The Dismount: Week 1

Saying this week’s competitions were wild and messy would be an understatement. While a handful of teams performed great, breaking numerous program records for opening meets, many of the others probably wish they took a bye like the 30 non-competing teams this week. Only two teams broke 197 while just four others of the 50 that competed reached 196. Central Michigan was a standout, notching its highest season-opening mark thanks to a huge 9.925 from Macy Hilliker on floor that helped the Chips tally a 49.400 on the event. Temple also managed to kick off 2018 with a bang, defeating the likes of Maryland, Towson and New Hampshire at the Little Boston Invitational. Across the country, Iowa State and Arizona State had similar beginnings, finishing one-two in the quad at ASU, finishing ahead of SEC and Big 10 teams Auburn and Iowa, respectively. Read on for recaps of the top matchups, as well as total scores, event winners, highlights and links to official recaps for every competition.

No. 2 Florida at No. 28 West Virginia

Full Results

UF: 195.900

WVU: 194.425

VT: McMurtry 9.900 UB: McMurtry 9.925 BB: Baumann, Boren, Gowey 9.900 FX: Boren 9.925 AA: Boren 39.575
  • Florida’s Kennedy Baker suffered leg cramps during bars and was unable to finish her routine. She was pulled from the rest of the meet as a precaution.
  • Florida freshman Alyssa Baumann made her return to competition for the first time in 18 months.

While the Gators came away with the win against the Mountaineers, they were not able to crack 196 with what was quite a rough and lackluster showing, especially after having to replace senior Kennedy Baker at the last minute in all four lineups. The bars and vault rotations were highlighted by Alex McMurtry’s winning scores of 9.925 and 9.900, respectively. The Gators had to count a fall on floor as Hundley landed short on her double pike and Gowey sat down her one and a half to front tuck pass. Freshman Jazmyn Foberg was thrown into the beam lineup to replace Baker, and thus made her all-around debut where she scored a 39.125 for second place. Alyssa Baumann, another former elite freshman for Florida, successfully made her return to competition after being out with an elbow injury that took her out of the 2016 Olympic Trials. She tied for first place on beam with a 9.900. On the other hand, the Mountaineers had a consistent showing, hitting 24 for 24 routines and winning floor over the Gators 48.575 to 48.450. They tallied their highest team total of the night in the second rotation on bars with a 48.750. The Mountaineers also saw the collegiate debut of sophomore Erica Fontaine and freshman McKenna Linnen, as well as junior Carly Galpin on bars. 2017 nationals qualifier Zaakira Muhammad was the sole all arounder for WVU and placed third with a 38.850.

No. 3 LSU at No. 19 Arkansas

Full Results

LSU: 197.150

Ark: 195.350

VT: Priessman 9.900 UB: Edney, Finnegan 9.950 BB: Finnegan 9.925 FX: Hambrick 9.950 AA: Finnegan 39.650
  • Kennedi Edney only competed bars as a precautionary measure after rolling her ankle in practice this week.
  • Sarah Finnegan won the all around with a new career high of 39.65.
  • Super senior Amanda Wellick (Arkansas) returned to competition after tearing her Achilles last season, competing three events.

One of the few meets on Friday that went as planned, LSU defeated Arkansas in a big way. Both teams started shakey: Arkansas’s Hailey Garner brushed a foot on the mat while on the low bar and Shaffer fell while LSU’s Myia Hambrick sat her Yurchenko 1.5. Still, the teams rallied. LSU came back to post an enormous 49.6 on bars, the second-best score in program history. Arkansas also had a strong rotation, with three 9.8+ performances on vault from Wellick, Sydney McGlone and Braie Speed. In the third rotation, LSU showed that it’s still capable of brilliance on beam, despite an early break from lead-off Erin Macadaeg. Highlighted by an incredible 9.925 from anchor Sarah Finnegan and a 9.85 from senior leader Hambrick, the Tigers posted a 49.050 for the rotation. Arkansas struggled on floor, with a fall from Garner and two out-of-bounds deductions, one from Shaffer and one from Sophia Carter. The fourth rotation brought Arkansas to beam with its best event of the night (49.150)—a better performance on the event than LSU even! But the Tigers reminded us just what home floor can be with a 49.325, capped off by a 9.95 from Hambrick, which tied her career high. The Tigers ended up with the first 197 of the season and the highest score of week one with its 197.150. Arkansas’s 195.350 highlighted some weak spots, but the Razorbacks’ outlook for the coming season is a positive one, especially compared to the 2017 season they’re likely happy to have in the rearview mirror.

No. 4 Alabama at No. 7 Michigan

Full Results

UM: 196.200

Bama: 195.675

VT: Guerrero 9.900 UB: Winston 9.925 BB: Winston 9.900 FX: Karas 9.925 AA: Karas 39.350
  • Senior Jennie Loeb (Alabama) competed bars for the first time in her career (she had previously vaulted once).
  • Mackenzie Brannan (Alabama) had the flu and did not compete.
  • Bailie Key (Alabama), Kylie Dickson (Alabama), Lauren Farley (Michigan) and Sydney Townsend (Michigan) made their collegiate debuts.
  • Peyton Ernst (Alabama) did not make her long-awaited debut for the Crimson Tide.

As expected, this was a close and exciting matchup. The Wolverines trailed after the first rotation but took the lead after the second and never looked back. Overall, scoring was tight, as is typical in the Big Ten. The Wolverines put up three 10.0 start value vaults, (Yurchenko 1.5s from Olivia Karas, Sydney Townsend and Emma McLean). Unfortunately, Townsend fell in her collegiate debut. The first rotation was Alabama’s best. Shea Mahoney had a fall in the second spot, but the rest of the lineup came through. Kylie Dickson debuted a lovely bars set for a 9.900, and Kiana Winston showed a powerful and elegant routine for a well-deserved 9.925—expect that score to be even higher in Tuscaloosa. In the second rotation, Michigan also excelled on bars despite a freak fall from Paige Zaziski. Brianna Brown was a highlight, putting up a 9.900, and Townsend redeemed her vault fall with a strong routine. On vault, the Crimson Tide put up two 10.0 vaults (1.5s from Lexi Graber and Nickie Guerrero) and a series of powerful fulls. Dickson, who trains a Yurchenko double, was not in the lineup, nor was usual all arounder Winston.

The second half of the meet did not go smoothly for either team. Lauren Farley debuted her beam routine for the Wolverines, falling on her triple series. Overall, Michigan showed little wobbles and bobbles that kept its score at a 48.975 on what is often one of its best events. Meanwhile, Alabama struggled on floor. The Crimson Tide looked tired, simply not prepared to be performing full routines yet. Many combination passes lost momentum, and a series of low, tough landings led to a 48.775 rotation score and no individual score above a 9.775. Alabama had a better fourth rotation, which included a 9.900 from Winston. In her collegiate debut, Bailie Key fell on a triple series, not putting either foot on the beam in her second element, meaning she had no acro series. Though there were no other falls, some wobbly performances kept Alabama from performing to its abilities. Michigan sealed the win with three very strong and well-performed floor sets from Karas, McLean and Brown.

No. 34 BYU at No. 5 Utah

Full Results

Utah: 197.000

BYU: 194.275

VT: Lewis, Tessen 9.900 UB: Skinner 9.900 BB: Skinner 9.900 FX: Merrell 9.925 AA: Merrell, Skinner 39.475
  • Utah scored a 197 in a season opener meet for the first time in 13 years.

The Utes cruised to victory against BYU and broke the 197 mark in a season opener for the first time in 13 years. Sophomore phenom Mykayla Skinner showed up with her full difficulty on all four events, including a DTY on vault and a double double on floor, despite battling an illness over the last week. Her only mishap of the night came on floor where she went out of bounds, but she still tied for first in the all around with 39.475. The Utes scored above a 49.300 on all events but beam, which was a shaky rotation with start value issues from lead-off Shannon McNatt, as well as a fall from Missy Reinstadtler. Freshman Sydney Soloski made her collegiate debut on floor, scoring a 9.850, and sophomore Kim Tessen was back on vault and bars after being out last season with a torn Achilles. BYU scored a 194.275 and was forced to count a fall on bars in the first rotation. The Cougars once again showed entertaining floor routines for a team total of 48.900, their highest of the meet. Shannon Hortman-Evans was one of the top contributor for the team by competing in the all-around and scoring 38.900 for third place.

No. 22 Ohio State at No. 6 UCLA

Full Results

UCLA: 196.250

tOSU: 193.200

VT: Tratz 9.850 UB: Lee 9.975 BB: Lee 9.925 FX: Kramer, Mattern, Ross 9.900 AA: Ross 39.500
  • UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos-Field could not attend the meet due to illness.
  • Redshirt freshman Grace Glenn made her collegiate debut on balance beam.
  • UCLA freshmen Nia Dennis and Pauline Tratz made their debut in the all around, and vault and floor, respectively.
  • Ohio State freshman Jenna Swartzentruber competed in the all around.

The Bruins opened their season in front of a home crowd but without head coach Valerie Kondos-Field, who was out with the flu. They started off with a rough vault rotation, counting a fall after senior Pua Hall (Y1.5) and sophomore Gracie Kramer (tucked Y1.5) sat down their vaults. The team got its confidence back on bars where the highlight came from sixth-year Peng Peng Lee with a near-perfect routine that received 9.975, the highest score in the nation so far. Lee also picked up right where she left off last season on beam with a 9.925 to win the event. The Bruins rallied after a tight and tentative beam rotation to close out the meet with one of the strongest floor rotations we have seen from them in a season opener. Kramer led off with a 9.900, and sophomore Kyla Ross hit a solid set to tie Kramer for the event title. This was particularly nice to see after Ross’ consistency and endurance issues last season that left her out of the event and the all around for the majority of the year.

This was the first meet for the Ohio State University’s new head coach Meredith Paulicivic. However, the Buckeyes did not have a good overall performance with misses or falls on all events. They started off with a disastrous bar rotation with falls from Peyton Hinterberger and Olivia Aepli, and a miss from Nevin Adamski. They made it through vault and came back strong on floor, which ended up being their highest scoring event of the evening, highlighted by a 9.900 from senior Alexis Mattern. Unfortunately, they had to count another fall on beam. Freshman Jenna Swartzentruber made her collegiate debut in the all around and showed high-scoring potential across all events and particularly on beam once some of the first-meet jitters dissipated.

No. 8 Denver at No. 26 Arizona

Full Results

DU: 195.775

Ariz: 195.425

VT: Karr 9.925 UB: Berg 9.875 BB: Karr 9.900 FX: Brown 9.900 AA: Karr 39.500
  • DU freshman Lynnzee Brown made her debut in the all around and stole all of our hearts.
  • Fellow Pioneer freshman Mia Sundstrom also made her collegiate debut in the all around.
  • Arizona sophomore Maddi Leydin was back on three events after being out most of last season.
  • Freshman Payton Bellows was the only freshman for Arizona to make her collegiate debut.

The Pioneers had an exciting start of the season, led by sophomore Maddie Karr and freshman Lynnzee Brown in the all around, who finished first and second, respectively. Karr looked just like she did at the end of last season, and her performance was highlighted by a huge stuck Yurchenko 1.5. Brown won the hearts of many by showing huge potential across every event, particularly vault (Y1.5) and floor. The Pioneers did not have a great start to the meet and were forced to count a fall on bars. Just like most of last year, they only competed five athletes on vault, but it wasn’t an issue as they totaled 49.225, their highest scoring event of the evening. Brown led the team on floor with a 9.900, and Denver finished the meet with a strong beam rotation and six hit routines. Arizona wasn’t far behind Denver with a score of 195.425 to the Pios’ 195.775. The Wildcats were led by senior Madison Cindric, who was also their sole all around competitor, as well as by senior Kennady Schneider, who rocked her self-choreographed floor routine for a 9.875. Sophomore Maddi Leydin made her comeback on three events (vault, beam, floor) after being injured and out most of last season while freshman Payton Bellows made her collegiate debut by anchoring vault and competing in the floor lineup.

No. 21 George Washington, Ball State, SEMO at No. 10 Kentucky

Full Results

UK: 196.075

BSU: 194.475 GWU: 193.775

SEMO: 189.675

VT: Davis, Korth 9.850 UB: MacDonald, Rechenmacher 9.850 BB: Hyland 9.850 FX: Dukes 9.900 AA: Drouin-Allaire 39.100
  • Kentucky earned its highest opening-meet score in program history.
  • Two January roster additions made immediate debuts with their teams: Ella Warren (UK) and Rachel Kaplan (GW).
  • Kaitlyn Menzione (BSU) matched her career-high all around score of 38.975.

Surprising no one, the Wildcats won this home quad easily, though not without its difficulties. Their only event score over 49 came on floor after having to drop falls on both bars and beam. Oddly, neither Sidney Dukes nor Alex Hyland competed the all around, a major departure from the team’s strategy of previous years. Instead, the lone all arounder for the Cats was Mollie Korth, who fell on bars and didn’t receive the stellar scores she’s become accustomed to on the other three events. Kentucky just barely eked out a 196 to finish week one ranked No. 6 overall, but coach Tim Garrison will likely look for big improvements if the team is going to be the nationals threat it was predicted to be.

While Kentucky winning this quad was what everyone expected, an unfortunate beam rotation led to George Washington falling to third behind Ball State. It wasn’t just taking advantage of the Colonials’ mishaps that led to the Cardinals’ second-place finish, though. They had a strong floor rotation, counting no scores below 9.7 and counted no falls throughout the meet. GW, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. With three total falls on beam, one the Colonials’ strongest events in 2017 now seems to be a weakness. SEMO placed fourth, as expected, with its usual bright spot in Alexis Brawner. Her 9.8s on vault and floor helped the team to event scores over 48 on both events.

NorCal Classic: No. 11 California, Sacramento State, San Jose State, UC Davis at No. 18 Stanford

Full Results

Cal: 195.475

Stan: 194.925 SJSU: 194.475 UCD: 194.400

Sac St: 192.875

VT: Price 9.850 UB: Price 10.000 BB: Williams 9.900 FX: Price 9.975 AA: Price 39.650
  • The meet marked the debut of new Stanford head coach Tabitha Yim.
  • Elizabeth Price scored the first perfect 10 of the season and of her career on bars.
  • California’s Toni-Ann Williams successfully returned from injury while freshman Kyana George tallies highest freshman all around score in the Pac-12 and second-highest in the country with her 39.350.
  • SJSU hits highest opening-season score in program history.

If nothing else, this meet was an exciting one, highlighted by Elizabeth Price’s perfect 10 on bars, the first of the NCAA season for any team and the first of her career. She followed up the performance with a near-perfect 9.975 on floor. Stanford put a lot of untested talent on the frontline Monday night, sticking four freshmen in the lineups in Taylor Lawson, Rachael Flam, Lauren Navarro and Kyla Bryant. The effort, despite bars mistakes, was good enough for second place and a 194.925. But, more importantly, the floor squad tallied a huge 49.425 to close out the meet—matching UCLA for the highest total on the event so far this season (yes, Stanford). California took top honors at the meet, finishing with a respectable 195.475, but had to count a fall on bars in the process. However, there were more bright spots than not. Toni-Ann Williams returned from injury, scoring a 9.9 on both beam and floor and winning the former.

San Jose State, UC Davis and Sacramento State rounded out the competition in that order, with San Jose State totaling its highest mark in a season opener in program history. Taylor Chan and Kaitlin Won each had big 9.875s for the Spartans on floor and bars, respectively, while Alexia Brown tallied a solid 39.200 in the all around for the Aggies. Finally, fan favorite Lauren Rice debuted her unique and spunky beam and floor choreography for 9.750 and 9.775, respectively.

No. 14 Auburn, No. 20 Iowa, No. 29 Iowa State at No. 31 Arizona State

Full Results

ISU: 195.1250

ASU:194.6750 Aub: 193.950

Iowa: 193.000

VT: Sievers, Watson 9.875 UB: Cerio 9.900 BB: Paz 9.875 FX: Kaji 9.850 AA: Young 39.200
  • Iowa State recorded its best season opener score since 2007.
  • ASU junior transfer and 2012 Olympian Anne Kuhm made her anticipated collegiate debuts in the all around.
  • Iowa State freshman and 2016 Olympian Ariana Orrego made her all around debut.

This meet ended up being one of the least predictable ones of the weekend, although it was mostly because everybody but Iowa State had to count falls on at least one event. The Cyclones hit 24 for 24 routines and were led by four all arounders, including senior Haylee Young and freshman Ariana Orrego. Arizona State continued to show improvements since Jay Santos took over the program. Anne Kuhm, a 2012 Olympian for France, made her highly anticipated debut in the all around and showed beautiful, precise gymnastics. Despite a fall on beam and an out of bounds on floor, the potential is there for Kuhm to quickly become one of the top contributors for the Sun Devils and maybe even in the conference. Freshman Cairo Leonard-Baker also made her collegiate debut in the all around, displaying a solid floor set. Auburn’s performance came as a bit of a surprise as the Tigers were forced to count falls on bars and floor despite senior Abby Milliet was back on bars, beam and floor after being out last season with a knee injury. Similarly, it was also a rough outing for Iowa as the Hawkeyes had to count multiple falls on bars and beam. Sophomore Charlotte Sullivan was a highlight for the Hawkeyes, placing second in the all around behind ISU’s Young with a 39.075.

No. 35 Eastern Michigan at No. 25 Penn State

Full Results

PSU: 194.275

EMU: 192.9

VT: Bridgens, Tsang 9.825 UB: Rubin 9.85 BB: Tsang 9.825 FX: Dobronics, Garcia 9.8 AA: Bridgens, Tsang 39.025
  • Tight scoring throughout failed to truly illustrate progress both teams made from 2017.
  • PSU freshmen Lauren Bridgens and Alissa Bonsall debuted in the all around.

Illinois State at No. 30 Central Michigan

Full Results

CMU: 196.375

ISU: 191.600

VT: Pedrick 9.875 UB: Kaplan 9.850 BB: Clements 9.875 FX: Hilliker 9.925 AA: Cooke 38.675
  • CMU posted its best season-opening score in program history.
  • Kylie Meyer of Illinois State competed for the first time in two years on vault and beam.

Bowling Green at Michigan State

Full Results

BGSU: 194.000

MSU: 193.3500

VT: East 9.850 UB: Westney 9.850 BB: Kearns, McPeak 9.825 FX: Lea Mitchell, Shirley 9.850 AA: Shirley 39.075
  • Spartan’s Lea Mitchell and Roya Shirley made their collegiate debuts.

Hamline at UW-Oshkosh

Full Results

UWO: 183.525

Hamline: 183.475

VT: Czysz-DeBoer 9.375 UB: Huch 9.250 BB: Scholtens 9.600 FX: Vorderbruggen 9.45 AA: McBrayer 36.950

Little Boston Invitational: Maryland, New Hampshire, Temple and Towson

Full Results

Temple: 194.850

UNH: 194.175 UMD: 194.100

Towson: 193.800

VT: Baker 9.850 UB: Barber, Mulligan 9.875 BB: Lauter 9.925 FX: Thomas 9.850 AA: McKellar 39.075
  • New Hampshire became a last minute addition when it was unable to travel to a quad meet at Arizona.
  • Casey Lauter’s 9.925 on beam leads the country on the apparatus, matching scores from UCLA’s Peng-Peng Lee and LSU’s Sarah Finnegan.

N.C. State, UIC at Northern Illinois

Full Results

NCSU: 194.025

UIC: 193.525

NIU: 192.6

VT: Knight 9.8 UB: Potts, Baker 9.825 BB: Baddeley 9.825 FX: Martucci, Knight, Northern 9.8 AA: Knight 39.075
  • UIC’s posted its highest season-opening score since 2009.
  • N.C. State competed under new head coach Kim Landrus for the first time.

Southern Connecticut at Bridgeport

Full Results

UB: 192.650

SCSU: 186.150

VT: Whittaker 9.750 UB: Campbell 9.850 BB: Reimers 9.700 FX: Avendano 9.750 AA: Campbell 38.775

UW-Eau Claire at Gustavus Adolphus

Full Results

UW-EC: 181.275

Gustavus: 175.800

VT: Erickson 9.375 UB: Lewis 9.600 BB: Bjorge 9.575 FX: Bjorge 9.275 AA: Malo 36.075

UW-La Crosse at Air Force

Full Results

USAFA: 193.425

UW-LC: 191.350

VT: Davis 9.75 UB: Kirkpatrick 9.775 BB: Murphy 9.775 FX: Weyker 9.800 AA: Murphy 38.675
  • Air Force posted the highest season-opening score of coach Doug Day’s tenure.
  • Tyler Davis and Jessica Kirkpatrick of USAFA and Sam Weyker of UW-LC made their collegiate debuts with event wins.

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Article by the editors at NCAA Gym News

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