Potential Lineups: George Washington

By Caroline Medley


Our next bonus lineup takes a look at last season’s surprise Top 25 finish, the George Washington Colonials! The Colonials finished No. 24 after the postseason in 2016, an 11-place jump from 2015 and their highest finish since 2001. To keep up this success, they’ll need to replace just a few routines from seniors Alexsis Petrikis and Taylor Redmond and continue to up their ante. With four freshmen, each with their own strengths, and Auburn transfer Brooke Bray added to the roster, 2017 should be another excellent season for GW.

The Colonials’ vault lineup will see the return of all of its routines, including Alex DeMoura, Cami Drouin-Allaire, Julia McLaughin, Sara Mermelstein, Liz Pfeiler, Chelsea Raineri, Madeline Seibold, Jillian Winstanley and Alex Zois. Most of these gymnasts compete the Yurchenko full, with Raineri and Winstanley the standouts with Yurchenko 1.5s. However, incoming freshmen Cydney Crasa and Jenna Horner may be able to sneak into this crowded lineup. Crasa’s full is cleaner than some of the veterans’, and Horner competes a different vault entirely, a handspring front pike. While this vault is only worth a 9.9, if she can add just a half twist to it, it’ll be another 10.0 vault for GW. This may not be something we see immediately, but it’s definitely an option for her in the future.

Bars will see the loss of Redmond, whose scores varied greatly during the season as she provided depth for the Colonials. Inconsistency was a problem for a number of girls in the bar lineup last season, as four of the six returning gymnasts had more than one fall. Coach Margie Foster
Cunningham will definitely want her veterans to focus on consistently catching releases and landing dismounts to have fewer falls on bars in the coming year. Returning to contend for lineup spots will be DeMoura, Drouin-Allaire, Raineri, Winstanley, Zois and Pfeiler. Incoming freshman Nicole Rogalski has the amplitude on both single-bar releases she competes, a Jaeger and a Tkachev, and pretty clean pirouettes. However,

when she casts to handstand, she almost always comes up short. If she can get closer to vertical, she should make the GW lineup no problem. Ryan Finkelstein, who only started competing Level 10 last year, has been rapidly improving her bars, learning a Tkachev in just 10 days and working on connecting a giant full to her double tuck dismount. If she continues at that pace, she may have a shot at making the lineup.

On the beam, the Colonials will again retain all their routines. DeMoura, Drouin-Allaire, Mermelstein, Pfeiler, Winstanley and Zois should all expect to contend for lineup spots again, all having scored 9.85

or higher at some point last season. Their composition is also pretty varied, a pleasant surprise, with three different acro series and nine different dance elements between their six routines. Freshmen Crasa and Rogalski could add four more dance skills to the mix, including a cool transverse full turn and an elegant switch ring leap, respectively. Crasa is more of a power beam worker, with a punch front and back tuck

essentially bookending her routine. Rogalski, on the other hand, takes a more delicate approach to feature her long lines, with a tricky switch half to korbut combination and a clean front aerial to sheep jump.

Floor for the Colonials will be fairly similar to last year, with Winstanley and DeMoura with the only E passes on the team, each with a front double twist, and some of the most dynamic dancing. Other

returning veterans include Drouin-Allaire, Mermelstein, Raineri and Seibold, who all have strong double pikes for their opening passes. Drouin-Allaire and Raineri would be the most likely to upgrade if the Colonials are looking for some more difficulty, but incoming freshmen may also be able to help with that. Crasa, Horner and Rogalski all have solid floor routines, with Crasa boasting the only E pass of the bunch, a

double layout. Rogalski is more of a twister, with very clean form, and Horner has a whole lot of power in her tumbling. If she can harness that power in a college environment, with a focus on amplitude versus landing, she could have some sky-high tumbling instead of bouncing all around.

In the all around, DeMoura, Drouin-Allaire and Winstanley will likely serve as the triumphant trio again this season. After each hitting 39.3 or higher, they’ll be obvious choices to contribute to all four pieces. Raineri and Zois each compete three events, with beam and floor lacking, respectively. But Raineri has done exhibitions on beam and Zois won the team’s Starter Award for floor last season. Both are still clearly training the all around, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see either of them be given the opportunity, especially in the event that one of their primary three contenders gets hurt. Of the freshmen, Rogalski is the most likely to be groomed for the all around in the future. Three of her four events are strong enough where she could crack the lineup now. Her vault is the only one that will need more than just some polishing. Definitely look to her for the future of the Colonials’ all around.

That wraps it up for George Washington! For more on potential lineups, check out our page or our previous conference-based series here.

Interested in seeing another team covered? We plan to analyze North Carolina and N.C. State already, but there’s one more spot in our bonus series up for grabs. Who will it be? Leave us a comment or drop us a line on Twitter to cast your vote!

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