You may be a fan of a perfectly executed switch ring, or maybe Rulfovas and attitude turns are more up your alley, but there’s no question these routines are some of the best from the 2018 season—no matter your preferences.
Bre Showers (Oklahoma)
Apparently I’m all about the unusual combinations with my favorites this year. Showers does some uncommon combos well and brings you back to the good old days of gymnastics where hop fulls and Korbuts are en vogue and crossing your legs on the beam is a typical part of the choreo.
Emily Luers (Air Force)
She does a freaking one-armed front handspring to back tuck swing down for her series. Do I really need to explain to you why this is one of my favorite beamers of 2018?
Sophia Carter (Arkansas)
Every movement Carter makes is so exact and purposeful, right down to the prep for her series. Her mount choreography is original, and she moves with grace. Plus, I love any routine with fully extended knees on a back handspring layout stepout. I’m hoping we see a Carter 10.0 in 2019.
Bridget Hodan (Illinois)
If you followed my liveblogs in 2018, you knew this would be a pick for me. The Illusion turn! The side aerial to back handspring connection! I love everything about this set, right down to the bit of choreography where she claps under her leg. I’m going to miss this one.
Kiana Winston (Alabama)
I always felt we didn’t appreciate Winston enough. She was in an awkward position where she wasn’t niche enough to be a cult favorite but wasn’t successful enough to be a phenomenon either. It’s criminal that she never got a perfect 10 for this sublime beam routine, and while you could argue she should have swapped out her double back dismount for something more stickable, when she did stick it, it was magical.
Malia Mackey (Cornell)
Mackey hasn’t yet gotten the scores I’d like to see for this routine, but in her senior season and with the Big Red coming off a program record at USAG nationals in 2018, it could be her time. The routine is peppy, precise and massively fun, highlighted by some of the best straddle positions you’ll see outside of Kaylee Cole’s floor routine.
Taylor Houchin (Nebraska)
Lines and toes. Do I really need to explain this more? There’s also just a flow to her movements that’s innate in really good beam workers. The whole routine has a rhythm to it and has no breath-holding moments of anxiety about skills.
Alyssa Baumann (Florida)
We talk about elites coming to NCAA having a large “bag of tricks” they can pull from for several different routine composition options. This is very evident with Baumann, who has a vast repertoire of beam skills. I remember watching one meet in particular where she decided to stick all of her options together in the same routine and seeing a coach waving her off the beam like, “be done” and her quote after being something like, “I just felt like it.” That takes a special level of comfort with the beam.
Amanda Palladino (Ursinus)
That mount combination though! This routine had the “wow” factor right off the bat and continued throughout with unique combinations such as her switch leap one-arm back handspring and front aerial one-arm back handspring series. Her fluid choreography and extension all the way through her fingertips was just the icing on the cake.
Baylee Tkaczuk (UW-Oshkosh)
Baylee Tkaczuk, SO, Balance BeamNCGA National Championship All American (6th) 9.725
Posted by UW-Oshkosh Gymnastics on Sunday, March 25, 2018
Tkaczuk, while known for her bars, is actually quite a good beam worker. I love how she isn’t afraid to take risks with her set. While many gymnasts try to do the safest and most consistent set possible, Tkaczuk is out there competing multiple D skills.
There were so many stunning beam routines we couldn’t mention. What were your favorites? Let us know in the comments below!
READ THIS NEXT: The Most Anticipated Beam Routines of 2019
Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Emily Minehart, Rebecca Scally, Emily Howell-Forbes and Rachel Riesterer
Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!