as the Tigers remained No. 12 for the second straight week with a 49.180 RQS.

Individually, senior Ashleigh Clare-Kearney stayed at No. 3 in the all-around rankings with a 39.515 RQS, and junior Susan Jackson moved up one spot right behind Clare-Kearney at No. 4 with a 39.505 score. Jackson leapt Lindsey Puckett of Auburn in the all-around standings by finishing in a tie for second at the SEC Championship.

Clare-Kearney remained No. 1 in the floor rankings with a 9.945 RQS, and she also checked in at No. 4 in the vault rankings with a 9.930 score. Clare-Kearney was fifth on bars with a 9.910 RQS.

Jackson was ranked No. 12 on vault with a 9.90 RQS, 14th on bars with a 9.885 score and 16th on beam with a 9.880 mark.

For the second straight week junior Summer Hubbard checked in the beam rankings as she was listed at No. 25 with a 9.870 RQS.

LSU will have two weeks to prepare for the Central Regional in an attempt to advance to the Super Six for the second straight season.