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Last Week in College Gym: December 17

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.

Bruins Show Depth and Talent at Meet the Bruins

The defending national champions held their annual Meet the Bruins showcase Sunday. The mock meet was highlighted by two 10.0s scored by junior Kyla Ross on bars and sophomore Nia Dennis on floor; the latter showed a much improved and steady piked full-in as a first pass and a sassy choreography that went semi-viral the following day. Fans in attendance were also able to get a glimpse at the freshmen, with Norah Flatley competing or exhibitioning on all four events, and Margzetta Frazier up on bars, beam and floor.

On vault, the Bruins showed five 10.0 start values, with Dennis, Ross, Gracie Kramer and Felicia Hano all doing a Yurchenko one and a halfs, and Kendall Poston doing a front handspring pike half. We did not get to see her here, but freshman Margzetta Frazier has also been training a double-twisting Yurchenko this preseason. Senior Macy Toronjo was also back competing on bars for the first time in three years in an exhibition routine. She has been dealing with injuries her entire time at UCLA and missed the 2016 and 2018 seasons entirely. Ross and Katelyn Ohashi sat out beam to give some of the newcomers the chance to gain confidence on the event, and floor looked postseason-ready, with Ohashi performing her iconic Michael Jackson routine one last time. For a detailed run-down of the event, check out our live blog.

Rebekah Bean Perfecting a New Vault

BYU freshman Rebekah Bean showed a front handspring pike half on her Instagram. She was previously training a front handspring front this summer but competed front handspring pike in past J.O. seasons.

Utah State Shows 2019 Routines at Intrasquad

The Aggies held an intrasquad last Friday, posting bars, beam and floor routines on their Instagram. You can view vault results here. Freshmen Grace Rojas, Maddie Straker and Caitlin Gray made their Aggie debuts. Rojas competed on every event except floor, highlighted by a beautiful bar routine with a floaty double layout dismount. Straker scratched bars but went on to compete beam and floor where her opening double layout is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Gray only competed on vault. Classmate Glory Yoakum was notably missing from the intrasquad, as was sophomore vault leader Mikaela Meyer. Senior Madison Ward-Sessions anchored bars with a beautiful full-in in a lineup that also included Leighton Varnadore, Annie Beck and Makayla Bullitt. Beck showcased a triple series on beam while sophomore Autumn DeHarde picked up where she left off on the event. The Aggies also debuted two new E-passes on floor, a full-in from Varnadore and a roundoff full-in from Ward-Sessions.

Scarlet Knights Work Bars

Rutgers shared a bars workout on YouTube in which you can hear head coach Umme Salim-Beasley helping the Scarlet Knights perfect details. Note the strong Ray form Abigail Karolewski and the Gebeshian in Rachel Ley’s competition set.

Big Ten Announces Men’s Preseason Picks

The Big Ten Conference announced its preseason picks for the upcoming season. Illinois is tabbed as the favorite to win the conference title ahead of Minnesota and Michigan. Read more to learn the rest of the predicted standings and see all of the gymnasts on the watch list.

Redbirds Prep for Season

On Friday, Illinois State held a verification intrasquad. The vault squad featured strong Yurchenko fulls from Alyssa Wiggle, Gabrielle Cooke and Meredith LaRoche, plus front handspring pikes from Sofia Iribarren and Cammie Topp. Freshman Iribarren anchored the bar lineup with a gorgeous straddle Jaeger; she put her hands down on her double front, but it is a stunning set. We also saw work from LaRoche, who had three bars outings last year that included a true Shaposhnikova and a full-twisting double tuck. On beam, Cooke showed a gorgeous one and a half attitude turn. Cooke headlines the floor crew with her stellar dance. The Redbirds also show a variety of styles, including a sultry set from Brianna Barrett. LaRoche shows the most difficulty with a nice full-in. Mia Quigg performed an exhibition set that was truly stunning but not to hard landings. Freshman Charlise Doctor was conspicuously absent from lineups.

Sun Devils Hold Annual Maroon and Gold Intrasquad

No. 20 Arizona State finally showed off its talent and depth in front of a crowd during its annual intrasquad Saturday. The Sun Devils only graduated one senior and returned two upperclassmen from injury, so they are in good shape to have the same success as they did last year. Senior Anne Kuhm came out on top in the all around with a 39.175 and also won vault with a 9.850 for a clean Yurchenko full. Senior Justine Callis scored the highest on beam with a 9.875 while sophomore Cairo Leonard-Baker scored won bars with the same score. Kuhm and junior Jessica Ginn tied for floor with 9.775. Senior Katelyn Lentz made her return to competition on all four events after being sidelined halfway through the 2018 season with an ankle injury. Junior Morgan Hart was also back on bars after missing last season due to an ACL tear. We only got a glimpse of one freshman, Kaitlin Harvey, on beam. The entire intrasquad was live streamed on Facebook, and you can watch replays (in two parts) on the team’s Facebook page. All scores are available here.

Highlights from Washington’s Purple & Gold Instrasquad

We didn’t get many videos of the Huskies’ Purple & Gold showing this season, but we did finally got a small video recap of the event. In order of appearance: Evanni Roberson, Maya Washington, Monica Riley, Malory Rose, Meaghan Ruttan and Michaela Nelson in the last two shots.

Oklahoma Previews 2019 Team at Intrasquad

The Sooners held an intrasquad last Friday and have posted full routines to YouTube. The vault lineup was full of Yurchenko one and a halfs, with Brehanna Showers (FTY), Nicole Lehrmann (1.5), Anastasia Webb (1.5), Olivia Trautman (1.5), Maggie Nichols (1.5) and Brenna Dowell (1.5) all showing solid vaults. Allie Stern also vaulted a Yurchenko one and a half in exhibition.

On bars, Showers led off with her unique-for-NCAA Shushunova, and Webb debuted her double front half-out dismount in front of a crowd. Alex Marks slotted in the second spot on the event while Dowell, Lehrmann and Nichols rounded out the lineup with their typical sets. Trautman and Karrie Thomas performed in exhibition. Beam (part 1, part 2) featured Trautman in the lead-off spot with a secure routine, followed by Lehrmann’s elegant set. Carly Woodard displayed a reworked routine featuring a split jump to her knees and Showers, Webb and Nichols all completed hit routines as well. Dowell notably performed in the first exhibition spot with a hit routine featuring a full-twisting back handspring while Thomas exhibitioned as well. We don’t have much footage of floor yet, but Showers, Lehrmann, Webb, Dowell, Nichols and Trautman formed the lineup, with Woodard in exhibition. The team posted a couple choreography tidbits on Twitter of Showers and Nichols.

Denver Debuts 2019 Team at Crimson & Gold Intrasquad

The Pioneers debuted their routines in front of a home crowd on Saturday. Vault featured fulls from Diana Chesnok, Mia Sundstrom and Alexandria Ruiz, Emily Glynn’s Tsuk full and Yurchenko one and a halfs from Maddie Karr and Lynnzee Brown. Bars returned the 2018 regulars of Claire Kern, Chesnok, Sundstrom, Glynn, Brown and Karr. Ruiz and Grace Broadhurst also showed solid routines. Beam saw the return of Courtney Loper, who did not compete in 2018, as well as Alexis Vasquez. Brown led off the event, and Ruiz, Sundstrom and Karr rounded out the competitive lineup on the event. In exhibition spots were Glynn and Chesnok. Floor took on a format with little difficulty to show the crowd how the team builds up to be competition-ready. The first two gymnasts, Vasquez and early joiner Natalie Morton, performed base routines with simple timers. Next, Loper and Kern performed routines with one full tumbling pass. Sundstrom also did one pass, but her full compettiive routine only has two tumbling passes altogether. The final group with Glynn, Karr and Brown all showed routines with two real passes but watered down difficulty in the case of Brown’s double layout.

After the meet, Kutcher-Rinehart explained that they “strategized much smarter this intrasquad instead of taking unnecessary chances.” This was the case with senior Kaitlyn Schou, who was rested to keep her body fresh for season and give others who may not typically make lineups experience competing in front of a crowd. Kutcher-Rinehart also explained that freshman Maddie Quarles’ status is unknown and that they are taking it day by day.

Instagram Story and Snapchat Roundup

Katelyn Ohashi Learns New Choreography

After performing her Michael Jackson floor routine at Meet the Bruins, UCLA senior Katelyn Ohashi began work on some fun, new choreography for the upcoming season. Associate head coach Chris Waller posted a video has since been deleted, but it sounded like a greatest hits routine, including Earth, Wind and Fire, Janet Jackson, the Jackson Five and Tina Turner among others.

Paige Nicholas works Tsuk Half

Northern Illinois’ Paige Nicholas has performed a variety of Tsuk-entry vaults over the course of her career. The senior is currently training a clean Tsuk layout half, an upgrade from last year’s layout. She has also previously competed a tucked full.

Alabama Holds Another Intrasquad

Alabama held another team intrasquad this Saturday, with small previews shown on its Instagram story. Among the updates, transfer Tia Kiaku showed great leap positions on both beam and floor. We also saw freshman Emily Gaskins start beam with her candlestick mount from her elite days, which will be a unique and exciting skill in the NCAA. In addition, sophomore Alonza Klopfer was shown on bars, where she competed a Jaeger. Klopfer only competed beam and floor in a handful of meets last year, so it would be great to see her make it into a new lineup. The same goes for senior Angelina Giancroce, who hasn’t competed floor since 2016 but showed some choreography during the intraquad.

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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