Swimming, diving teams start action in annual SEC meet

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — The LSU swimming and diving team begins the five-day Southeastern Conference Championships on Tuesday at the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center Natatorium.

“We have trained all year for this meet,” swimming coach Dave Geyer said. “There is a team component to it because we want to represent LSU to the best we can, but we also want individuals to swim their best times and qualify for the NCAA Championships. I think we all just want to get out there (Tuesday).

“There are a lot of smiles and a lot of fast things going on in the water. Physically and mentally, we are in a great spot for this meet.”

Both the LSU men and women’s teams are in position to drop significant times and string together career bests at the meet after an impressive dual meet and invitational season.

“We’ve looked forward to this part of our championship season all year long and have had tremendous preparation,” diving coach Doug Shaffer said. “I believe that if the athletes go out and do what they are capable of doing, the results will take of themselves.”

Geyer, in his third year as co-head coach and seventh season with the program, and Shaffer, in his third-year as co-head coach and 11th with the program, have guided both the men and women’s teams to consecutive top-five finishes at the conference meet.

Gymnastics

TIGERS MOVE UP TO NO. 6: The LSU gymnastics team climbed one spot to No. 6 in the national rankings released Monday by GymInfo.

LSU (8-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) defeated Arkansas 196.825-195.625 on Friday to improve its average from a 196.454 to 196.507.

LSU ranks No. 2 on both vault and floor with a 49.343 and 49.339 average, respectively, 12th on beam (48.886) and 14th on bars (48.939).

Rheagan Courville, Kaleigh Dickson, Randi Lau and Sarie Morrison are listed in the individual rankings.

After scoring a perfect 10.0 on vault against Arkansas, Morrison jumped up four spots to No. 5 in the rankings with a 9.915 average. She is No. 6 nationally on bars with a 9.875 average.

Courville is No. 11 in the all-around with a 39.354 average, No. 15 on vault at 9.889, No. 15 on beam at 9.850 and No. 14 on floor at 9.879.

Dickson is No. 21 in the all-around standings with a 39.256 average, and she is ranked 12th on bars with a 9.863 average.

Lau is No. 10 on vault with a 9.90 average, checking in to the top 10 for the fourth straight week.

Florida, Oklahoma and Michigan all held steady at Nos. 1, 2 and 3 respectively, and Alabama jumped UCLA for fourth. The Bruins are ranked fifth, followed by LSU, Utah, Georgia and Nebraska. Stanford rounds out the top 10.

LSU travels to face No. 14 Auburn at 7 p.m. Friday in Auburn Arena.