Minneapolis Regional Analysis

In our third regional analysis, we’re taking a look at the teams heading to Minneapolis. Learn more about the matchups, who has the best chances of advancing and if your picks in the 2016 NCAA gymnastics bracket challenge were smart.

High Score
Starting Event
No. 2
Bye before Bars
No. 11
No. 16
No. 20
Bye before Floor
No. 28
Ohio State
No. 31
Individual Competitors

  • Hayley Young (Iowa St.)- AA
  • Kara Witgen (USAFA)- AA
  • Meaghan Sievers (Iowa St.)- AA
  • Jamie Lewis (USAFA)- AA
  • Courtney Pickett (UWW)- AA Alternate
  • Sydney Converse (Iowa St.)- VT, BB
  • Briana Ledesma (Iowa St.)- VT, FX​
  • Hilary Green (Iowa St.)- UB
  • Alex Marasco (Iowa St.)- BB
  • Kelsey Paz (Iowa St.)- FX
  • Sara Townsend (Iowa St.)- VT Alternate
  • Amy Enright (UWLC)- UB Alternate
  • Sarah Neumann (USAFA)- BB Alternate
  • Courtney Middlekoop (Iowa St.)- FZ Alternate

Similar to Oklahoma, Florida should sail through this regional. Even if Bridget Sloan continues to struggle and be so un-Bridget Sloan-like, the Gators will easily advance. However, Sloan does need to figure herself out. She can’t be falling all over the place one week and then hit a 10 the next. Consistency is the watchword, Bridget. Especially when it comes to nationals and your team is counting on your for a big score to win a fourth title.

Anyway, on to the real excitement of the meet. Denver has been a pleasant surprise so far this season. And Minnesota has come on strong as of late. However, both of the Gophers’ 197s have bee suspect (one at Air Force and the other at the Big Five meet). And with the next highest score being nearly seven tenths lower, you know something’s probably up. There’s also the fact that Minnesota will be competing at home but the Gophers best scores have come on the road.

Denver, on the other hand, has been a big more consistent. There is that one high score in the mid-197s but the others seemed to build as the season went on. Hitting a high 196 or low 197 like the Pioneers are capable of should be enough to win as long as the scores stay sane and not Big Five-y. We’re counting on you, judges, to not give 10s for routines with wobbles.

Denver is strong on floor and has a slight edge on bars while Minnesota is a beam team. Both teams will have to hit their strengths and out out of their weaknesses without doing too much damage to win. Lindsay Mable can’t have one of her, let me fall on one event and break everyone’s hearts days if the Gophers want a chance. Nina McGee needs her backup singers to step into leading lady roles as well. Either way, it’s shaping up to be an exciting competition. The teams are sort of rivals this season with Denver winning one by a lot and Minnesota winning one by a hair. This will break that irrelevant tie. Watch out for Missouri as well. If both Minnesota and Denver are having one of their just OK days and the Tigers one of their is it 2010 days, this could become a three-way race.

As for individuals, either Lindsay Mable or Nina McGee should (read: must) go to nationals depending on which team qualifies and which doesn’t. Nordquist is a contender for a beam event specialist spot and Morgan Porter and/or Shauna Miller form Missouri are also all around contenders. Britney Ward is a possible event specialist on vault and beam if she hit of of her 9.925s on the events, but she still has to beat out or tie the Florida gymnasts to make the trip to Texas — a tall order. Let’s just hope Mable doesn’t have one of her fall days, Minnesota doesn’t make it to nationals and Mable doesn’t go as an individual either. That would be a sad day for everyone. If something happens and none of those individual make it in the all around, Iowa State’s Haylee Young is another strong contender.

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