Potential Lineups: Minnesota

By Caroline Medley


Today we’ll take a look at the Minnesota Golden Gophers! You may be wondering – what happened to Michigan State? Not to worry. We haven’t forgotten it, but we believe the Spartans have some surprises in store for us on their roster this year. So we’ve elected to wait until they release it. In the meantime, we’ll continue our Big 10 series with Minnesota. The Gophers will feel some significant holes left by the senior class. Madeline Hanley, Lindsay Mable and Hanna Nordquist were all key contributors to the team last year, and their team will miss them dearly. However, with a class of seven freshmen and the leadership of coach Jenny Hansen, Minnesota should be able to put together a great campaign.

On vault, Mable is the only loss the Gophers sustain, but don’t be fooled. This Big 10 Gymnast of the Year scored a “perfect 9.95” with her Yurchenko full last season, as well as a perfect 10 before it was
devalued. So she’ll definitely be hard to replace. However, Minnesota retains its only 10.0 start value, Bailey Abernathy’s handspring front pike half out. It will also return Yurchenko fulls from Abby DeMuse, Ciara Gardner, Rachel Haines, Hannah Hitchcock and Bailie Holst. Freshmen Casey Betts, Kristen Quaglia, Ryan Stach and Paige Williams will also bring fulls to the table. Quaglia’s is perhaps the cleanest of the four, but

Williams is certainly the most powerful. At J.O. nationals this year, she landed so far from the table she stepped off the other end of the mat! With so much power, it’s quite possible she could train a more difficult vault.

Bars will see the loss of both Mable and Hanley, but there are definitely a few key freshmen who can step in and take their spots with some seniors to lead the way. Veterans DeMuse, Gardner, Hitchcock, Holst and Rachel Cutler will all return from last year’s lineup, with Holst being the highest scoring of

the group. She scored a near-perfect 9.975 last season and had multiple other scores above 9.9. Freshmen Quaglia, Ivy Lu and Becca Taylor could also potentially contribute on bars. Lu, a former Canadian national team member, has been practicing some skills specifically for NCAA competition, including a simpler but cleaner giant full to double pike dismount. Taylor, on the other hand, has been trying to upgrade in

preparation for college. Her YouTube account shows her training a full out dismount and a Khorkina release. If she can master these in time for the season, she’ll definitely be a contender for the bars lineup.

All three seniors contributed to beam last season, with Nordquist finally earning a perfect 10 in her senior campaign. Veterans DeMuse, Gardner, Haines, Holst, Kaitlin Rahon and Selena Ung all contributed to the lineup in the past, with varying degrees of consistency. It’s quite likely that Gardner

will become the new beam leader of the team, typically earning a 9.8 or higher and not falling once last year. As far as the newcomers are concerned, Lu, Stach, Williams and Julia Huebert all have the potential to join the lineup. Lu has a wide variety of difficult skills to choose from, including a full-twisting Korbut, also known as a Rufolva, a sheep jump and a double turn. Stach’s long lines and solid landings will be her best

assets to the team while Williams will want to capitalize on her strength and power to make a bid for the lineup. And though Huebert’s routine is shorter compared to some of her teammates’, her connections are quick and her execution is clean, which could give her a shot at the lineup as well.

On floor, Mable is again the only loss from the 2016 lineup, so there will be plenty of veterans

contending for those six spots. Abernathy, Cutler, DeMuse, Gardner, Holst and Rahon all contributed at different points last season, though none had E passes. However, Abernathy is training a full-in, which could definitely boost her lineup chances. Freshmen Betts, Stach and Williams also could make a run for the lineup, with Williams having the best shot of the three. Her tumbling is sky high, especially her double

front, and her twisting form on her other passes is quite clean.

As far as the all around, last season’s competitors will most likely return. DeMuse, Gardner and Holst all competed AA last year, with Gardner competing all four in every meet alongside Mable. As a senior now, Holst may push to compete all around more than just the one opportunity she got last season. But she’ll want to make sure her beam is really clean and consistent in order to do so. Freshmen Lu or Williams could also have a shot, as they’re likely the strongest all around competitors of their class. But Lu will need to step it up on floor and vault, and Williams will need some form improvement on bars to make a bid for the lineup. Whoever competes all around, they will be filling Mable’s big shoes, but it’s quite possible one of these girls may rise to the task.

Check back tomorrow for the Nebraska Huskers’ analysis! For more on lineups, visit our page here, read our previous series here, or check out our other Big 10 posts:

Illinois | Iowa | Maryland | Michigan

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