It’s conference championship time! Teams will square off with their biggest rivals for a chance at the conference title in one of the first meet of the season where results matter. Plus, maybe more importantly, it’s the final weekend for teams to make a last ditch effort for RQS. While some teams will be striving to make regionals, other will look to earn the best position and seed possible for regionals in a couple week’s time. As always, you’ll find everything you need to follow along with all the meets happening this weekend, including previews of the top matchups, Fantasy Gymnastics resources and every scoring and video link you could ever need.
No. 19 George Washington, No. 22 N.C. State, No. 33 Pittsburgh, No. 34 New Hampshire and No. 39 North Carolina at No. 43 Towson: Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. ET
This meet could be one of the most exciting of the weekend. The EAGL conference has had a stellar year in 2018–it’s broken records, gotten top scores and had nationally ranked gymnasts that helped put their teams on the map. Four teams are ranked in the top 36, with two in the top 25. George Washington is at the top of the conference and is the favorite coming in. The Colonials have had a Cinderella story the past four years and, during their senior meet, they matched their highest score ever and came close to breaking 197. The seniors, lead by Jillian Winstanley, Cami Drouin-Allaire and Liz Pfeiler, among others, are looking to add to their legacy and finally notch a 197 with at least two more opportunities to do so. While GW is the favorite, it’s possible we could be in for an upset from N.C. State. The Wolfpack have made strides this year with Kim Landrus leading the team in her first year after many at Illinois. N.C. State’s high is just 0.75 off GW’s, so expect this EAGL title to be a hard-fought battle between the two evenly matched teams—it’s just a matter of who comes out on top.
While the Colonials and Wolfpack are the matchup to watch, keep an eye on dark horses Pittsburgh and New Hampshire. UNH is no stranger to winning EAGL titles, but it’s taken a backseat during GW’s rise. The Wildcats haven’t been the most consistent this season and have maintained success on beam where it’ll need a near-perfect performance from all members, particularly Casey Lauter, to challenge. Similar to N.C. State, Pittsburgh has also made strides this season, with a new head coach, and is a serious contender for the EAGL title. Look for a battle between Pitt freshman Haley Brechwald and UNH’s Lauren Diggan for Rookie of the Year.
Finally, we have Towson and North Carolina. It’s not impossible for either of these teams to earn the title, but both rank on the end spectrum of the conference. Towson has remained consistent this year, but UNC has some individual gymnasts who will look to make a mark in the conference. Senior Morgan Lane is a solid all arounder and is ranked fourth in the conference behind GW’s Drouin-Allaire and Winstanley and N.C. State’s Chelsea Knight. She’ll vye for a spot on the podium while sophomore Khazia Hislop will try and nab event titles on vault and floor.
The EAGL championship is this Saturday at 2 p.m. ET with No. 19 @GWGymnastics, No. 22 @PackGymnastics, No. 33 @Pitt_GYM, No. 34 @UNHGymnastics, No. 39 @uncgymnastics at No. 43 @Towson_GYM! Who will win? #NCAAgym
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
Big 10 Championship
Session One with No. 14 Nebraska, No. 28 Penn State, No. 49 Michigan State and No. 56 Rutgers: Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m. ET
Nebraska had a meltdown at the MSU Big Five meet last weekend, finishing fourth and landing in the early session this weekend in Champaign. Don’t count the Huskers out: Any team from any session can win the title as we saw in 2014 when Michigan earned the win after competing in the afternoon. That said, the Huskers’ performance last weekend didn’t inspire confidence. A mediocre vault rotation kicked off Nebraska’s night, followed by rough bars and disastrous beam. Can the team bounce back from surprising falls and a mentally messy performance? Performers who made uncharacteristic mistakes include Taylor Houchin, Sienna Crouse, Grace Williams and Abbie Epperson. They will need to return to full form if the Huskers are going to put up a big total and put pressure on the evening session.
Penn State is in a similar situation: The Nittany Lions had a sloppy and unfocused performance at Rutgers. Briannah Tsang—usually a rock solid all arounder—had two falls and two average performances. Lauren Bridgens was a highlight for the team, though, and put up strong routines on all four. PSU needs both of them to hit if it is going to put up a big number. here. For Michigan State and Rutgers, this competition is about finishing the season on a high note. Both teams have struggled with injuries and rocky seasons. The Spartans put up a season best—and fourth best in program history—bar rotation at their Big Five and were on pace for a season high score. However, a rough five-up floor rotation and counting two beam falls kept the team total down, so look for MSU to focus on hitting those two pieces. Rutgers will hope to have Makenzey Shank’s bars, beam and floor scores back this weekend, as she was absent from lineups at Big Fives. The key for Rutgers is minimizing beam and vault falls.
Session Two with No. 7 Michigan, No. 23 Minnesota, No. 24 Ohio State, No. 27 Illinois, No. 29 Maryland and No. 36 Iowa: Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET
Session two is headlined by a Michigan team that looked clean, focused and calm last weekend. The Wolverines hit 24 for 24 and notched their highest road score of the season. Michigan has some work to do to clean up vault—eliminating hops and perfecting body position, as well as adding back some difficulty—but otherwise looked to be in postseason form, especially on beam. If Michigan can repeat last week’s performance, it will be a very challenging team to beat. However, Illinois has the potential to stun the field. The Illini have a recent history of excellent performances at conference championships, and as the host team and coming off a season-best outing at the MSU Big Five, Illinois is well positioned for a strong meet. The team totalled the third best floor score in program history last week and was led by strong all around performances from Rae Balthazor and Nicole Biondi. The question for Illinois is vault, but with a hit on that event, this is a dangerous team.
Minnesota and Ohio State are also capable of hitting big numbers. The Buckeyes struggled on beam last week but were otherwise excellent; with a hit rotation and repeat performances on the other three, this team is a threat. Minnesota is in the same position: The Gophers also struggled on beam but were otherwise very strong and are dangerous when on form. The Gophers landed the ideal rotation order—starting on vault and ending on floor—so look for the team to try to capitalize on that. If Michigan struggles, any of those three teams could take advantage.
For Maryland and Iowa, qualifying to the night session is a big win. Maryland finished last years’ conference championship in last place, so being one of the headliners in the premiere session is a big upset for the Terps. As was the theme last weekend, they also struggled on beam but were otherwise strong. With a hit beam rotation, this team could challenge the top group for a high finish. For Iowa, questions persist on beam and floor. The Hawkeyes looked strong last week but weren’t quite at their peak. With some cleaned up sets and consistency, they could surprise. Nicole Chow took a tough fall on beam and did not finish her routine on the event last weekend; having her healthy is a crucial piece for this team. Iowa currently sits at No. 36—the final regional qualifying spot. To ensure the Hawkeyes qualify to the postseason, they will want to use this meet to add a solid road score to their RQS.
Big 10s are Sat at 3/8 p.m. ET with No. 14 @HuskersWGym, No. 28 @PennStateWGYM, No. 49 @MSUgymnastics and No. 56 @RUGymnastics, plus No. 7 @UMichWGym, No. 23 @GopherWGym, No. 24 @OhioState_WGYM, No. 27 @IlliniWGym, No. 29 @TerpsGymnastics and No. 36 @IowaGymnastics. Who wins?
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
Session One with No. 11 Arkansas, No. 16 Auburn, No. 18 Georgia, and No. 21 Missouri: Saturday, March 24 at 3 p.m. ET
The SEC is the only conference with every team inside the top 25. This hugely competitive championship kicks off with a closely matched afternoon session. Arkansas has really hit its stride recently, with two 197s in the past three weeks. The Razorbacks have been significantly better at home than on the road, though, and this is their last chance to hit a huge road score before regionals. Hailey Garner’s career high 9.975 on bars last weekend helped propel the team to a huge 49.550 on the event, which is the Razorbacks’ best. As the highest seed, Arkansas has Olympic order here, so if the team survives vault, look for it to pull ahead after the second rotation.
Auburn is coming off a bye that followed the team’s best road performance of the season at Elevate the Stage in Huntsville. If Auburn is going to falter, it will likely be on bars and beam. If the team makes it through the first two rotations cleanly, look for the Tigers to put up a solid total with the potential to catch Arkansas if the Razorbacks have a misstep.
For Georgia, a hit meet could mean winning the afternoon session. The Gymdogs have the highest ceiling—a 197.525—of the session one teams. Putting up six on vault with the addition of Jasmine Arnold provides some safety for that lineup. Emily Schild was added to the bars and beam lineups last week where she put up the highest score on the former for Georgia. Those routines make Georgia more competitive than it has been for most of the season.
Missouri comes into SECs after two solid performances in the past three weeks, though both were at home. Like Arkansas, Missouri will look for one more big road total at this meet. The Tigers are regularly consistent across all four, but occasional bars implosions—and a beam disaster or two—have hurt team totals. Missouri ends on beam and will need to maintain focus through its better two events heading into the final rotations.
Session Two with No. 2 LSU, No. 5 Florida, No. 6 Alabama and No. 9 Kentucky: Saturday, March 24 at 7 p.m. ET
LSU and Florida are the only SEC teams to have broken 198 this year; the Gators topped that mark once and the Tigers three times. Regular season champions and favorites, LSU can use the atmosphere and high expectations of this conference championship to prepare for nationals and ultimately the Super Six. LSU is hunting for its first ever national title, and an outstanding performance here is a big step on that journey. The Tigers’ weakest event is vault, and that’s where the team will kick off its meet. If LSU makes it through one with a decent total, look for it to dominate throughout. Keep an eye on which vault—the Yurchenko full or 1.5—Julianna Cannamela competes, if she performs at all. Her full often scores higher than the risky 1.5.
Florida is just a step behind LSU but has the potential to hit a big total and put pressure on the Tigers. Look for the Gators to go big: Keep an eye out for Alex McMurtry’s triple full on floor, as well as some big vaults from McMurtry, Rachel Slocum and Alicia Boren. The team has had some struggles on floor in the absence of Kennedy Baker, so watch for that in the third rotation.
While LSU and Florida push for 198s, Alabama and Kentucky will be aiming for low-to-mid 197s. Alabama has been consistently there over the past month. The Crimson Tide doesn’t have a true weak event, so look for consistency from this team and expect it to keep the pressure on the top two. For Kentucky, outscoring the early session scores will be a goal. Each team in session one is capable of catching the Wildcats on the right day. Kentucky has suffered from inconsistency on beam and a vault rotation that never quite gets big enough No.s to propel the Wildcats into the Super Six conversation. Kentucky finishes its night on beam, which may add extra pressure to the already nerve wracking rotation.
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
Session One with No. 11 Oregon State, No. 17 Arizona State, No. 30 Stanford and No. 37 Arizona: Saturday, March 24 at 4 p.m. ET
The Beavers headline this afternoon session as they were barely edged out by California for the final spot in the evening session. They are the heavy favorites to come out ahead of the other three teams, but it will be realistically hard to challenge for the title as scores are historically tighter in this session. They have been resting a few of their top athletes over the last few weeks, such as Sabrina Gill and Dani Dessaints, and hopefully having everybody back will help them to a big score. Don’t miss the team on floor, as it is ranked seventh in the nation—particularly Isis Lowery who lights up the crowd no matter where she performs.
Arizona State has been the cinderella story of the conference this season. Last year at this time, the Sun Devils were ranked No. 45 and were barely able to field six athletes on each event. This season they are coming in at No. 17, are locked in for regionals and have wins over Stanford and Arizona this season. They are led by their dynamic duo of all arounders in freshman phenom Cairo Leonard-Baker and junior transfer Anne Kuhm. The team suffered a few injuries along the way, including losing Nichelle Christopherson and Katelyn Lentz, greatly reducing its depth, particularly on vault in the later half of the season.
Stanford has had a rough season and has struggled to find its momentum despite a strong recruiting class entering the year and a star in Elizabeth Price. The Cardinal was never able to figure out its uneven bars situation, with only five gymnasts up, and has had to count at least a fall at nearly every competition. It just hit its season high against UCLA two weeks ago (196.650) and was on bye this past weekend, so it should come back rested and able to continue improving its RQS with a big score. Senior Elizabeth Price has been the savior of this team, consistently hitting in the all around week after week. Freshman Kyla Bryant has been a fantastic addition to this team, and Rachael Flam finally seemed to be getting into the college groove. If Stanford can make it through bars unscathed, it might be able to challenge ASU and Oregon State to some extent.
Finally, Arizona rounds out this afternoon session. The Wildcats will hope for a strong score here as they are one of six final bubble teams fighting for only three spots at regionals. They have faced a lot of adversity this season, from season-ending injuries to disciplinary problems and a lack of depth. The team’s best event is bars, and don’t miss Christina Berg and Victoria Ortiz on that event or Kennady Schneider on floor.
Session Two with No. 3 UCLA, No. 4 Utah, No. 8 Washington and No. 10 California: Saturday, March 24 at 9 p.m. ET
This will be a tight and exciting evening session between four top 10 teams—although the battle for the title will likely come down to the Bruins and the Utes. The Bruins are coming off a double meet weekend where they finished scoring their highest team score in 14 years and did so even while resting some athletes. Their vault landings had been problematic until Tuesday, where all six vaults were stuck. The Bruins will need to replicate that performance right out of the gate on Saturday if they hope to get an early lead over the Utes. The lineups have more or less been changing from one meet to the other all season, but UCLA clearly has a lot of depth, so it will be interesting to see what the postseason lineups look like. Kyla Ross and Nia Dennis, who were both out of the floor lineup at the last meet, should be back and bring in big scores. The Utes are the defending champions and have one win and one loss to UCLA in 2018. They could very well take the title home but have faced adversity on the road over the last few weeks, suffering upset losses against California and Michigan. They were back strong at home last weekend, however, and stallied their first score above 198 in three years. It will be a tight and exciting matchup between the two teams that will likely come down to the last routine. The Utes are relying on a very different strategy than UCLA and will likely have all four all arounders: Mykayla Skinner, MaKenna Merrell-Giles, Missy Reinstadtler and Kari Lee.
Washington and California are fairly close together in terms of scoring potential although California’s season-high is 0.100 above the Huskies’ who have shown a lot more consistency throughout the season than the Bears. Another solid meet could put them in contention if the favorites crumble. If someone told us California would end up in the evening session in january, we probably would all have laughed. The Bears had a rough start of the season with seemingly unending falls on bars and beam and even dropped to No. 31 in the rankings halfway through the season. However, the Bears regained confidence and barely squeezed in by 0.010 over Oregon State for the final spot this past week. While it will be hard to challenge both UCLA and Utah for the title, anything is possible for this team that has finally found its momentum, has already beaten the Utes this season and has come 0.525 away from UCLA. If either of these teams has a bad day, the Golden Bears could very well cause an upset. The Bears are led by senior phenom Toni-Ann Williams, who is a must watch on vault and floor, and freshman Kyana George.
Finally, the battle for the all around title will be most interesting and thrilling between No. 2 Mykayla Skinner, No. 3 Elizabeth Price, No. 7 Kyla Ross, No. 8 MaKenna Merrell-Giles, No. 16 Cairo Leonard Baker and No. T-20 Toni-Ann Williams and Hailey Burleson.
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
Big 12 Championship
No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 13 Denver and No. 25 West Virginia at No. 26 Iowa State: Saturday, March 24 at 5 p.m. ET
Much like many of its meets this season, the Sooners will be expected to take this one; the team is far ahead of its three Big 12 counterparts. Oklahoma is coming off of a double-meet weekend where it scored around 198 on both occasions, breaking the RQS record in the process. The team is led by sophomore phenom Maggie Nichols along with upperclassmen leadership from Brenna Dowell, AJ Jackson and Natalie Brown. As a a team, the Sooners are within the top three on every event and are the only team with a RQS over 198. Also keep an eye out for freshman Anastasia Webb, Oklahoma’s No. 2 all arounder behind Nichols. Junior Nicole Lehrmann is the second-highest ranked Sooner on bars at No. 8; Webb takes that title on beam and floor, sitting at No. 15 on each.
If there is a team that will look to capitalize on a Sooner mistake, it will be the Pioneers. The Pioneers had a rocky start to their away season but have recently found their footing on the road. Denver is coming off of a 196.725 at Arkansas, which marked the team’s highest road score of the season. Freshman star Lynnzee Brown returned to the vault lineup last weekend with her dynamic yurchenko 1.5 to complement sophomore Maddie Karr’s. When she is healthy, her all around abilities challenge the best in the conference; unfortunately she was derailed mid-season with an injury and has been working her way back ever since. The Pioneers are ranked inside the top 15 on every event with their highest coming on bars at No. 8. The team is led by Karr, who is ranked No. 6 in the all around, and senior Nikole Addison has been a staple on vault, beam and floor. Often overlooked is junior Kaitlyn Schou, who is now ranked No. 10 on beam.
The Mountaineers are another team that have been steadily building since mid-season. On a good day, the team is capable of a score ranging from high 195 to low 196, though it did hit 196.775 at Towson just last weekend. Their best event is vault, where their is ranked No. 13 overall. The Mountaineers are led by junior Kirah Koshinski, who is ranked No. 9 on vault and No. 32 on floor (9.900 RQS), as well as senior Zaakira Muhammad, who has worked her way back to all around over the course of the season after being out with an elbow injury early on.
Lastly, the Cyclones have been growing all season—the team scored its season high of 196.700 just two weeks ago on senior night. It also competed against Denver at Arkansas where it broke 196 en route to a third-place finish. Senior Haylee Young has been having her best season yet. She holds an all around ranking of No. 27, and her strengths lie on beam and floor where she holds RQS averages of 9.875 and 9.880, respectively. Other notable Cyclones include junior Meaghan Sievers, who holds a 9.880 vault RQS for her 10.0 start value, senior Hilary Green on bars (9.860 RQS) and freshman and former elite Ariana Orrego. Freshman Sophia Steinmeyer also boasts a yurchenko 1.5 on vault, making that event one of the team’s strengths.
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
No. 15 Boise State, No. 20 BYU and No. 38 Utah State at No. 31 Southern Utah: Saturday, March 24 at 8 p.m. ET
What was once presumed to be a foregone conclusion of a championship has now become very interesting after the course of the regular season. BYU actually beat Boise State once, and you can bet the Cougars will be looking to repeat that performance. They haven’t been quite as good on the road as they have at home, but even against Washington and Boise State last weekend, they still earned a 196, RQS-countable score.
Meanwhile, the Broncos stepped up their game since that BYU defeat, earning their first 197 of the season in Seattle last week and picking up the upset win over the Huskies on their senior night. They’ll be in the hunt for another big score like that to make one last push to improve their RQS before regionals seeding, hoping to get a better placement and lock down a trip to nationals.
Since Denver left the conference in 2015, Boise State has won the MRGC title every year—that’s not a streak it’ll give up easily. Southern Utah, on the other hand, has been up and down this season, having shown good things in preseason but not always able to deliver on the competition floor. In Cedar City, though, the T-Birds will have home floor advantage, which could give them an edge to challenge for at least second place. And though Utah State has also had a rollercoaster of a season, this is the time to get it together and make it count—the Aggies need a big score to even have a chance at making regionals this year. This is their last chance to make that final push and keep their season going, and after beating SUU last week, they’ll be hungry for more.
— NCAA Gym News (@NCAAGymNews) March 19, 2018
Other Notable Matchups
NCGA National Championships
No. 1 Brockport, No. 6 Cortland, No. 3 Ithaca, No. 11 Hamline, No. 2 UW-La Crosse and No. 4 UW-Whitewater
Team and All Around Final: Friday, March 23 at 5 p.m. ET
NCGA Nationals will kick off with a six-team team final on Friday evening, with three teams each from the NCGA East and WIAC conferences competing for the national title. Top-ranked Brockport enters as the favorite, with a top score of 192.925 that no other team has come close to this season. However, the Golden Eagles can be inconsistent; they finished third at regionals, upset by both Ithaca and Cortland. Like many DIII teams, bars can be a trouble spot for Brockport, but don’t miss its floor rotation; it’s ranked first in the NCGA on that event and has broken 49.000 this season.
If Brockport slips up, expect UW-La Crosse and UW-Whitewater to be next in line. Whitewater is the defending NCGA champion, and it’s definitely a big-stage team, setting a season high by almost half a point to finish second at the WIAC championship. However, La Crosse has had the upper hand over its cross-state rival this season, winning their dual convincingly, as well as picking up the WIAC title.
NCGA-East champion Ithaca also has the score ceiling to win, topping out in the mid-191 range. Ithaca has broken almost every available program record this year, and it enters nationals with a great deal of momentum. Cortland is always a quiet contender, with four gymnasts who have broken 9.800 on floor in 2018—that rotation is a serious weapon. And don’t forget underdog Hamline, who qualified from the WIAC championship in a massive upset and a program best score. The Pipers might not contend unless there are mistakes from other teams, but their presence in the team final is an amazing story nonetheless.
The NCGA all around title will be determined during team final as well. Defending NCGA champion Lisa O’Donnell of Whitewater returns ranked No. 1 during the regular season, but she will see a challenge from La Crosse’s Samantha Wiekamp who has a higher season high this year and claimed the WIAC title. Brockport’s Candis Kowalik has competed the all around irregularly during the season, but the NCGA-East champion hasn’t dropped below 38.000 at any point, making her a serious contender as well.
Event Finals: Saturday, March 24 at 4 p.m. ET
The NCGA season will wrap up Saturday with event finals. Gymnasts qualified to these through a combination of regular-season rankings and regional standings, so there’s a good mix; 12 of 14 NCGA programs are represented. (Full lists of qualifiers for the west and east regions are posted online.) There will be a good handful of gymnasts in each event who can break 9.800, so expect winning scores to be around there if it’s a good day.
On vault, Brockport’s Stephanie Mager and Ithaca’s Carolyn Nichols lead the field in high score, as well as season-long performance. WIAC champion Shaquilla Payne of UW-Stout and reigning national champion O’Donnell will also be top contenders. O’Donnell also leads the bars standings, but expect stiff competition from Amy Enright and Brooke Kachinsky of La Crosse who have led their team to the top bars ranking in the NCGA. Baylee Tkaczuk and Sidney McConnell, representing Oshkosh and Cortland, respectively, also have very competitive top marks.
On beam, Emma Schulz of Cortland is a favorite; she’s been continually excellent on this piece, with five scores of 9.700+. Teammate Bailey Gildemeyer has matched her top score of 9.825, and Ithaca’s Katie Holcomb and Paige Landes have also topped the 9.800 mark. Brockport’s Candis Kowalik has scored a 9.850 that could sweep the rest of the field away if she hits; she also picked up a second place on beam at regionals. Franchesca Hutton of Whitewater and Emily Szembrot of Ithaca won the regional beam titles this year and could also factor in.
Floor is often the most competitive event in DIII, and Brockport’s Brittany Vasile’s 9.900 there is the highest score in the division in 2018. NCGA-East floor champion Victoria Gery of Ithaca and Emma Schulz of Cortland have 9.875s. Hamline’s Sydney Tribbett crept up to tie for the WIAC floor title with Kate Mierow of Whitewater—she’s Hamline’s best bet for a podium finish.
No. 51 Texas Woman’s, No. 53 UIC, No. 63 SEMO, No. 64 Illinois State and No. 70 Centenary at No. 44 Lindenwood: Friday, March 23 at 7 p.m. ET
Lindenwood and Texas Woman’s have been trading huge scores the past several weekends of the season. One team will come out with a new best-of-non-DI score, and the other team will immediately beat it. The Lions and Pioneers are poised for a big battle here. Lindenwood has a slight advantage, coming off of a better week than Texas Woman’s and with a higher ceiling. The Lions are capable of a mid-196, a score that none of the other teams in the field have come close to this year. They also have home-field advantage; they’re hosting a conference championship for the first time in the program’s six-year history.
UIC is also in a solid position for a strong showing. The Flames’ high score is only one tenth shy of TWU’s, and the totals have been steadily building throughout the season. If they peak this weekend, the Flames could put up a fight for second—or even first if the DII teams struggle. SEMO and Illinois State have had similar seasons, with several scores below 190, as well as highs in the mid-193s. Look for the Redbirds and Redhawks (yes, we know) to battle each other to see which team can come out ahead.
For Centenary, the lone DIII program in the MIC, the only MIC team to have never won the conference and the only DIII team not to be in the NCGA—we see you Centenary!—the MIC championship is about attempting to best one of the DI programs. Centenary is capable of beating SEMO, Illinois State or even UIC if any of those teams have an off night. Look for the Ladies’ Navia Jordan to put up a fight for the conference beam and floor titles.
No. 45 Temple, No. 55 Yale, No. 58 William & Mary and No. 59 Cornell, No. 61 Brown at No. 62 Penn: Saturday, March 24 at 12 p.m. ET
This should be another exciting and unpredictable matchup. The top two teams in the conference are Temple and Yale, and the fight for the championship title will no doubt be between both of those teams; however, it’s Temple that has a massive lead on its side and is the favorite to grab its first ECAC title. Temple’s RQS is a point higher than Yale, and Temple had the advantage of breaking 196 for the first time in program history this season. The Owls were in this position last year and Yale ended up winning its own first ECAC title, so don’t count the Bulldogs out yet, especially with its fantastic one-two punch of underclassmen Jacey Baldovino and Jade Buford. For Temple and Yale, it will all come to consistency and who hits during the meet.
For the remaining four members of the conference, it’s unlikely—but not impossible—to challenge for the title. The closest would be William & Mary. Its team score ceiling is actually higher than Yale’s (195.100 versus 195.025), but it has a lot to make up for in RQS. Likely, W&M will see podium time, but its biggest accomplishment of the night might be individually with freshman Katie Waldman in the all around and sophomore Evan Pakshong on beam. Cornell, Penn and Brown should all also have individual stars to look out for, including Amy Shen and Lyanda Dudley for Cornell. Dudley in particular has been a game-changer for the Big Red by advancing to regionals. Penn’s Kyra Levi will seek a bars title and Brown has some stellar beam workers, particularly with Emma Hansen.
No. 54 Bridgeport and No. 60 West Chester at No. 66 Southern Connecticut: Saturday, March 24 at 1 p.m. ET
Bridgeport enters the ECAC Division II Conference Championship as the favorite but not as overwhelmingly so as in recent years. The Purple Knights have scored over 194 six times this season, and the winning ECAC-II score will likely be in that range. They’re led by senior all arounder Kelsey Campbell, who has a high score of 39.000 and is the favorite for that title. Expect fireworks from freshman phenom Kat Doran, too; she’s scored as high as 9.900 on bars and 9.850 on beam and usually competes in the all around as well. Sophomore Maya Reimers is a standout, too, especially on floor where she’s topped out at 9.925 this season. The Knights led USAG standings for a long time earlier in the season but haven’t kept up as other teams began scoring over 195. With USAG nationals looming, this is a great opportunity to reach that threshold and prove they can contend.
West Chester recorded its first 194 of the season last weekend and will be looking to upset Bridgeport. The Rams are right on the edge of USAG qualification—ranked No. 7 where eight qualify—so a good road total is essential. Senior Meghan Chan’s consistency on her three events has been the team’s biggest weapon, and watch out for Jessica Meakim on floor, as she’s scored 9.800+ for four consecutive meets. Southern Connecticut set a program record in the all around and on beam last weekend, and while it doesn’t have the ceiling to contend with the other two unless there are mistakes, it has an opportunity for some great individual scores. Don’t miss senior Kathleen Aberger, who leads the team with highs of 9.850 on beam and 9.875 on bars and whose lines are to die for.
No. 32 Kent State, No. 40 Northern Illinois, No. 41 Bowling Green, No. 42 Ball State, No. 47 Eastern Michigan, No. 48 Western Michigan and at No. 35 Central Michigan: Saturday, March 24 at 2 p.m. ET
The MAC field is tightly packed and always an exciting battle. The conference is full of creative teams, each of which has won the championship at some point in the conference’s history. Bowling Green has the longest title drought, having not won since 1983. Eastern Michigan is the two-time defending champion, but the Eagles will have an uphill battle in Mount Pleasant this weekend.
Kent State and host Central Michigan are the favorites for the title. The Golden Flashes have clinched a regionals berth but are facing adversity: Star senior and fan favorite Rachel Stypinski took a tough fall last weekend, and it is possible that she is out for the rest of the season. Stypinski is a critical member of all four lineups, and her absence will be felt acutely. If she is out, there will be extra pressure on freshman three eventer Abby Fletcher to pick up the slack. CMU poses the biggest threat to Kent State. The Chippewas also lost a star in Macey Hilliker; she went down early in the season and the team has rallied for a successful year without her. Katy Clements has led the charge, currently ranked No. 10 in the country on beam, along with Gianna Plaska and Bryttany Kaplan who are especially strong on bars, the team’s best event. This is a critical meet for CMU: The Chippewas are one of six teams fighting for the three remaining regionals berths this weekend.
The rest of the field is tightly packed, all within 0.410 in RQS. All of the remaining teams are out of the regionals picture, so this is the end of their seasons. Notably, Bowling Green has notched the second-highest score in the conference, a 196.475, which is only behind Kent State’s 196.625. BGSU hit that total last week and is well positioned to put pressure on the top two. Northern Illinois could also put up a good fight. The Huskies have some of the conference’s top performers in Anna Martucci, who has had a breakout season on floor, and Ashley Potts and Katherine Prentice who are strong all around performers. Ball State boasts a strong vault squad—an otherwise weak event throughout the conference—led by Bri Slonim and Maddie MacDonald. Freshman Tia Kiaku is a highlight on floor for the Cardinals. Eastern Michigan is a strong beam team and is led by all arounders Kendall Valentin and Emili Dobronics. Western Michigan has the potential to hit a big score; it scored a 196.075 against Ball State earlier in the month but struggled in the final meet of the season, only scoring a 192.725. If the Broncos can overcome last week’s struggles, they could pose a threat to the top group with a hit meet.
No. 46 UC Davis, No. 50 San Jose State, No. 52 Sacramento State, No. 65 Seattle Pacific and No. 71 Alaska at No. 57 Air Force: Saturday, March 24 at 12 p.m. ET
The MPSF championship could be one of the most closely fought titles this weekend. UC Davis has the best shot at the title; it’s by far been the most consistent team throughout the season, dropping below the 194 mark only once and topping out at 196.350. The Aggies are led by an incredibly strong freshman class that typically contributes about 15 of its 24 routines thanks to standout Kelley Hebert. But it would be a mistake to ignore senior Alexis Brown, who is ranked No. 58 in the all around and has a season high of 9.925 on floor. Another 196 would most likely put the Aggies out of reach of their rivals, but keep an eye out for the injury status of freshman all arounder Kyla Kessler, who was spotted on crutches last week.
Sacramento State has built up a great deal of momentum despite the loss of fan favorite and senior Lauren Rice. The Hornets cracked the 195 mark two weeks in a row and upset Davis last weekend on the Hornets’ senior night. Watch for senior Annie Juarez who has had an amazing season after years of battling injury. San Jose State has perhaps the highest ceiling in the conference but has had an epic battle with beam throughout the season that held its totals back. Like the Hornets, the Spartans have two scores over 195 but can go higher on the strength of the best vault rotation in the conference—if they manage to stay on beam.
The final three teams will most likely be fighting for fourth, but things could get equally interesting there. Seattle Pacific took a narrow loss to Air Force last week but has the score ceiling to come back and finish ahead of the Falcons if they slip up. Watch for Darian Burns of Seattle Pacific; the reigning USAG floor champion can go as high as 9.900 and threaten for a title there. Air Force’s Anna Salamone racked up numerous conference honors this year for a bar routine that scored 9.825+ seven times. Alaska has had a nightmare year with injuries that wiped out half of its bars lineup, but some of its individuals could challenge for podium finishes, including seniors Mackenzie Miller in the all around and Kendra Daniels on beam and floor.
To see all the matchups all in one place, take a look at our master schedule. You can also find live scoring and video links for all this weekend’s meets below.
Date Time (ET) Teams Scoring Link Video Link Availability
Fri, Mar. 23 5 p.m. NCGA Nationals Team and All Around Final Scores Video FloGym
Fri, Mar. 23 7 p.m. MIC Championship Scores Video Live Stream
Sat, Mar. 24 12 p.m. ECAC-I Championship Scores Video Ivy League Network
Sat, Mar. 24 1 p.m. ECAC-II Championsihp Scores Video Live Stream
Sat, Mar. 24 2 p.m. EAGL Championship Scores Video Live Stream
Sat, Mar. 24 2 p.m. MAC Championship Scores Video ESPN3
Sat, Mar. 24 3 p.m. Big 10 Championship Session 1 Scores Video BTN
Sat, Mar. 24 3 p.m. SEC Championship Session 1 Scores Video | All Around Feed SECN
Sat, Mar. 24 4 p.m. NCGA Nationals Event Finals Scores Video FloGym
Sat, Mar. 24 4 p.m. Pac-12 Championship Session 1 Scores Video Pac-12 N
Sat, Mar. 24 5 p.m. Big 12 Championship Scores Video FloGym
Sat, Mar. 24 7 p.m. SEC Championship Session 2 Scores Video | All Around Feed ESPN2
Sat, Mar. 24 8 p.m. MPSF Championship Scores Video Live Stream
Sat, Mar. 24 8 p.m. MRGC Championship Scores Video Pluto.tv (Free)
Sat, Mar. 24 8 p.m. Big 10 Championship Session 2 Scores Video BTN
Sat, Mar. 24 9 p.m. Pac-12 Championship Session 2 Scores Video | Radio Pac-12 N
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Article by the editors of NCAA Gym News