Often underestimated, the EAGL is becoming a mainstay in the middle tier of teams on the bubble of doing big things during postseason. After a few strong years marked by individuals regularly appearing at nationals, the conference as a whole may see a dip in performance as many of its stars have now graduated. But don’t count these teams out yet. Anticipated freshmen could keep George Washington, N.C. State and the like in that conversation.
The potential lineups series is back to discuss teams’ prospects for the 2019 season. However, it has a bit of a new look: less body, more straight-forward analysis yet all the same great information you’ve come to know and love.
No. 20 N.C. State Wolfpack
N.C. State made quite the bid at its home regional in 2018, finishing 20th in the final postseason rankings. The Wolfpack will lose some of its biggest stars, including all around stalwart Chelsea Knight, so it may be a fight to return to that same level this season.
|Losses:||Mackenzie Itcush (VT, FX), Chelsea Knight (AA), Taylor Murphy, Nicole Wild (UB, BB)|
|Gains:||Kailin Foland, Meredith Robinson, Haley Zarett|
Vault was a highlight for the Wolfpack in 2018, but without many notable gymnasts sticking around, it may suffer. Freshman Meredith Robinson will be key to rejuvenating the lineup. Her Yurchenko full will put her right at home in a middle lineup slot. Classmate Kailin Foland has a decent Yurchenko layout she could contribute, but N.C. State will likely look for something with more difficulty. Without Knight, vaulters like Alexa Phillips and Caitlyn Fillard will have to step up and fill the now-present hole. Drew Grantham has consistently contributed in the past but has a 10.0 start value vault from club that the Wolfpack will want her to pull out to give the lineup an edge in 2019.
Potential Contributors: Alexa Phillips (9.855 RQS), Drew Grantham (9.850), Caitlyn Fillard (9.805), Alexis Beucler (9.730), Paris Phillips, Meredith Robinson
The departures of Knight and Nicole Wild significantly affects the Wolfpack bar lineup, especially with so few useable incoming routines. Robinson is again the likeliest freshman contributor, with patient handstand work and a solid Jaeger, pak and double layout skill set.
Potential Contributors: Maggie Tamburro (9.835), Lauren Kent (9.825), Caitlyn Fillard (9.795), Drew Grantham (9.765), Melissa Brooker, Meredith Robinson
Beam was a major inconsistency for N.C. State last season, and the prospects aren’t too high for 2019 either. All three Wolfpack freshmen have a spotty track record with the apparatus, but all have the potential for greatness as well. Haley Zarett has a unique cat leap, beat jump, straddle three-quarter combination but overall has a tendency to fall when the pressure’s on. Robinson and Foland are in a similar situation: high score ceilings from J.O. but plagued by inconsistency.
Potential Contributors: Drew Grantham (9.850), Lauren Kent (9.820), Alexis Beucler (9.800), Caitlyn Fillard (9.755), Kasey Nelson, Alexa Phillips, Meredith Robinson, Kailin Foland, Haley Zarett
Floor could show weakness too, but the freshman show more promising here. Robinson is no replacement for Knight—at least yet—but her solid double tuck routine could definitely contribute. Zarett is another clean choice, though she may need more difficulty if she were to make the lineup.
Potential Contributors: Alexa Phillips (9.875), Drew Grantham (9.870), Caitlyn Fillard (9.830), Alexis Beucler (9.800), Katelyn Cox, Paris Phillips, Meredith Robinson, Haley Zarett
Overall, just making it back into the top 25 would be a win for N.C. State in 2019. The loss of Chelsea Knight will likely take more than a season to recuperate, especially without an evident replacement incoming. The true measure of this team’s success will be what the coaches can do with the freshmen this fall to ensure they slide seamlessly into those holes left by last year’s seniors.
No. 25 George Washington Colonials
One of the strongest teams in the conference in recent years, GW loses almost all of its major contributors from 2018. Though the freshman class looks strong on paper, the Colonials will have significant ground to makeup if they want to stay in the top 25.
|Losses:||Cami Drouin-Allaire (AA), Sara Mermelstein (VT, BB, FX), Liz Pfeiler (VT, UB, BB), Madeline Seibold (FX), Jillian Winstanley (AA)|
|Gains:||Paige Apperson, Simone Banen, Deja Chambliss, Olivia Raymond, Olivia Zona|
Despite losing some of its strongest competitors, vault should again be a strength for GW in 2019. Deja Chambliss has huge scoring potential and is capable of a double-twisting Yurchenko. Paige Apperson has also trained a Yurchenko one and a half, though her full scores consistently well on its own. Simone Banen and Olivia Raymond are also known for their steady scoring ability, competing a Yurchenko full and a Yurchenko half, respectively.
Potential Contributors: Alex Zois (9.810 RQS), Cydney Crasa (9.755), Julia McLaughlin (9.725), Paige Apperson, Simone Banen, Deja Chambliss, Olivia Raymond
Bars was a rough spot for GW last season—its only event ranked outside the top 15. The measure of success will be finding a lineup that can avoid counting any falls. Chambliss and Raymond are the likeliest choices of the newcomers to step in. Chambliss has been training a Ray to prepare for college, and her handstand work should provide a good foundation for her new coaches to build on. Raymond’s set features a huge piked Jaeger, and her club scores have been fairly consistent.
Potential Contributors: Alex Zois (9.775), Julia McLaughlin (9.730), Hannah Cohen (9.705), Rachel Kaplan (9.510), Anna Warhol, Olivia Norman, Deja Chambliss, Olivia Raymond
Beam was a mixed bag for the Colonials last year, scoring above 49.000 only have the time. Banen’s steadiness is her strongest asset while Chambliss’ set showcases her artistry. Raymond is the top of the class on beam, summed up perfectly in her unique side aerial to scale.
Potential Contributors: Alex Zois (9.835), Brooke Bray (9.695), Hannah Cohen, Simone Banen, Deja Chambliss, Olivia Raymond
GW’s floor squad can breathe a little easier knowing a strong group of newcomers will be around to replace the outgoing class. Chambliss and Olivia Zona are both strong tumblers, each competing a full-in as their opening pass. Raymond is also a powerful tumbler but may come up short due to a few form issues here and there. Banen’s artistry and consistency could earn a slot as well, especially with the team’s decreased depth.
Potential Contributors: Alex Zois (9.850), Cydney Crasa (9.835), Catherine Karpova, Rachel Kaplan, Simone Banen, Deja Chambliss, Olivia Raymond, Olivia Zona
GW has many gaps to fill in 2019 after its incredibly productive senior class of five is now gone. Raymond and Chambliss are the likeliest choices for this role. Whether it be consistent all arounders or a number of event specialists, the fall will be an important time to develop the top six for each event and maintain the success the Colonials have had in recent years.
No. 30 Pittsburgh Panthers
First year head coach Samantha Snider led the Panthers to new heights in 2018, finishing a historic season with its first regional appearance since 2013. Losing only six routines and gaining a solid freshmen class, Pittsburgh will look to continue its historic streak.
|Losses:||Catie Conrad (AA), Dani Hall, Taylor Laymon (UB, BB)|
|Gains:||Katie Chamberlain, Rebekah Jenkins, Caitlyn Kline, Olivia Miller, Kiley Robatin|
Vault is the second strongest event for the Panthers, and luckily it’s only losing one routine from Catie Conrad; don’t expect too much of a lineup shuffle here. Incoming freshman Katie Chamberlain is the most likely candidate to fill the hole. Chamberlain has a Yurchenko full that’s garnered her consistent scores, and paired with last year’s freshman phenom Haley Brechwald, Pitt should remain strong on the event. Newcomers Rebekah Jenkins and Olivia Miller could see time in the lineup as well: Jenkins is consistent, but doesn’t have the highest-scoring vault in the books; Miller vaults a Yurchenko full, which has steadily gotten better over the past few years.
Potential Contributors: Haley Brechwald (9.840 RQS), Alecia Petrikis (9.830), Deven Herbine (9.825), Kensleigh Owens (9.790), Sophie Bochenek (9.710), Katie Chamberlain, Rebekah Jenkins, Olivia Miller
What was the Panthers’ strongest event last season could slip in the ranks. Two crucial members of the lineup are graduating, and bars is not a strength for any incoming freshman. Jenkins may be the most viable option for the Panthers on this event: She has a sky high Tkatchev and would make an excellent addition to the beginning of the lineup. Chamberlain has periods of inconsistency but can score high when she hits; but with a limited depth pool, Chamberlain could be a key lineup feature for the Panthers.
Potential Contributors: Haley Brechwald (9.840), Lucy Brett (9.840), Lucy Jones (9.825), Megan Tripp (9.810), Katie Chamberlain, Rebekah Jenkins
Chamberlain is the obvious choice to step into the beam lineup. She moves so smoothly on the event and has swift connections, clean leaps and a great double-twisting dismount. Despite this, Pittsburgh will need to work on strengthening its beam lineup as a whole: It’s the weakest event for the team overall—Brechwald and Lucy Brett were the only ones to break a 9.800 in RQS, so lineup shuffles may not be off the table in 2019, even for the veterans.
Potential Contributors: Haley Brechwald (9.820), Lucy Brett (9.800), Megan Tripp (9.715), Deven Herbine (9.705), Lucy Jones (9.600), Katie Chamberlain
Once again Chamberlain and Jenkins dominate the freshmen’s prospects on floor. Both are strong on the event and the lineup is full of depth thanks to only losing one routine from 2018. While Chamberlain could see action as a leadoff, Jenkins’ consistency and fantastic double layout could be a highlight in the latter half of the event.
Potential Contributors: Haley Brechwald (9.880), Alecia Petrikis (9.815), Kensleigh Owens (9.810), Charli Spivey (9.800), Jordan Ceccarini (9.795), Katie Chamberlain, Rebekah Jenkins
The Panthers had a breakthrough year in 2019, and with the additions of Chamberlain and Jenkins, along with the current crop of standout gymnasts, Pittsburgh will look to break the top 25 nationally. Brechwald may continue her all around dominance for the panthers alongside the likes of Chamberlain, but don’t rule out specialists like Brett, Kensleigh Owens and Alecia Petrikis to lift up Pittsburgh to new heights.
No. 31 New Hampshire Wildcats
The Wildcats are losing crucial members of its team in 2019, including Casey Lauter, Lia Breeden and Makenzie Kerouac—individuals who set the bar high for incoming classes (not to mention Lauter’s perfect 10 last year, the first for New Hampshire since 1996). UNH, however, is also gaining a small but solid freshman pack that will continue to push New Hampshire to the top of the EAGL.
|Losses:||Lia Breeden (BB, FX), Makenzie Kerouac (UB), Casey Lauter (BB), Elizabeth Mahoney (VT), Marissa Toci (VT)|
|Gains:||Hannah Baddick, Alexandra Cucich, Hailey Lui, Mariella Miele|
Vault is not the Wildcats’ strong suit, but luckily it has the depth to play around with the lineups. Hannah Baddick and Mariella Miele are the newcomers to watch. Both were high and consistent scorers in J.O. and can easily transition into the college atmosphere. Miele most recently vaulted a solid Yurchenko full at nationals, and Baddick has the capabilities to do both a strong full and one and a half.
Potential Contributors: Nicole O’Leary (9.850 RQS), Erin Carroll (9.785), Lauren Diggan (9.785), Courtney Bondanza (9.725), Danielle Doolin (9.705), Hannah Baddick, Mariella Miele
New Hampshire is only losing one routine on bars, but it’s a major one from Kerouac. But the team is able to—and doesn’t shy away—from playing around with depth on this apparatus. For newcomers, Hailey Lui is the most likely candidate to see facetime in the lineup, but her strengths lay elsewhere. But bars is the second strongest event for the Wildcats, so New Hampshire may stick with veterans for the time being.
Potential Contributors: Danielle Mulligan (9.905), Lauren Diggan (9.870), Riley Freehling (9.830), Danielle Doolin (9.720), Ava Watkins (9.695), Hailey Lui
Balance beam is New Hampshire’s shining moment, and playing to its strengths is the addition of Lui. It would be easy to go on and on about Lui’s beam: A kickover front immediately connected into a back handspring to layout stepout is almost too easy for her, and she’s worked on an Onodi in the past, which would be an exciting addition in her already-packed routine. Miele is another potential standout for the Wildcats. Generally consistent, Miele has a beautiful side aerial and back tuck with seamless connections and clean lines.
Potential Contributors: Danielle Mulligan (9.860), Courtney Bondanza (9.835), Riley Freehling (9.825), Danielle Doolin (9.865), Hailey Lui, Marielle Miele
Floor is another event where the Wildcats will be able to play with depth. It was the weakest apparatus for the team in 2018, and while all three freshmen could appear in the lineup, Lui seem to be the most viable option. She is as consistent as they come; and may not get the most height, but the graceful fluidity of her dance moves set her apart.
Potential Contributors: Danielle Doolin (9.865), Danielle Mulligan (9.820), Nicole O’Leary (9.815), Lauren Diggan (9.815), Emma Winer (9.735), Ava Watkins (9.585), Hailey Lui
New Hampshire is in a good position for 2019. While it’s lost some key competitors, it’s also gaining some of top J.O. talent along with retaining a massive roster that allows for lots of options on each event. Look for veterans Danielle Doolin, Danielle Mulligan and Lauren Diggan to continue and play big roles for the team to bring New Hampshire as not just viable contenders in EAGL but nationally as well.
No. 39 North Carolina Tar Heels
The Tar Heels narrowly missed making regionals this year, and with a number of big names graduating, it’s important North Carolina develops its freshmen as well as its non-competing returners into lineup prospects this fall.
|Losses:||Kaitlynn Hedelund (VT, UB, BB), Morgan Lane (AA), Madison Nettles (VT, UB, FX), Lauren Weisel (FX)|
|Gains:||Drew Aldridge, Leah Gneco, Julianna Love, Megan Ruzicka (Grad student, former Iowa walk-on), Emery Summey, Emily White (Transfer from Iowa State)|
Vault is a strong event for the team, but it’s also losing half of its 2018 lineup. However, the Tar Heels should still feel comfortable. Freshman Drew Aldridge has a powerful Yurchenko full that blasts off the table and remains clean while doing so, reaching as high as 9.875 in J.O. Emery Summey is another new face that could see action in the top six. Summey hasn’t competed vault as much but does perform a Yurchenko full that could score well.
Potential Contributors: Khazia Hislop (9.875 RQS), Alexis Allen (9.815), Madison Hargrave (9.785), Mikayla Robinson (9.765), Drew Aldridge, Emery Summey
Bars is what’s caused trouble for North Carolina in the past, as it’s by far the weakest event for the Tar Heels, ranked only No. 55 in 2018 and was one of the main reasons the team didn’t make it to regionals. The top three bars competitors by 2018 RQS graduated, leaving only a handful of gymnasts. Aldridge has trained an effortless full-in in the past, but consistency isn’t a strength for her on the event. North Carolina may look into veterans who haven’t been lineup staples in the past, including Rylie Dewhurst and Raine Gordon. Both performed a few times last season (Dewhurst scoring a 9.900 at one point), and if Gordon can increase her consistency, her double layout dismount would be a beautiful addition.
Potential Contributors: Mekyllah Williams (9.720), Alexis Allen (9.505), Grace Donaghy (9.420), Rylie Dewhurst, Raine Gordon, Drew Aldridge
North Carolina is in a unique situation on beam in 2019. While it’s not the Tar Heels’ strongest event, it has the ability to play with depth from both freshmen and veterans. As for new faces, Summey is the obvious choice to pop into the lineup. Her beam is smooth and well connected. Iowa State transfer Emily White was a strong beam worker in her J.O. days and would be a great addition as well.
Potential Contributors: Khazia Hislop (9.875), Alexis Allen (9.780), Raine Gordon (9.705), Lily Dean, Rylie Dewhurst, Emery Summey, Emily White
North Carolina finished the 2018 season ranked sixth on floor—ahead of the likes of Alabama, Georgia and Michigan. Aldridge, Summey, White and Leah Gneco are all freshmen who can potentially wiggle into an already jam-packed lineup. It would be a shock if Aldridge isn’t a mainstay; she has two powerful skills in a double tuck and double pike and is consistent to boot. Gneco hasn’t performed floor much in recent years but is similarly powerful with difficult passes that North Carolina will love.
Potential Contributors: Khazia Hislop (9.930), Mikayla Robinson (9.865), Madison Hargrave (9.835), Lily Dean (9.830), Drew Aldridge, Leah Gneco, Emery Summey, Emily White
Power events are the name of the game for the Tar Heels. While they’re losing one of the top gymnasts in program history with Morgan Lane, the current crop of freshmen and newcomers bring a wide variety of skills and power that’ll set the bar high for years to come. One key veteran to watch out for is junior Khazia Hislop, a three-event phenom who has made waves and is expected to continue to rise.
No. 44 Towson Tigers
Towson’s 2018 senior class contributed greatly to much of the team’s success over the past few years but subsequently took away much of Towson’s depth with it. However, Towson does have a solid freshmen class hoping to bring the Tigers to new heights in 2019.
|Losses:||Lauren Cahalan (BB, FX), Noelle Harada, Katie McGrady (UB, BB, FX), Tyra McKellar (AA), Gabriella Yarussi (VT, BB, FX)|
|Gains:||Nicole Borkowski, Emerson Hurst, Jasmine Kauffman, Leah Smith|
Towson will rely heavily on freshmen Nicole Borkowski and Emerson Hurst on vault. Borkowski performs a Yurchenko full and most recently Hurst showcased a handspring pike (9.9 SV). Both gymnasts are powerful and may look to use that power to upgrade in the future. However, their consistency may help the Tigers in the long run.
Potential Contributors: Cortni Baker (9.855 RQS), Erin Tucker (9.775), Mary Elle Arduino (9.635), Melissa Temkov (9.510), Nicole Borkowski, Emerson Hurst
Bars could get tricky for the Tigers in 2019. It’s the second strongest event for the team, but its losing two key players and none of the incoming freshmen count bars as a real strength. Again, Borkowski and Hurst are the likeliest to step up to the plate, with Hurst edging out Borkowski in terms of consistency and skill.
Potential Contributors: Tess Zientek (9.785), Cortni Baker (9.775), Mary Elle Arduino (9.750), Brittney Ranti (9.745), Nicole Borkowski, Emerson Hurst
Beam is Towson’s best event and has seen massive success in the past; however, it’s also losing nearly the entire 2018 lineup. Expect Mary Elle Arduino and Melissa Temkov to be regulars now when it comes to returners. Hurst was a top beam performer in J.O. and could easily anchor. Her back handspring layout stepout is effortless. Junior Ally Wesoly was a frequent contributor in 2017, but didn’t see much action in 2018. Wesoly’s J.O. days were filled with beam accolades, which is just what Towson needs.
Potential Contributors: Mary Elle Arduino (9.850), Melissa Temkov (9.730), Emerson Hurst, Ally Wesoly
Things could get interesting for Towson on floor. Historically a weak event, everything could change with the appearance of Hurst in the lineup. She is a dynamic floor performer with excelling tumbling and artistry. Mounting with a double pike and finishing with a double tuck, Hurst’s floor could be a game changer for Towson. Not to be outshone is Borkowski with an eye-catching routine, including a sky high double pike.
Potential Contributors: Cortni Baker (9.820), Melissa Temkov (9.815), Mary Elle Arduino (9.715), Nicole Borkowski, Emerson Hurst
Towson may have a depth problem in 2019, but it also has a slew of freshmen who can help bring Towson closer to a regionals berth. Hurst is a top recruit and will be a star over the next four years. It would be smart to keep an eye out for this ninja freshman. As for the veterans, Arduino, Cortni Baker and Temkov will join Hurst in leading the Tigers.
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Article by Alicia Bettano and Caroline Medley
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