By Caroline Medley, Christina Marmet and Elizabeth Grimsley
It was a weekend of serious highs in LSU and Oklahoma’s high 197s but also a weekend of severe lows in Georgia’s lowest team score since the opening meet of the 1999 season. Former elite freshmen showed they’re here to fight, performing exceptionally well in their collegiate debuts, including Maggie Nichols, MyKayla Skinner and Madison Kocian all winning their respective all around titles. Kyla Ross, Amelia Hundley, Sabrina Vega and Maegan Chant all stood out as well. As you can tell, a lot happened this weekend. And we didn’t expect you to catch it all. So check out what you might have missed below, including recaps of the top meets, every event winner and team score and links to press releases for more coverage.
|No. 3 Alabama at No. 1 Oklahoma
: 197.750 | Alabama
VT: Dowell 9.950 | UB: Nichols 9.975 | BB: Winson 9.950 | FX: Nichols 9.950 | AA: Nichols 39.725Oklahoma proved it’s one of the teams to beat this season, scoring the second-highest total of the weekend with a 197.750 to defeat Alabama handidly. The Sooners got off to a great start on vault and never looked back, scoring 14 out of 24 possible 9.9s or higher on their routines, including every gymnast in the bar lineup.
Freshman phenom Maggie Nichols also kickstarted her NCAA career, winning the AA, bars and floor. Alabama had a successful night as well, despite the loss. Kiana Winston won beam with a 9.95 and also scored a 9.9 on bars. Her AA score of 39.5 would have been a winning number had it not been for Nichols’ and Chayse Capps’ marks. But overall, Alabama showed more area where it needs to improve than Oklahoma. However, the issues are easy fixes that will come with time. The Sooners might have been overscored a touch still showed they will be a threat in 2017.
|No. 9 Georgia at No. 2 LSU
: 197.825 | UGA
VT: Edney 9.950 | UB: Finnegan 9.900 | BB: Finnegan 9.950 | FX: Gnat 9.950 | AA: Hambrick 39.575This really was a meet with two completely different stories. LSU, on one hand, had its best season-opener in program history, starting off head coach D-D- Breaux’s 40th season with a bang and proving it is one to watch this season. Meanwhile, Georgia showed it has a LONG way to go if it wants to even make it to nationals this year. The Tigers nearly picked off where they left off in 2016, scoring nine total 9.9+ scores,
including a 9.95 from freshman Kennedi Edney for her absolutely nailed Yurchenko one and a half. Ashleigh Gnat also performed exceptionally well, adding a 9.925 on vault and 9.95 on floor to the mix. However, Myia Hambrick quietly came in and dominated the competition, winning the AA and scoring a near-perfect 9.925 on vault for her full-twisting Yurchenko. The Gymdogs had less highlights, scoring just a 193.600 for the team’s lowest score since the opening meet of the 1999 season. However, one bright spot came from sophomore Sydney Snead, who competed in her first collegiate all-around competition, scoring Georgia’s highest scores on vault (9.875), bars (9.875) and beam (9.8). In the end, the Tigers squarely put their name into title contention while the Gymdogs made people start to wonder whether head coach Danna Durante will be on the hot seat if this continues.
|No. 17 Arkansas at No. 4 UCLA
: 195.700 | Arkansas
VT: Preston, Wellick 9.900 | UB: Lee, Kocian, Ross 9.875 | BB: Gerber, Kocian 9.850 | FX: Kocian, Preston 9.875 | AA: Kocian 39.425While the scores and event titles clearly show a
UCLA win, it wasn’t exactly the win everyone expected. The Bruins struggled on typically their best events, beam and floor, where Arkansas actually outpaced them. The Bruin beam woes were largely due to an overabundance of difficulty, a great problem to have, but still a problem UCLA will have to admit to having in order to improve. 2016 Olympian Madison Kocian shone as one of the few mistake-free gymnasts of the night, nabbing the all around title in decisive fashion, more than a tenth ahead of Gymback star Amanda Wellick. The Gymbacks were another story tonight, struggling in the first half of the meet and surging back in the second half, particularly on floor. Wellick carried the largest portion of their high-scoring routines, but one surprise of the night was freshman Jessica Yamzon in the all around. Arkansas seems to be calling upon their freshmen in a major way this season, trying to swing their momentum upward again after the departure of so many key players. This may be working on beam and floor, but in their first two rotations, the Gymbacks are going to have to put in some more time to get competitive with their conference-mates.
|No. 5 Florida at No. 33 N.C. State
: 197.100 | NCSU
VT: Boren 9.950 | UB: McMurtry 9.900 | BB: Boren 9.925 | FX: Baker 9.925 | AA: Baker 39.5Despite some errors here and there from newcomers and veterans alike, Florida still outlasted N.C. State in the Wolfpacks’ first meet back in its home arena in over a year. The Gators’ star-studded freshman class made its highly-anticipated debut, with Amelia Hundley competing all four events, Rachel Gowey competing two and Meagan Chant performing on three. But it was all about the veterans during the competition as junior Kennedy Baker won the all around and floor after finally taking her rightful place at the end of the floor lineup. Sophomore Alicia Boren won vault and beam with a stunning 9.95 and 9.925, respectively, while junior Alex McMurtry won bars. But one standout performance didn’t come from someone in the lineup. Junior transfer Rachel
Slocum, competing in her home state, competed in exhibition on both vault and floor, proving she probably should have been in the competitive lineup to begin with by nailing her vault and showing off her fun choreography on floor. N.C. State’s meet showed the debut of former elite Alexia Beucler, some dry heaving and beautiful leotards.
|No. 7 Michigan at No. 6 Utah
: 196.625 | UM
VT: Skinner 9.900 | UB: Skinner 9.900 | BB: Rowe 9.925 | FX: Merrell, Skinner 9.900 | AA: Skinner 39.550What was an anticipated matchup going into the night turned out to be not so much after costly
mistakes by Michigan early on gave Utah the easy win. It was a tough first rotation for the Wolverines as they were forced to count a fall on bars right out of the gate. Things started to improve, though, as the meet went on with mostly solid routines that, more importantly, showed the potential to be great. Junior transfer Paige Zaziski had a rough go, falling on both bars and floor but did compete in the all around for the first time since her SEC-co-freshman-of-the-year-winning season two years ago. Utah was solid throughout, which proved to be the difference maker. Freshman MyKayla, an alternate to the 2016 Olympic team, impressed in her first NCAA outing, winning vault (9.9), bars (9.9), floor (9.9) and all around (39.550). Sophomore MaKenna Merrell, who looks to be setting herself up for one heck of a season, also shared a piece of the floor title. But the Utes didn’t get away completely mistake-free. With falls here and there, there are areas for improvement before next weekend’s matchup at BYU.
|No. 13 Oregon State at No. 8 Auburn
| Oregon State
: 195.575 | Auburn
VT: Day 9.850 | UB: Aufiero 9.850 | BB: Gardiner 9.900 | FX: Rott, McMillan, Lowery 9.900 | AA: McMillan 39.125Auburn entered the meet as the favored team but Oregon State left victorious. In an upset, the Beavers were led by seniors Kaytianna McMillan and Maddie Gardiner, each taking an event title (beam and floor, respectively) and McMillan winning the AA as well. Auburn didn’t have a bad
meet, per say; it just had some mistakes here and there that ultimately cost it the meet. Freshman Gracie Day did perform well in her NCAA debut, though, winning vault with her Yurchenko one and a half with a 9.85 and also scoring well on bars and floor. But the Tigers’ real struggles came on floor, having a fall and being forced to count a 9.5. Plus, no event scored above 49.0. Oregon State mainly did lots of little things better, being aided by the return of redshirt senior Erika Aufiero and Dani Dessaints, who is coming back from a shoulder injury as well.
|NorCal Classic: Sacramento State, San Jose State, No. 11 Stanford, UC Davis at No. 10 California
: 195.325 | Sac State
: 194.475 | UC Davis
: 193.875 | Stanford
: 193.250 | SJSU
VT: Price 9.950 | UB: Price 9.95 | BB: Palomares,
Seilnacht 9.875 | FX: Williams 9.925 | AA: Konner 38.975Cal clinched its third consecutive NorCal Classic title, highlighted by a fantastic vault rotation where the Bears got one of their highest vault total in over a year despite only showing three 10.0 SV vaults. Bars were rougher for the team as it was forced to count a fall on the event. Fortunately, the Bears made it through beam despite a few tentative sets and finished off on floor, where 2016 Olympian Toni-Ann Williams showed off a great routine for a 9.925. Meanwhile, Stanford saw Georgia’s season-opener results and was like “that’s all you can do? Hold my beer.” The Cardinals proceeded to have, well… A first meet in typical Stanford fashion, yet again? While this wasn’t televised or aired online, the scores speak for themselves. It started off rough for the Cards on balance beam, where their highest score came from D. McNair with a 9.725. Where it really stung was the floor exercise, where the team lost all of the little momentum that was left and recorded a floor total of 46.925. Junior Elizabeth Price was the highlight of the vault and bars rotations, scoring a 9.95 on both, but it was not enough to bring her team back in contention. Taking advantage of Stanford’s difficulties were Sacramento State and UC Davis. The Hornets recorded their highest team score in a season-opener and beat the Cards for the first time in program history. Additionally, Sac State’s Julia Konner won the all-around with a score of 38.975. Rounding out the final team ranking was San Jose State, where Katie Won and Rachel Heinl each placed in the top-five on different events.
No. 14 Denver at No. 16 Minnesota
: 195.875 | Minn
VT: Karr: 9.925 | UB: Ogden 9.850 | BB: Karr 9.875 | FX: Abernathy, Karr: 9.900 | AA: Karr: 39.500TWU, No. 30 Utah State at No. 18 Arizona
: 194.025 | USU
: 191.600 | TWU
VT: Swanson 9.850 | UB: Felix-Terrazas 9.825 | BB: Cindric 9.750 | FX: Ward 9.825 | AA: Jones 38.650
Ball State, No. 24 Illinois at No. 19 Missouri
Full Results | Missouri: 196.225 | Illinois: 194.200 | Ball State: 193.625
VT: Ward 9.825 | UB: Huber 9.925 | BB: Nguyen 9.875 | FX: Schugel 9.85 | AA: Tucker 39.175
No. 21 Kentucky at No. 34 Eastern Michigan
Full Results | UK: 195.075 | EMU: 192.050
VT: Dukes 9.825 | UB: Valentin, Hyland, Korth 9.825 | BB: Hyland 9.875 | FX: Hyland 9.850 | AA: Korth 39.075
No. 22 Iowa, Lindenwood, Western Michigan at Northern Illinois
Full Results | NIU: 194.825 | Iowa: 194.200 | WMU: 193.250 | LU: 192.075
VT: Corbett, Piorkowski 9.775 | UB: Kaji, Potts 9.875 | BB: Prentice 9.850 | FX: Prentice, Zurawski 9.875 | AA: Prentice 39.000
Bowling Green, BYU, Temple at No. 23 Penn State
Full Results | PSU: 194.625 | BYU: 194.525 | Temple: 191.925 | BGSU: 190.725
VT: Tsang 9.850 | UB: Garcia 9.950 | BB: East 9.825 | FX: Tsang 9.850 | AA: Tsang 39.350
Little Boston Invitational: No. 25 George Washington, Yale
Full Results | GW: 195.550 | Yale: 191.425
VT: Drouin-Allaire 9.875 | UB: Raineri 9.800 | BB: Winstanley 9.850 | FX: DeMoura 9.875 | AA: DeMoura 39.175
No. 27 Ohio State at Pittsburgh
Full Results | OSU: 194.125 | Pitt: 192.750
VT: Mattern 9.850 | UB: Laymon 9.850 | BB: Merkle 9.850 | FX: Mattern 9.850 | AA: Mattern 39.225
UIC at No. 28 Michigan State
Full Results | MSU: 194.175 | UIC: 191.475
VT: Deans 9.750 | UB: Westney 9.875 | BB: Douglas 9.825 | FX: Douglas 9.850 | AA: Northern 38.675
No. 29 West Virginia at Maryland
Full Results | WVU: 194.400 | UMD: 193.950
VT: Koshinski 9.925 | UB: Agaran 9.800 | BB: Gillette 9.900 | FX: Koshinski 9.850 | AA: —
Hamline, UW-Eau Claire at No. 31 Central Michigan
Full Results | CMU: 192.075 | UW-EC: 188.700 | Hamline: 183.875
VT: Clements 9.675 | UB: Kaplan 9.700 | BB: Clements, Fitzpatrick 9.900 | FX: Clements 9.900 | AA: Pedrick 38.850
Bridgeport, No. 35 New Hampshire, William & Mary at Rutgers
Full Results | UNH: 193.425 | RU: 192.875 | Bridgeport: 191.225 | W&M: 188.275
VT: O’Leary 9.800 | UB: Mulligan 9.825 | BB: Lauter 9.875 | FX: Comport 9.825 | AA: Pflieger 38.975
Arizona State at Iowa State
Full Results | Iowa State: 193. 850 | ASU: 191.800
VT: Sievers 9.825 | UB: Young 9.800 | BB: Young 9.850 | FX: Young 9.875 | AA: Young 39.250
SCSU at Towson
Full Results | Towson: 193.900 | SCSU: 187.600
VT: Tucker 9.750 | UB: McKellar 9.750 | BB: Yarussi 9.900 | FX: McKellar 9.800 | AA: Temkov 38.450
Winona State at Air Force
Full Results | USAFA: 190.875 | Winona: 184.750
VT: Salamone 9.750 | UB: Howard 9.775 | BB: Johnston 9.625 | FX: Bell 9.825 | AA: Murphy 38.350
Gustavus Adolphus at UW-Oshkosh
Full Results | GA: 175.550 | UW-O: 174.725
VT: Bernardo 9.175 | UB: Hardy 9.175 | BB: Kershner 9.475 | FX: Finin 9.500 | AA: Kershner 36.950
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