“What a way to start the meet, and what a way to finish it. It was just amazing.” SARIE MORRISON, LSU gymnast
FORT WORTH, Texas — Lloimincia Hall made herself at home. And it felt perfect.
Actually, it was perfect. Hall, a native of nearby Garland performing in front of a screaming home crowd, was dazzling on the floor exercise Saturday night, scoring a perfect 10.0 to lead a strong LSU showing at the Metroplex Challenge at the Fort Worth Convention Center.
Led by Hall and Rheagan Courville, the No. 3 Tigers posted a school-record score of 197.875 but fell short of No. 2 Oklahoma’s 198.175, which is the best score in the nation this season.
Courville, a junior from Baton Rouge, also posted a 10.0, the first of her career, in the vault, and set a career best of 39.750 in winning the all-around title.
Hall’s 10 was the fourth of her career on the floor, matching April Burkholder’s school mark, and drove a audience filled with family and friends into delirium.
“It’s so wonderful to kind of give back to them,” said Hall, who was urged to return for a curtain call after her floor routine. “My performance here was just to kind of say thank you to everybody — all the supporters, all the family members, everybody who prayed for me, everybody who was with me along the way. I really appreciate it and love them to death, and that 10.0 was for them.”
Hall wasn’t the only local girl to make good for the Tigers.
Dallas’ Sarie Morrison, a senior competing for the final time as a collegian in her home area, put up a career-high 9.975 on the uneven bars in the opening rotation, and ended the night with a 9.9 in the vault, performing the identical Yurchenko full twist that earned Courville her 10.
“What a way to start the meet, and what a way to finish it,” Morrison said. “It was just amazing.”
Coach D-D Breaux was just as thrilled with the Tigers’ team performance, even though it wasn’t enough to top Oklahoma, which also got a 10 from Haley Scaman on the floor.
LSU had defeated the Sooners in Norman, Okla., last week with a then-season-high 197.650.
“It’s hard to beat an equal team back-to-back,” Breaux said. “They came in with a vengeance. We came in to compete. It’s a little bit different mindset. But I can’t be happier about how we performed, the level of intensity we had. We kept pushing the entire competition.
“These two teams are making each other better.”
The Tigers might need to get better still this week as they had into Friday’s road matchup with No. 1 Florida.
It’s another step for what could be the best LSU team ever on its road toward its goal of the school’s first national championship.
“We scored 197.875 — that’s crazy to think that’s not a winner,” Hall said. “We’re a little bit disappointed, but we know what we need to go back in the gym and work on. We still have time to be ready to be national champions.
“It’s all preparing us, a stepping stone for the end result of us up there with that first-place trophy. We’re so excited we can just taste it.”