ECAC is small but mighty, and throughout the past few season has continued to wow fans with its growth and surprising all star recruits. In 2019 ECAC is bringing world class freshmen and former elite gymnasts to the college world that are poised to make stunning debuts. All six of these teams have risen steadily in the rankings with individual gymnasts acknowledged nationally.
The potential lineups series is back to discuss teams’ prospects for the 2019 season. However, it has a bit of a new look: less body, more straight-forward analysis yet all the same great information you’ve come to know and love.
No. 48 Temple Owls
Temple is the ECAC success story. The momentum the Owls have gained over the past few years is undeniable. The team is still poised for success, but a new coach in Josh Nilson this year.
|Losses:||Kerry Arone (UB), Sahara Gipson (VT, FX), Alexa Phillip (UB)|
|Gains:||Ariana Castrence, Lorianna Leynes, Jessica Lopez, Taylor Newland, Jackie Terpak|
Vault is a good event for the Owls, and 2019 should be no exception with three potential freshmen bringing the ability for clean, consistent vaults–one of which is worth the much coveted 10.0. That being said, the one to watch for is Ariana Castrence, who vaults a powerful Yurchenko 1.5 and will bring consistency to a stacked lineup. With a 10.0 start value, Castrence could time as the anchor. Taylor Newland and Jackie Terpak are also capable of good and consistent Yurchenko fulls and will likely make frequent appearances in this lineup as well.
Potential Contributors: Jaylene Everett (9.810 RQS), Tori Edwards (9.770), Yasmin Eubanks (9.720), Monica Servidio (9.720), Madison Rennix (9.550), Daisy Todd, Ariana Castrence, Taylor Newland, Jackie Terpak
None of the incoming freshmen are particularly strong on bars. However, it’s Castrence who is the strongest of the five newcomers. She gets consistent scores, ends with a good double layout and will be a great addition to a well-honed lineup. Lorianna Leynes has recently been training a sky-high Tkatchev that’s impressive and clean; if she can pull together a consistent routine, don’t be surprised to see that skill in the lineup come January.
Potential Contributors: Daisy Todd (9.775), Tori Edwards (9.765), Monica Servidio (9.705), Yasmin Eubanks (9.685), Breahna Wiczkowski (9.625), Ariana Castrence, Lorianna Leynes
Beam will look relatively similar to last year’s lineup, as the Owls aren’t losing any routines, all of which are fairly solid. If we do see any newcomers in the lineup, it will be Castrence and Terpak. Castrence’s scores err on the side of inconsistent, which may not be ideal for an apparatus known as the make or break event of a meet, but she’s a powerful twister and has beautiful artistry. Terpak also leans towards inconsistency, but when she hits this event, she can score high. She has solid turns and a good front aerial + back handspring connection with no hesitation.
Potential Contributors: Delaney Garin (9.800), Breahna Wiczkowski (9.760), Kerra Masella (9.745), Whitney King (9.74), Jordyn Oster (9.720), Daisy Todd (9.700), Ariana Castrence, Jackie Terpak
Floor is on the rise for Temple, and it will look to continue the trend come 2019. The Owls only lose one routine from 2018, so expect the lineup to look very similar; luckily, there’s a few freshmen who would excel in the empty spot. Castrence has enviable artistry on this event, though she doesn’t always get the most amplitude on her tumbling. Newland and Terpak are both relatively consistent; Newland has a great double pike and Terpak may not have the most difficulty yet makes up for it with clean form and landings.
Potential Contributors: Tori Edwards (9.855), Jaylene Everett (9.850), India Anderson (9.800), Jordyn Oster (9.760), Madison Rennix (9.755), Daisy Todd, Ariana Castrence, Taylor Newland, Jackie Terpak
Temple recruited some ninja level 10s over the past few years, largely in part because of former head coach Umme Salim-Beasley’s tutelage. With her move to Rutgers, some of those star recruits have left with her–but don’t count out Josh Nilson or the remaining performers. Aside from the freshmen, returners to watch out for are Tori Edwards, who has an impressive floor routine, and Daisy Todd, who could very well return to an all around position this season.
No. 53 Yale Bulldogs
Yale is a team that snuck up on just about everyone these past couple of years. It’s recruited an impressive amount of gymnasts who brought Yale to great heights, and with many of its star players returning, it’ll only get better.
|Losses:||Allison Bushman, Megan Ryan (UB), Sloane Smith (FX)|
|Gains:||Lindsay Chia, Seina Cho, Kendal Toy|
The Bulldogs aren’t losing any gymnasts from its end-of-season vault lineup and has a good depth pool to ensure it won’t be without should injuries occur. That includes the three incoming freshmen. Kendal Toy seems like a given in this lineup. She vaults a Yurchenko full that’s dynamic, gets high scores and most of all is consistent. Lindsay Chia also vaults a Yurchenko full with decent power and could definitely appear in the lineups to replace some lower-scoring RQSs from 2018. Seina Cho has a great handspring tuck half. However with the start value being only a 9.900, Yale may move towards the higher scoring Yurchenkos of Chia and Toy.
Potential Contributors: Rebecca Chong (9.745 RQS), Jacey Baldovino (9.725), Jade Buford (9.720), Alyssa Firth (9.720), Emma Firmstone (9.560), Roxanne Trachtenberg (9.235), Lindsay Chia, Seina Cho, Kendal Toy
In her Canadian elite days, Chia had been capable of a toe-on front tucked-half dismount and a Van Leeuwen. Yale would love those skills on its roster, especially given how Chia has proven to be in the past. Toy also has good bars scores. However her weakness lies in handstands, which as any NCAA fan will know, can make or break a performance. That being said, she’s trained a full-out dismount and, if she can work on hitting her handstands, will be a crucial asset for the Bulldogs.
Potential Contributors: Jessica Wang (9.840), Jacey Baldovino (9.790), Jade Buford (9.745), Roxanne Trachtenberg (9.685), Emma Firmstone (9.385), Lindsay Chia, Kendal Toy
Here’s where things are going to get fun and—most important—competitive for Yale. Beam is the star event for all three freshmen and this trifecta is going into the 2019 season with Yale a team to watch on this event. All three are consistent and have gotten great scores in both their J.O. and elite days. But what skills are they bringing? Toy is a superstar who is capable of a double full dismount, back tuck and at one point was working on a side aerial to layout stepout. Her confidence will shine through in this lineup and could even anchor. Cho has an incredible tic toc to layout stepout + layout stepout while Chia has rock solid connections in a side aerial + split jump + beat jump.
Potential Contributors: Jacey Baldovino (9.845), Jade Buford (9.785), Emma Firmstone (9.735), Kiarra Alleyne (9.725), Charlotte Cooperman (9.720) Jessica Wang (9.620), Lindsay Chia, Seina Cho, Kendal Toy
Yale is deceptively powerful on floor, which remains another event to look out for with the Bulldogs. The lineup likely won’t change too much from last year, as there will be only one lost routine and the remaining staples count floor has a strength, but any of the three freshmen are capable of stepping in. Toy and Chia are the most likely candidates, as both are strong, dynamic and are clean to boot. At one point Toy was even working on a triple twist, and Yale having that in its repertoire would be icing on the cake. Cho is a fast twister but has some minor form issues that the other two freshmen don’t, but expect to see Cho in at least an exhibition spot at some point in 2019.
Potential Contributors: Jade Buford (9.840), Emma Firmstone (9.805), Jacey Baldovino (9.780), Alyssa Firth (9.755), Kiarra Alleyne (9.750), Lindsay Chia, Seina Cho, Kendal Toy
There’s no doubt about it–Yale may have brought in one of the best freshman classes. All three gymnasts are capable of not just being in the all around but being stars across the events. Add that to gymnasts who have already turned Yale into a “one to watch” team. If you’re looking for returners to draft for your fantasy gym team, look no further than Jade Buford and Jacey Baldovino. They’re consistent and powerful gymnasts who will continue their past success in 2019.
No. 58 William & Mary Tribe
Each year the Tribe seems to surprise fans with the talent it recruits and the heights those gymnasts bring the team to. Last year Katie Waldman was the team’s star, and this year fans will look to see a new crop of freshmen changing the game.
|Losses:||Gaby Johanek, Eileen Malecki, Monica Ouellet (UB), Kellie Wanamaker, Fallon Way|
|Gains:||Chloe Campbell, Caileigh Gulotta, Anna Marie Haywood, Samantha Sakti|
Vault is a solid event for the Tribe, and it’s likely that the 2019 lineups may look similar to last season’s. That being said, two incoming freshmen are coming to change the game. Chloe Campbell and Samantha Sakti both vault Yurchenko fulls, and while it’s not a 10.0 start value, both gymnasts make up for it in powerful twisting and clean form. Campbell has fantastic amplitude and flies off the table, while Sakti–as we’ll see throughout this piece–is known for power.
Potential Contributors: Katie Waldman (9.795 RQS), Erika Marr (9.740), Katie Webber (9.690), Taylor White (9.670), Madison Dwyer (9.640), Caroline Caponi (9.595), Chloe Campbell, Samantha Sakti
This is the one event where the Tribe will look for a sixth member during fall practice, as it’s losing one routine from 2018. None of the incoming freshmen call bars their strong suit, but if any newcomer will fly into the lineup, it’ll be Campbell. Campbell has a Gienger–though there are some feet issues that need to be fixed–and a nice full-twisting double tuck that could be competitive.
Potential Contributors: Katie Waldman (9.800), Evan Pakshong (9.780), Caroline Caponi (9.765), Taylor White (9.720), Erika Marr (9.675), Chloe Campbell
Even though the regular lineup is returning for 2019, it would be shocking not to see Sakti showcased on this event. Beam is one of her strongest, and she’s high scoring, consistent and has a beautiful wolf turn that won’t make you cling to the edge of your seat—yes, really. Her back handspring to layout stepout series is beautiful, and her leaps are strong and confident. Sakti is going to be a contender on this event in the ECAC and in the NCAA as a whole.
Potential Contributors: Katie Waldman (9.760), Evan Pakshong (9.750), Madison Dwyer (9.705), Taylor White (9.685), Caroline Caponi (9.600), Aaliyah Kerr (9.390), Samantha Sakti
Sakti is one of the best recruits in the ECAC, and her floor proves it. She has high difficulty with an almost too-easy full-in and similar to her beam work, strong and confident turns. Though floor may be William & Mary’s weakest event, it’s chock full of strong and dynamic performers. Adding in Sakti to its lineup will only make the Tribe stronger–and the added difficulty certainly doesn’t hurt either.
Potential Contributors: Aaliyah Kerr (9.820), Katie Waldman (9.770), Elizabeth Snoddy (9.730), Taylor White (9.685), Caroline Caponi (9.595), Sophie Harris (9.585), Samantha Sakti
Like Yale, William & Mary snagged a sneakily good incoming class. Sakti may win for most underrated recruit of the year. Others to watch out for are Katie Waldman, last year’s freshman phenom who made regionals; Evan Pakshong, a star beam worker; and Aaliyah Kerr, someone who can match Sakti’s floor prowess.
No. 59 Cornell Big Red
Cornell remains in the middle of the pack in the ECAC and no doubt missed its star Lyanda Dudley last year, who was out due to injury. This is a team that will rely heavy on its upperclassmen, but that doesn’t mean you should count out a solid recruiting class by Cornell.
|Losses:||Allison Franz, Joy Gage, Anna Huang, Jessica O’Brien (FX), Courtney Spitzer, Lauren Wong (UB)|
|Gains:||Valerie Aubley, Michelle Espinosa, Haley Kondo, Miranda Lund, Sara Maughan, Donna Webster|
|Coming back from injury:||Lyanda Dudley (AA)|
Cornell has the luxury of depth on vault. Not only is Dudley returning from injury, there are a handful of freshmen with viable vaults as well. Miranda Lund and Donna Webster should see some time in the top six. Lund has a powerful Yurchenko full while Webster competes a Yurchenko layout half. Sara Maughan is also another newcomer with great scores for her Yurchenko full.
Potential Contributors: Amy Shen (9.775 RQS), Maci Prescott (9.720), Izzy Herczeg (9.675), Kelsy Kurfirst (9.625), Samantha Henry (9.550), Natalia Nottingham (9.515), Lyanda Dudley, Miranda Lund, Sara Maughan, Donna Webster
There’s a chance the bar lineup this year could be suspiciously filled with a lack of underclassmen. The only freshman who could realistically fight for a spot is Webster, but she hasn’t competed the event much recently and doesn’t have the most difficulty. With Dudley back, the Big Red might lean towards veterans, at least to start.
Potential Contributors: Amy Shen (9.805), Payton Murphy (9.735), Kelsy Kurfirst (9.715), Christina Luniewicz (9.710), Maddison Smith (9.635), Lyanda Dudley, Donna Webster
Valerie Aubley is the one to watch on beam. It’s Cornell’s best event, and Aubley can potentially be one of the star workers, maybe even anchoring. She effortlessly shows off her artistry and strength, often in the same skill, and makes beam look like a cake walk. Her turns are elegant, and she has a fantastic side aerial. Lund is another newcomer who could make an appearance. She’s recently been a bit more inconsistent score-wise than she has in the past, but when she hits, she can score well.
Potential Contributors: Izzy Herczeg (9.785), Amy Shen (9.780), Maddison Smith (9.680), Malia Mackey (9.660), Payton Murphy (9.635), Lyanda Dudley, Valerie Aubley, Miranda Lund
Floor is another area where Cornell may stick to returners over newcomers. Haley Kondo and Lund are the likeliest freshmen to join the lineup based on scores and skills. Kondo doesn’t have the most difficulty in her routine and is sometimes inconsistency, but her twisting is quite good and her cleanliness could make up for a lack of difficulty. Lund is also a great twister, but again, with Dudley back in the mix, it’ll be a tight fight for any available spots.
Potential Contributors: Samantha Henry (9.850), Maddison Smith (9.840), Amy Shen (9.730), Claire Haklik (9.720), Rebecca Thron (9.610), Natalia Nottingham (9.510), Lyanda Dudley, Haley Kondo, Miranda Lund
Dudley’s return helps Cornell. There’s no doubt about it. This is a team that relied heavy on upperclassmen in the past, and it’s likely it will continue that trend. While Dudley does help alleviate depth issues, she’s not the only returner to watch out for. Sophomore Amy Shen is a consistent all around gymnast and wows on each event, but bars is her particular speciality. Junior Samantha Henry is one to watch on floor, notching one of the highest RQSs of the returners.
No. 60 Brown Bears
Brown is a team that gets better the more the season goes on; the Bears peaked at a 194 in 2018, helping them finish third at the conference championship. While it’s losing some key gymnasts, the incoming freshmen will prove to be worthy candidates to step into the 2018 seniors’ shoes.
|Losses:||Anya Barca-Hall (FX), Regan Butchness (BB), Maggie McAvoy (FX), Anya Olson (VT, UB, FX), Claire Ryan (UB, BB)|
|Gains:||Charissa Chou, Mei Li Costa, Safiya Miller, Sophia Petrillo, Abigail Walsh|
Like many teams in the ECAC, Brown isn’t hurting for depth on vault. That being said, head coach Sara Carver-Milne may want to swap out some of the lower-scoring gymnasts. In come freshmen Charissa Chou and Mei Li Costa. Chou is consistent and level headed with a good Yurchenko layout half. Costa, however, could show some star power. She has a dynamic Yurchenko full and was capable of high scores in J.O. Both can easily slide into the top six and help Brown gain traction on this event.
Potential Contributors: Julia Green (9.725 RQS), Alyssa Gardner (9.670), Gabrielle Hechtman (9.630), Anne Christman (9.615), Diana Manzano (9.485), Rose Domonoske (9.455), Charissa Chou, Mei Li Costa
While bars serves as Brown’s best event numbers wise, it’s surprisingly sparse with few freshmen up to standard. For the newcomers, Costa is the likeliest candidate. Competition wise, she has her periods of inconsistency. However, she still typically ended up scoring in the 9.500s or higher. Costa has beautiful lines and can hit a great handstand, not to mention the fantastic Maloney she has up her sleeve.
Potential Contributors: Emma Hansen (9.795), Kate Nelson (9.735), Caroline Warren (9.640), Alyssa Gardner (9.395), Erin Howell, Mei Li Costa
Beam is one of Brown’s better events. The returning members of the lineup made their mark, so don’t expect much of last year’s lineup to change. Chou and Sophia Petrillo are likely freshmen candidates to make their debuts on beam. Petrillo is a product of Brestyan’s, and true to most Brestyan’s gymnasts, she has a lot of power. While not the most difficult routine of the bunch, she is sturdy and consistent. Her one issue may be her legs, which get a bit messy on her dismount. Chou is a nice beam worker that would make for a great lead-off.
Potential Contributors: Rose Domonoske (9.735), Julia Green (9.665), Cassidy Jung (9.665), Emma Hansen (9.665), Charissa Chou, Sophia Petrillo
Floor is another event for the Bears that fans should keep their eye on, as the incoming freshmen all have a combination of grace, power and skill that Brown will appreciate. Chou, Costa and Petrillo will all gun for lineup spots. Petrillo’s training at Brestyan’s means she’s primed for power, and floor proves it. Score-wise she hasn’t gone below 9.400 in 2018 since January, which means consistency is her key. She’s a powerful tumbler with good landings, and with the right skills and choreography, she’ll shine. Chou has decent scores and unbelievable amplitude. Costa has had periods of inconsistency, but when she hits, she hits well.
Potential Contributors: Julia Green (9.790), Anne Christman (9.690), Emma Hansen (9.565), Charissa Chou, Mei Li Costa, Sophia Petrillo
One thing Brown has is a good mix of fantastic veterans to go along with its well-rounded freshman class. Costa may be the freshman to watch, but don’t count Chou or Petrillo out either, particularly the latter’s power. As for returners, Rose Domonoske on beam is always a pleasure, and Emma Hansen is a reliable three-eventer.
No. 61 Pennsylvania Quakers
Penn is the last school in an increasingly competitive conference. The Quakers finished its year with a season high at USAG nationals as three individual gymnasts garnered All-American status. Penn is bringing on seven newcomers who will help continue to raise the bar.
|Losses:||Megan Finck (VT), Alex Hartke (BB, FX), Kyra Levi (UB, BB, FX), Olivia Neistat, Ally Podsednik (VT, BB)|
|Gains:||Ava Caravela, Libby Garfoot, Lauren Joost, Sydney Kraez, Edie Noor Graber, Sophia Restaino, Natalie Yang|
Vault is Penn’s most inconsistent event, ranging from the low 46s to mid-48s. For 2019, the Quakers will want a lineup that can raise consistency and push the team into the 49s. Lucky, there’s a trio of freshmen itching to get into the lineup: Libby Garfoot, Sophia Restaino and Natalie Yang are poised to become staples. Garfoot and Restaino both vault full-twisting Yurchenkos while Yang’s most recent competition video from 2016 shows her performing a Yurchenko layout. There are no recent videos of Ava Caravela, but she has produced high, consistent scores.
Potential Contributors: Caroline Moore (9.660 RQS), Jordyn Mannino (9.640), Valerie Rube (9.510), Darby Nelson (9.440), Ava Caravela, Libby Garfoot, Sophia Restaino, Natalie Yang
Bars is another of Penn’s events where team scores can fluctuate, but come mid-season the Quakers tend to be on a roll. Lucky for the team, a good portion of the lineup won’t change too much. Restaino is the likeliest candidate to make the top six. Her scores are great, but it’s her skills that wow. She performs a killer Deltchev, and dismounts with a stunning double layout. She’ll be a joy to watch in the lineup and not to mention a consistent source for high scores. There’s also the possibility of Garfoot, who’s consistent enough to see competition time. She has a fantastic Gienger and dismounts with a full-in, but she’ll need to work on her handstand positions to be truly viable.
Potential Contributors: Alex Kothe (9.750), Allison Frommer (9.705), Caroline Mitsch (9.685), Darby Nelson (9.635), Tara Mills (9.320), Libby Garfoot, Sophia Restaino
Beam is a good event for the Quakers, but depth will be a big issue this season after losing some of its best beam workers. The underclassmen who were staples last year will likely remain in the lineup, but as for which freshmen see time in the top six, it’ll be about who can hit when it counts. The one to watch for is Yang. She is stunning on this event, and Penn is lucky to have her star power. She has stunning leaps, a rock-solid layout stepout and a switch ring fans will drool over. Having her anchor, or at least towards the end of this lineup, is sure to give Penn a competitive edge. Lauren Joost is another a possibility, especially with limited depth. She tends to score lower but has a great Rudi dismount.
Potential Contributors: Caroline Moore (9.795), Darcy Matsuda (9.735), Darby Nelson (9.630), Nicole Swirbalus (9.410), Lauren Joost, Natalie Yang
As one of the best events for the Quakers in the past, floor will likely keep with that superlative in 2019. Restaino and Joost are prime candidates to join this power squad. Joost has fantastic turns and leaps and has trained a double Arabian. Restaino similarly has beautiful lines, and her tumbling is almost too easy. She has great landings and in level 10 peaked at a 9.675 on the event. Caravela doesn’t have recent videos, but scores from her level 10 days suggest she’ll also be one to watch on this event.
Potential Contributors: Darby Nelson (9.795), Darcy Matsuda (9.790), Nicole Swirbalus (9.715), Morgan Hunker (9.675), Ava Caravela, Lauren Joost, Sophia Restaino
The Quakers are absolutely on the right track, and with this incoming crop of freshmen, 2019 should see some major success. Aside from the newcomers, returners to look out for include Caroline Moore, who wows on beam; Darby Nelson, a solid all arounder who excels on floor; and Darcy Matsuda, who is one to watch on beam and floor.
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Article by Alicia Bettano
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