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Last Week in College Gym: September 24

During the offseason, it can be difficult to keep up with all the news and training updates happening across the teams. So each week, we will provide a curation of the most exciting upgrades, as well as other important news happening in the college gym world. Note the majority of the training updates highlighted will feature new skills and not someone training their same routine from the past season, for example.

Finally, note we are only able to share links to updates posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and not Instagram Stories or Snapchat. However, we will try to note any clips of note that we see on those disappearing platforms.

Illinois Gets to Work on Beam

Illinois kicked off official practice videos with a beam montage. Notable here is senior Julia Hutcherson, who competed only once last season, working her gainer back handspring + layout stepout series, and sophomore Kylie Noonan upgrading to a triple series. In order, the clips are: Rae Balthazor, Hutcherson, Noonan, Nicole Biondi, Rachael Donovan and Shaylah Scott.

Lea Mitchell Working Upgrades on All Four

Michigan State sophomore all arounder Lea Mitchell was busy at her home gym this summer. A video compilation of her summer workouts includes upgrades on all four events. She is working a Yurchenko one and a half on vault after performing a full last year. On bars she is upgrading her low-to-high work from a sole circle jump to high bar to a toe on to toe shoot, and she is working a new double layout dismount. Her beam work shows a new front aerial to sissone mixed series and a round-off to layout one and a half dismount, an upgrade from her side aerial to a layout full. On floor she’s showing a full-in and front layout + front full + front full series.

Milan Clausi Training Series and Connections on Beam

Cal freshman Milan Clausi is working on a fun connection on balance beam: front toss to beat jump directly connected to a back handspring layout step-out series.

UCLA Heads to Woodward

Just like the past few years, the Bruins went to Woodward for their preseason training camp. We once again had daily videos of the team and of practice, thanks to team videographer Deanna Hong. You can watch everything on YouTube: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4!

Olivia Karas and Abby Heiskell Vaulting Again

Michigan senior Olivia Karas, who is coming back from a midseason Achilles injury, did her first post-surgery Yurchenko this week. Freshman Abby Heiskell, who was also out with an Achilles injury, also posted a Yurchenko to her Instagram story.

Melissa Astarita Adds Maloney

Penn State’s Melissa Astarita is working on adding a Maloney to her bar set for her freshman campaign. She is also training, and sticking, a Yurchenko one and a half. Hurry up season?

Jessica Jones Making a Comeback

Penn State senior Jessica Jones missed last season with injury, but she’s making her comeback this year, starting with a solid bail handstand and Tkatchev.

Penn State Upgrades

Penn State finished up its week with some upgrades. Alissa Bonsall is adding a gainer pike off beam, Jessica Jones is working a Maloney and Lauren Bridgens is upgrading her double tuck bars dismount to a full-out.

Rae Balthazor Upgrades Tumbling

Illinois’ Rae Balthazor is training a full-twisting double back. The pass would be an upgrade to the double pike routine she competed in her sophomore campaign.

Utah Freshmen Showing Off Skills

Cristal Isa is training a gorgeous full pirouette to double layout dismount on uneven bars while Adrienne Randall was seen practicing her Rulfova on balance beam, a skill that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Randall was the 2017 J.O. national champion on beam (Sr. C) and finished second in 2018 (Sr. E).

Pauline Tratz Trains New Beam Dismount

UCLA sophomore Pauline Tratz appears to be training a gainer front full dismount on balance beam. Tratz did not compete beam last season but was performing a gainer full dismount off the side during the Meet the Bruins preview.  

Brenna Dowell Brings the Floor Difficulty

Oklahoma senior Brenna Dowell is known for performing a double front on floor. Now the Sooner is now working a front double pike to stag jump.

Oklahoma Freshmen Bring Big Tumbling

Oklahoma isn’t wasting any time with floor difficulty. Its freshmen showed big tumbles, with Olivia Trautman and Emma LaPinta training a double layout and triple twist, respectively.

Nicole Lehrmann Upgrades Vault

Oklahoma senior Nicole Lehrmann is training a viable Yurchenko one and a half after competing a full in previous seasons.

Anastasia Webb Trains Exciting Upgrades

Oklahoma sophomore Anastasia Webb is working on perfecting her new bar dismount, a toe-on into a double front half-out, as well as training a front handspring + double full + punch front and a Rudi + layout step-out on floor.

Florida Prepares

The Gators are kicking things up a notch, with freshman Nya Reed and sophomore Jazzy Foberg both working double layouts on floor. Reed is also bringing it on beam, so keep your eye on her for a potential under-the-radar performer in this stellar freshman class.

LSU Tumbling Into Season

The Tigers are known for their powerful floor routines, and this year should be no different. Check out freshman Rebecca D’Antonio and sophomore Sarah Edwards working new E passes to add to the lineup.

Belle Gottula Trains New Pass

Missouri sophomore Belle Gottula didn’t see much competition time this season, but that may change if she can put this full-in into her routine. Mizzou doesn’t have many options in the way of E passes, so this could definitely help her stand out.

New Vault for Morgan Porter

Missouri senior Morgan Porter showed off a Yurchenko one and a half on her Instagram this week. The Tigers would love to see that skill in competition, as their 10.0 SV vault options are limited.

Arkansas Freshman Works Double Layout

Bailey Lovett, who came to Arkansas a year early, showcased a great double layout to pit mats on the Arkansas Instagram account this week.

Emily Schild Upgrading Bars

Georgia sophomore Emily Schild was spotted training a new Ray release on bars after competing a regular Tkachev last season.

Bars Upgrades for Rachel Decious

The Alaska freshman has been working a double front dismount on bars. She previously competed a back one and a half twist.

Instagram Story and Snapchat Roundup

Katie Morsefield Trains Double Layout

Bowling Green senior Katie Morsefield is working a double layout bar dismount. Morsefield has only competed vault in her first three seasons.

Sydney Converse Continues Her Comeback

Iowa State senior Sydney Converse continues her comeback on floor. The Cyclone conquered the pass she tore her Achilles on last preseason, a double pike.

Randi Morris Back on Bars

Bowling Green junior Randi Morris missed most of last season with a knee injury. She’s back in the gym, and showed a strong second half on bars on her Instagram Story.

Madison McHale Making Her Comeback

Madison McHale sat out last season for Michigan State with injury. The MSU Instagram Story featured the sophomore working a solid switch half on beam.

Mary Jane Otto Back on Bars

Illinois super senior Mary Jane Otto (nee Horth) is back on bars and dismounting a full-in into the pit. This is the first gymnastics Otto has shown in at least a year.

Gabriella Douglas Tumbles on Tumbl Trak

Michigan State junior Gabriella Douglas missed last season with a knee injury. She’s back tumbling, on a Tumbl Trak for now.

Double Layouts for Days at Kent State

The Kent State bar squad is working double layout dismounts. Featured were Elizabeth Fulton, Madison Iannuzzo, Madison Trott and Riley Danielson.

Oklahoma Back in Full Swing

Official practice started this week for the Sooners, and they’re not wasting any time. Jade DeGouveia showed a floaty piked jaeger and Pak salto, emerging as another option for the Sooner bars squad. She didn’t compete bars in 2018. Nicole Lehrmann showed her exquisite bars work, and Alex Marks followed with progress on her full-twisting double tuck dismount. We got our first look at transfer Karrie Thomas on bars; the sophomore showing a straddled jaeger and full-twisting double tuck dismount. Sophomore Jordan Draper is also working a whip half + Rudi.

Ana Palacios Shows Artistry on Beam

Iowa State freshman Ana Palacios, hailing from Spain, is training an illusion on beam. We’re here for unique turns on beam.

Choreography Season Begins

Many teams were spotted on their various handles this week hard at work on new floor routines. Jazmyn Foberg, Alyssa Baumann, Sierra Alexander and Alicia Boren of Florida, as well Alexa Al-Hameed of Georgia and Maddie Desch of Alabama were spotted working on their new choreo.

Maegan Chant Trains New Vault

Florida junior Chant may be continuing former teammate Rachel Slocum’s legacy by training the vault she was known for at Florida, a handspring pike half. Florida’s Insta story this week only featured her training a handspring pike into the pit, but we imagine the half twist is coming soon to give Florida another 10.0 SV vault option. In the past Chant competed a Tsuk full, but never was able to consistently make the lineup with it.

Working On New Difficulty at San Jose State

SJSU traveled to a nearby club gym this week to try out new skills into its foam pits. The clips included several E passes on floor, as well as an innovative toe-on front tuck full bar dismount from Stephanie Relova.

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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