Jackson Caps Career with Beam National Title
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - Two nights after winning the first all-around national title in LSU history, senior gymnast Susan Jackson wrapped up her career in perfect fashion with a beam national title in a near-flawless routine at the NCAA Individual Event Finals Saturday in Florida's Stephen C. O'Connell Center.
Jackson scored a 9.9625 on beam - nearly one full point ahead of second place - to finish her career with a school-record three individual national titles. Jackson won the vault crown as a sophomore in 2008 and the all-around national title Thursday.
Not only did Jackson end her career on top, but fellow senior Summer Hubbard nearly joined her with a runner-up finish on bars.
Hubbard, a three-time First Team All-American on bars, posted a 9.9250 score to tie for second place on bars - just one one-hundredth of a point behind the 9.9375 from Stanford's Carly Janiga.
Jackson earned the runner up spot on vault for the second straight year with a 9.8938 average, identical to her runner up score in 2009, and she also finished fourth on bars with a 9.9125 score.
"Susan and Summer are great leaders in competition, in the classroom and in the community that really make a difference," head coach D-D Breaux said. "I don't know if I have ever been as proud of a group and a class to come together and do such a great job tonight with the other two seniors, Kayla Rogers and Sabrina Franceschelli, cheering them on."
Although Jackson's beam score was not a perfect 10.0, the Spring, Texas native said it was the best routine of her life.
"Everything was just right," Jackson said. "It was exactly how I would have wanted to do it, but when I landed the dismount I felt like I was going to step. But I threw my arms back, and the stuck landing was there."
Breaux greeted Jackson with a huge hug when Jackson left the beam platform as Breaux was just as excited to see her senior nail the near-perfect performance.
"It was the best beam routine I have ever seen from Susan Jackson," Breaux said. "It was such a fitting way for Susan to end her career."
Competing for the first time in the Individual Event Finals, sophomore Ashley Lee earned a top 10 finish on vault with a 9.7625 to tie for ninth.
By winning three career national titles, Jackson broke the record held by Ashleigh Clare-Kearney, who captured national titles on vault and floor at the individual finals last season.
Jackson became LSU's third national champion on beam, following Jeanie Beadle in 1977 and April Burkholder in 2006.
With the beam title, LSU has now had at least one individual national title in three straight years and four out of the last five.
LSU INDIVIDUAL NATIONAL CHAMPIONS
Susan Jackson - 3 titles (VT, 2008; AA, 2010; BB, 2010)
Ashleigh Clare-Kearney - 2 titles (VT, 2009; FX, 2009)
April Burkholder - 1 title (BB, 2006)
Nicki Arnstad - 1 title (FX, 2002)
Jeanie Beadle - 1 titles (BB, 1977)
Vault - 1. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.9250; 2. Susan Jackson 9.8938; 3. Mandi Rodriguez (Oregon State) 9.8438; 4. Marissa King (Florida) 9.8250; 5. Sarah Shire (Missouri) 9.8188; 6. Ashanée Dickerson (Florida) 9.8000; 7. Kylee Botterman (Michigan) 9.7938; 8. Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (UCLA) 9.7813; t9. Ashley Lee 9.7625; t9. Mary Atkinson (Arizona State) 9.7625; t9. Blair Ryland (Stanford) 9.7625; t12. Brittnee Martinez (Michigan) 9.7188; t12. Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) 9.7188; 14. Anna Li (UCLA) 9.6688; 15. Geralen Stack-Eaton (Alabama) 9.6625; 16. Allison Buckley (Illinois) 9.5063; 17. Sharaya Musser (Penn State) 9.4813; 18. Lora Evenstad (Nebraska) 8.7563;
Bars - 1. Carly Janiga (Stanford) 9.9375; t2. Summer Hubbard 9.9250; t2. Hollie Vise (Oklahoma) 9.9250; 4. Susan Jackson 9.9125; t5. Casey Jo Magee (Arkansas) 9.9000; t5. Maranda Smith (Florida) 9.9000; 7. Anna Li (UCLA) 9.8750; t8. Amanda Castillo (Florida) 9.8625; t8. Kassi Price (Alabama) 9.8625; t8. Kayla Hoffman (Alabama) 9.8625; 11. Daria Bijak (Utah) 9.8000
Beam - 1. Susan Jackson 9.9625; t2. Carly Janiga (Stanford) 9.8875; t2. Courtney McCool (Georgia) 9.8875; 4. Casey Jo Magee (Arkansas) 9.8750; 5. Kyndal Robarts (Utah) 9.8625; 6. Geralen Stack-Eaton (Alabama) 9.8500; t7. Brandi Personett (Penn State) 9.8375; t7. Jamie Deetscreek (Utah) 9.8375; 9. Kelsey Knutson (Michigan) 9.7000; 10. Ashley Priess (Alabama) 8.8250
Floor - 1. Brittani McCullough (UCLA) 9.9375; t2. Brandi Personett (Penn State) 9.9000; t2. Sarah Shire (Missouri) 9.9000; t2. Hollie Vise (Oklahoma) 9.9000; t5. Morgan Dennis (Alabama) 9.8875; t5. Marissa King (Florida) 9.8875; t7. Vanessa Zamarripa (UCLA) 9.8750; t7. Annie DiLuzio (Utah) 9.8750; t7. Natalie Beilstein (Michigan) 9.8750; t10. Jaime Pisani (Arkansas) 9.8500; t10. Ashanée Dickerson (Florida) 9.8500; 12. Casey Jo Magee (Arkansas) 9.8125; 13. Makayla Stambaugh (Oregon State) 9.7375