Final go-around

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea | USA TODAY Sports Images
Courville was the 2014 Vault National Champion.

When LSU gymnasts Rheagan Courville, Jessie Jordan and Lloimincia Hall were freshmen, they couldn’t help but hypothesize how good they would be as seniors.

Three years and two Super Six appearances later, the trio is more accomplished than anyone could have imagined.

“Being a senior on this amazing team has really allowed me to reflect on how far we have come, how much we have accomplished and how much the freshman team is making an impact,” Courville said.

Courville’s school-record 16 All-American nominations and two NCAA vault championships are just a few of her many accolades at LSU.

Jordan and Hall have combined for 10 All-American nominations; after finishing ninth in the all-around standings last year, Jordan has established herself as one of the premier all-arounders in the nation. Meanwhile, Hall is the three-time reigning SEC Champion on floor.

But to Jordan, individual accomplishments mean little when the team hasn’t reached its full potential.

“Of course it’s nice to say I’m an All-American, but my focus is on the team and how I can contribute to our big goal,” Jordan said.

College gymnastics is different than at the club level. There is a team aspect, and this group is very conscious that LSU has never won the championship.

“I don’t really think about what I have achieved, but instead what I want to improve on and [do] the little things that matter when it comes to winning a national championship,” Jordan said. “Sticking the dismount, pointing your toes a little harder: those are the things that count and add up when you’re at a meet. Every tenth matters.”

For Courville, last season’s No. 3 finish was bittersweet after such a positive season. She said the team knew it could have scored better in the Super Six and coming so close left the gymnasts working harder in the offseason.

The team’s talent only begins with the three seniors. After the trio, the roster is fortified by two transfer seniors, three returning All-Americans, three highly-touted freshmen and three national coaches of the year.

“This team has the potential to do what no other team has ever had the opportunity to do,” Hall said. “We broke so many records last year and we are just going to go up from there. Obviously we are aiming for the national championship; more than anything, we are aiming to make history for LSU gymnastics.”

The Tigers started the season on the right foot for a team with championships aspirations; their 197.125 score was the second-highest mark in the nation and bumped the team up to the No. 2 ranking in the country.

“I hope [other teams] have us very sharply tuned into their peripheral visions and we distract them all season long because we have the eye of the tiger, we are focused and I think this team is fierce,” LSU coach D-D Breaux said.

This article was written by Jacob Hamilton from ULoop/UWire and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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