After eight long months, NCAA gymnastics is finally back! Plan your first weekend of watching with ease as we take you through the meets you shouldn’t miss live, those you should tune into that you otherwise didn’t know about and finally, those you can afford to record and watch later. Plus, 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. 8 California at No. 4 LSU
When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Friday, January 4 at 8 p.m. ET
Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: It’s the meet that really kicks off the season, and it’s sure to be a good one. LSU returns some of the highest-scoring routines in the country from last season, and it will mark the beginning of the final season for its standout senior class. Cal also boasts its best preseason ranking ever (eighth) coming into 2019, so it will be exciting to see the Golden Bears go up against a more perennial title favorite, especially considering the slow start the Golden Bears started 2018 with. In addition, Cal is coming into the meet with one of the top freshman classes in the country while LSU has only two newcomers on the roster (including Bailey Ferrer, who we’ll see for the first time after only arriving on campus in December).
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Cal fifth-year Toni-Ann Williams will be limited based on an elbow injury in preseason and will likely only compete beam this early on. Cal sophomore Victoria Salem is also dealing with recurring issues from her ACL injury last season and likely won’t appear in lineups. From LSU, junior Ashlyn Kirby has been dealing with elbow issues and sophomore Olivia Gunter is recovering from a torn ACL. The meet will also mark redshirt junior McKenna Kelley’s official return to competition where she’s expected to compete floor after a strong showing at the Gymnastics 101 showcase.
No. 11 Nebraska at No. 1 UCLA
When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Friday, January 4 at 9 p.m. ET
Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: If the phrase “defending national champion UCLA Bruins” isn’t enough to make you want to watch this meet, here are a few other hooks: Norah Flatley and Margzetta Frazier making their NCAA debuts, Taylor Houchin back to full strength with an upgraded program, the beginning of the end of Miss Val’s career… You’re going to want to watch this meet.
Routines to Avoid Going to the Bathroom During: Taylor Houchin (Neb, VT, UB); Catelyn Orel (Neb, FX); Megan Schweihofer (Neb, UB); Kyla Ross (UCLA, UB); Katelyn Ohashi (UCLA, BB, FX); Margzetta Frazier (UCLA, FX); Grace Glenn (UCLA, BB)
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: This is Miss Val’s last home opener! Madison Kocian (UCLA) is dealing with a femur fracture and may only be limited to bars, and Kynsee Roby (Neb) is out due to foot surgery.
No. 2 Oklahoma at No. 12 Arkansas
When You Need to Tell Your Friends You’re Busy: Saturday, January 5 at 7 p.m. ET
Why You Should Cancel Plans For It: Oklahoma was narrowly edged by UCLA at last year’s national championships, and the Sooners will be hungry to get back to their winning ways. They sport many of the country’s best gymnasts, including superstar Maggie Nichols. The Sooners also welcome sophomore transfer Karrie Thomas from Maryland; watch to see if she can crack lineups—bars in particular. Arkansas made its first nationals appearance since 2013 in 2018. How will it fare without Amanda Wellick and a number of potentially injured freshmen?
Routines to Avoid Going to the Bathroom During: Maggie Nichols (OU, literally every event—she’s that good), Brenna Dowell (OU, VT, UB, FX), Olivia Trautman (OU, VT, FX), Kennedy Hambrick (Arkansas, VT), Sophia Carter (Arkansas, BB, FX), Sarah Shaffer (Arkansas, UB, FX), Hailey Garner (Arkansas, UB)
What Else You Should Know Before Tuning In: Arkansas has a strong freshman class, but the majority of it will be out for at least the start of the season: Katarina Derrick had knee surgery, Amanda Elswick was seen in a boot and Bailey Lovett was seen in a sling. Sydney McGlone will likely return to competition for the Razorbacks after missing most of 2018 due to Tommy John surgery. Oklahoma is likely to put up a full lineup of 10.0 start value vaults, the first team to do so since the rule change. Senior Brenna Dowell has also been pushing for the beam lineup—if she makes the top six, it would be the first time in her collegiate career that she competes in the all around.
Meets You Didn’t Know You Should Be Interested In
No. 23 Minnesota, No. 19 Missouri and UIC at No. 20 Arizona State
When the Meet’s Happening: Friday, January 4 at 8 p.m. ET
Why You Should See the Error of Your Ways: This quad meet is packed with up-and-coming teams and gymnasts. UIC will commence its potential last season alongside three perennial “on-the-cusp” teams who will find themselves in an interesting position in the new postseason format. Until then, it will be interesting to see them go up against each other in what should be a legitimately close competition. Plus, it’s twice as many routines to watch as a typical meet!
Routines to Look Up on YouTube Before the Meet That Prove Our Point: Kayla Baddeley (UIC, VT), Serena Baker (UIC, UB), Alisa Sheremeta (UIC, BB), Jessica Ginn (ASU, FX), Anne Kuhm (ASU, FX), Cairo Leonard-Baker (ASU, FX), Ivy Lu (Minnesota, UB, BB), Mikailla Northern (UIC, FX) Lexy Ramler (Minnesota, UB), Ashley Szafranski (ASU, UB, BB), Kaitlyn Szafranski (ASU, FX), Paige Williams (Minnesota, FX)
No. 22 Illinois, No. 33 Arizona and Bridgeport at No. 30 Central Michigan
When the Meet’s Happening: Sunday, January 6 at 1 p.m.
Why You Should See the Error of Your Ways: This meet is all over the place in the best ways. Illinois is on the rise, Arizona saw a sizeable jump in its preseason ranking over last year’s finish, Bridgeport remains one of the most exciting non-DI teams and Central Michigan is poised for another year atop the MAC. This four-conference quad is sure to be a wild ride. It could be glorious for all four—or a glorious disaster.
Routines to Look Up on YouTube Before the Meet That Prove Our Point: Rae Balthazor (Ill, UB); Karen Howell (Ill, FX); Peyton Bellows (Arizona, FX); Kennedi Davis (Arizona, BB); Maya Reimers (Bridgeport, FX); Kathryn Doran (Bridgeport, UB); Denelle Pedrick (CMU, VT); Sierra DeMarinis (CMU, FX)
No. 34 New Hampshire at No. 32 Southern Utah
When the Meet’s Happening: Monday, January 7 at 9 p.m.
Why You Should See the Error of Your Ways: Both New Hampshire and Southern Utah are teams with a lot of talent, but since neither are in a “Big Four” conference, they are often overlooked. New Hampshire is known to include E passes in several of its floor routines, which you would typically expect to see only from the highest ranked teams, and its beam lineups is often one of the best in the country. Southern Utah fell short of expectations in 2018, but the talent is still there. With a strong and dynamic freshman class, the Thunderbirds are ready to take the 2019 season by storm.
Routines to Look Up on YouTube Before the Meet That Prove Our Point: Danielle Mulligan (UNH, UB), Lauren Diggan (UNH, VT, FX), Nicole O’Leary (UNH, FX), Danielle Doolin (UNH, FX), Erin Carroll (UNH, VT), Hailey Lui (UNH, BB, FX), Caitlin Kho (SUU, VT, FX), Karley McClain (SUU, FX), Shylen Murakami (SUU, UB), Madison McBride (SUU, UB, FX)
Meets You Should at Least Record and Watch Later
Cancun Classic With No. 9 Michigan, No. 28 Iowa State, No. 35 West Virginia and Rutgers
When to Find It on the TV Guide: Friday, January 4 at 7 p.m. ET
Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: This is our first chance to see Michigan in action in 2019! Will the lauded freshmen start with a bang? We also get our first look at new head coach Umme Salim-Beasley’s Scarlet Knights. Plus, it’s the return of Cancun; who doesn’t want to pretend they’re in Mexico in January?
Routines to Check Out If You Can’t Rewatch Everything: Abby Brenner (UM, VT); Natalie Wojcik (UM, UB, FX); Kiera Doherty-Herwitz (RU, BB); Rachel Ley (RU, UB); Phoebe Turner (ISU, VT, FX), Meaghan Sievers (ISU, VT), Natalie Horowitz (ISU, BB); Esperanza Abarca (WVU, BB), Kirah Koshinski (WVU, VT, FX)
No. 18 Ohio State at No. 7 Georgia
When to Find It on the TV Guide: Saturday, January 5 at 4 p.m. ET
Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: Georgia is ready for a new lease on life with its huge freshman class, that’ll make its debut here. The Gymdogs will go against an up-and-coming Ohio State team, which made its highest ranking in five years last season. Come for the big names, stay for the great floor choreography from both teams.
Routines to Check Out If You Can’t Rewatch Everything: Sydney Snead (UGA, VT, FX), Sabrina Vega (UGA, BB, FX), Alexa Al-Hameed (UGA, UB), Amanda Huang (tOSU, UB), Jamie Stone (tOSU, VT), Jenna Swartzentruber (tOSU, UB), Olivia Aepli (tOSU, VT)
No. 27 Penn State at No. 5 Utah
When to Find It on the TV Guide: Saturday, January 5 at 6 p.m. ET
Why You Should Clear Space on Your DVR: The Utes are consistently one of the top teams in the country, and 2019 should be no different. Utah retains superstar Mykayla Skinner, who does one of the country’s most difficult floor routines, boasting a double twisting double tuck. Penn State is a team on the rise under second-year head coach Sarah Shire Brown. The Nittany Lions may not have the big names, but the gymnastics won’t disappoint. However, note that PSU freshman Dymiana Cox is out with a torn ACL.
Routines to Check Out If You Can’t Rewatch Everything: MyKayla Skinner (Utah, VT, FX), Adrienne Randall (Utah, BB), Hunter Dula (Utah, UB), MaKenna Merrell-Giles (Utah, UB, FX), Missy Reinstadtler (Utah, BB, FX), Lauren Bridgens (PSU, UB, FX), Melissa Astarita (PSU, VT), Sabrina Garcia (PSU, UB, FX), Kristin Politz (PSU, BB)
Links and Things
These aren’t the only meets happening this weekend. 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 competitions below.
|Date||Time (ET)||Teams||Scoring Link||Video Link|
|Fri, Jan 4||7 p.m.||Cancun Classic with Iowa St, UM, Rutgers & WVU||Scores||FloPro|
|Fri, Jan 4||8 p.m.||Cal at LSU||Scores||SECN+|
|Fri, Jan 4||8 p.m.||Iowa at Auburn||Scores||SECN+|
|Fri, Jan 4||8 p.m.||Minn, Miz & UIC at ASU||Scores||Free Stream|
|Fri, Jan 4||8:30 p.m.||NIU, SEMO & Temple at Alabama||Scores||SECN+|
|Fri, Jan 4||9 p.m.||Neb at UCLA||Scores||ESPN2|
|Fri, Jan 4||11 p.m.||Illinois St at Alaska||Scores||Free Stream|
|Sat, Jan 5||2 p.m.||NCSU at MSU||Scores||BTN+/FloPro|
|Sat, Jan 5||4 p.m.||tOSU at UGA||Scores||SECN+|
|Sat, Jan 5||6 p.m.||PSU at Utah||Scores||Free Stream|
|Sat, Jan 5||7 p.m.||UK at TWU||Scores||Free Stream|
|Sat, Jan 5||7 p.m.||OU at Ark||Scores||SECN+|
|Sun, Jan 6||1 p.m.||Ariz, Bridgeport & Ill at CMU||Scores||ESPN3|
|Sun, Jan 6||5 p.m.||NorCal Classic with SJSU, Stan & UCD at Sac St||Scores||Free Stream|
|Sun, Jan 6||5 p.m.||UWO at Hamline||Scores|
|Sun, Jan 6||6 p.m.||Illinois St at Alaska||Scores||Free Stream|
|Mon, Jan 7||9 p.m.||UNH at SUU||Scores||Pluto TV|
|Tues, Jan 8||4 p.m.||Brockport at Cortland||Scores|
Fantasy Gymnastics Resources
Don’t worry! We haven’t forgotten about Fantasy Gymnastics players. We have a number of resources to aid in your weekly success. Check out our updated injury report to see if any of your gymnasts have been out of action. We also have a list of teams on byes—as well as those with multiple competitions—this week.
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Article by the editors of College Gym News
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