1977 AIAW Balance Beam National Champion
A pioneer in LSU gymnastics history, Jeanie Beadle won the Tigers' first individual national championship, claiming the AIAW beam title in 1977. She competed for LSU from 1976-80 and earned All-America status in 1977 and 1978. Her national title marked the first individual title for any female student-athlete in LSU history, and her All-America honors were also a first for a female student-athlete at LSU. As the leader of the team during her career, Beadle guided the Tigers to three straight first-place finishes at the AIAW Regionals. For all her accomplishments and firsts at LSU, the Baton Rouge native was inducted into the LSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
2002 NCAA Floor Exercise National Champion | More
Nicki Arnstad capped an exceptional four-year career by winning the NCAA floor title at the 2002 national championships in Tuscaloosa, Ala. In the final performance of her career, Arnstad tallied a 9.950 to claim LSU's first NCAA individual national title. She earned a total of four All-America honors during her career as she was recognized twice on the floor and twice in the all-around. Also a two-time First Team All-SEC performer, she still shares the school record on the floor exercise (10.00), posting the perfect score twice during her senior season including at the NCAA Central Regional to lead LSU to the NCAA Championships.
2006 NCAA Balance Beam National Champion | More
One of the most decorated gymnasts in LSU history, April Burkholder ended a stellar four-year career by winning the national beam title at the 2006 NCAA Championships. In her final meet as a Tiger, Burkholder posted a 9.9125 on the beam in Corvallis, Ore., to become LSU's second beam national champion. She recorded a school record 14 All-America honors during her career and was named to the All-SEC team four times. Burkholder was also selected as both the NCAA Central Region and SEC Gymnast of the Year twice (2004 and 2005) and was named the SEC Freshman of the Year in 2003. She is also second in school history with eight perfect 10.00's and the only Tiger with at least one on three different events - scoring four on floor, two on vault and two on beam.
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney finished her outstanding career April 18, 2009, by becoming LSU's first two-time national champion as she captured the vault national title with a 9.900 average and the floor national title with a 9.950 score in Lincoln, Neb. The five-time First Team All-American capped her senior season by earning NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year recognition, and she recorded her third straight First Team All-SEC honor after repeating as SEC Floor Exercise Champion. She was also the SEC Gymnast of the Year as a junior as she became LSU's second SEC All-Around champion in 2008. Clare-Kearney ended her career as LSU's all-time leader in individual titles as she finished with 114, and she was instrumental in leading the Tigers to back-to-back NCAA Super Six appearances in 2008 and 2009.
Susan Jackson became LSU's first gymnast to win a national title before her senior season as she earned the vault national title with a 9.8563 average as a sophomore at the 2008 NCAA Championships in Athens, Ga. After finishing as national runner up on vault in 2009 behind Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, Jackson went out on top as a senior in 2010 by capturing two more national titles to become LSU's first three-time champion. She tallied a 39.625 all-around score at the NCAA Championships in Gainesville, Fla., to earn LSU's first All-Around national title, and two days later she punctuated her career with a near-flawless performance to earn the beam national title with a 9.9625 score. Displaying consistency all season as a senior, Jackson was named the SEC Gymnast of the Year and NCAA Central Region Gymnast of the Year, and she became the first LSU gymnast to receive the prestigious AAI Award and Gymnastics Honda Sports Award that both go to the nation's top gymnast. Jackson further cemented her legacy by winning 11 all-around titles in 2010, breaking a 30-year-old school record for the most in a single season.