‘All-Timer’ Haleigh Bryant Says No. 3 LSU Gymnastics Taking Steps in the Right Direction, Preparing to Host No. 12 Auburn on Friday

LSU's Haleigh Bryant is expected to announce if she will return to LSU for another season this week. PHOTO By LSU Athletics

The No. 3-ranked LSU gymnastics team won its first road meet of the season against No. 19 Georgia, and Haleigh Bryant broke even more records and earned her fourth SEC Gymnast of the Week honor this year in the process.

LSU (5-3, 3-1 SEC) beat Georgia (1-5, 0-5 SEC) by a score of 197.625-197.075 and Bryant finished as the top performer with a 39.750 all-around score. It’s the ninth time she has won the award in her career. She is No. 1 in the country with an all-around average score of 39.740 this season.

“I think it was definitely a step in the right direction obviously there’s still so much we can improve on,” Bryant said.

“Landings weren’t the best, we’ve been working hard on those landings, and it didn’t really show in the competition so we’re going to go in this week and really dial in on those landings because we can do so much better, but again another step in the right direction. We’re going to keep going from there.”

She also became the first ever gymnast in LSU history to register a perfect score on every event after scoring a 10 on the beam against the Bulldogs. She’s only the 14th gymnast in NCAA history to complete the feat. Her perfect score on the beam was her 13th in her career, the most in LSU history.

“[The 10 on beam] meant everything,” Bryant said. “I feel like I’ve worked so hard, but I really couldn’t do it without my team, my coaches, and all the support staff here. I feel like if you would’ve asked me 10 years ago, or told me 10 years ago that I would have been in this spot right now accomplishing the things that I’m accomplishing, getting the opportunities that I’m getting, I probably would have looked at you and laughed but it’s just been absolutely amazing my time here at LSU has been nothing short of amazing and I’m just so thankful for Jay, the whole coaching staff, my teammates, my family, my friends that have supported me along the way because I seriously couldn’t have done that without them.”

Bryant also took home titles on vault, beam and floor in addition to her all-around title against Georgia. It was the 23rd all-around title in her career, tied for the third-most in LSU’s history. She now has 27 titles on vault, seven on floor and six on beam in her career.

She has 73 total titles, just one shy of tying Susan Jackson at sixth for most career individual titles in school history.

Head coach Jay Clark was full of praise for Bryant after the meet against Georgia.

“She’s an all-timer in my book,” Clark said. “But what she’s done in her career from a gymnastics standpoint is only a small piece of it. It’s the whole package. It’s the influence she is on those around her, it’s the way she represents our program and this university and her family and just everybody. I’m just, you know, I’m proud to be associated with her. She makes me better, just being around her.”

The win over Georgia is LSU’s sixth victory over a top-20 opponent this season. The score was also the highest overall score for LSU on the road this year.

LSU finished the first rotation with an early lead on Georgia 49.300 to 49.050. LSU followed that up with a 49.375 in the second rotation for a 98.675-98.300 lead at the halfway mark.

LSU’s next meet will be Feb 16 at 8 p.m. as it returns home to the Pete Maravich Center to take on No. 12 Auburn. Auburn (5-5, 1-3 SEC) is coming off a big win over No. 7 Alabama and has won four-straight meets. It will be looking to win its first away meet of the season.

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Will Nickel

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