LSU gymnast Rheagan Courville scores share of national title

LSU's Rheagan Courville competes in the uneven parallel bars in the NCAA women's gymnastics championships in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)
LSU's Rheagan Courville competes in the uneven parallel bars in the NCAA women's gymnastics championships in Los Angeles on Saturday, April 20, 2013. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES — Rheagan Courville joined elite company in LSU gymnastics history Sunday by sharing the vault national title with Alabama’s Diandra Milliner at the NCAA individual event finals.

A sophomore who went to University High, Courville is the third LSU gymnast to win the vault title, joining Susan Jackson in 2008 and Ashleigh Clare-Kearney in ’09. Her victory gives LSU nine individual crowns in school history.

Courville stuck her vault to score a 9.9250. She was the second of 23 vaulters to compete, and her score held up as the best of the day, equaled only by Milliner.

“It just says so much for our coach, Bob Moore, because half our vault lineup was in the finals,” Courville said. “It’s such an honor to join such successful athletes from LSU. It’s all about the tradition and pride in our school.”

Courville was the national runner-up in the all-around by scoring a 39.575 in the semifinals Friday, and she took ninth on floor with a 9.8125 in her final performance Sunday. Courville’s all-around finish is the second highest in LSU history behind Jackson, who won the 2010 all-around national title.

Courville’s title is the sixth in the past six seasons, the eighth NCAA title in the past 12 years and the ninth overall for the Tigers.

Junior Sarie Morrison finished tied for seventh on bars with a 9.8250 and tied for eighth on vault at 9.8917.

Freshman Randii Wyrick ended her season with a solid routine to score a 9.8000 and finish 10th on bars. Junior Maliah Mathis posted a 9.8667 to take 13th on vault.

LSU landed 10 All-America honors, which ties the 2006 and 2009 squads for most in school history. LSU also tied the school record with seven first-team All-America honors, previously set by the 2009 squad.

LSU earned the third-most All-America honors of any team in 2013, trailing only Florida’s 16 and Alabama’s 12. The Tigers wrapped up the team season Saturday with a 197.050 to earn fifth, tying the 2008 squad for the second-best finish in school history.

Golf

WOMEN SEVENTH, MEN 11TH AT SEC TOURNEY: The LSU women’s golf team tied for seventh at the Southeastern Conference Championships after battling elevation changes and swirling winds of the Founder’s Course at Greystone Country Club in Birmingham, Ala.

The Lady Tigers, ranked 31st and now waiting on their NCAA regional assignment for April 29, posted a final round of 21-over 309 to finish at 59-over 923 (303-311-309). LSU tied with Arkansas, which had rounds of 313-308-302.

On the final day, team average leader Madelene Sagstrom was back in form with a 3-over round of 75. Ali Lucas posted a 76, Lindsay Gahm a 77 and Elise Bradley and Nadine Dreher 81s.

Gahm posted a three-day total of 229 (74-78-77, +13) that gave her an 11th-place finish.

Alabama, the defending national champions and the nation’s No. 2 team, won its second SEC title with a final score of 899 (35-over), 14 shots better than runner-up Georgia.

In the men’s tournament in St. Simon’s Island, Ga., LSU sophomore Curtis Thompson cracked the top 15 after firing a 2-over 72 in Sunday’s final round.

Thompson followed rounds of 1-under 69 on Friday and 5-over 75 on Saturday with a team-low 2-over 72 on Sunday to finish his first SEC tournament in a tie for 15th at 6-over 216. LSU posted a team score of 17-over 297 en route to an 11th-place finish at 41-over.

No. 2 Alabama overcame a three-shot deficit against No. 30 South Carolina entering the final round to defend its SEC title with a winning score of 8-over 848.