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Last Week in College Gym: September 9

During the offseason, it can be difficult to keep up with all the news and training updates happening across the country. 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, for example, someone training their same routine from the past season.

Of course, even with eight editors scouring social media for clips, we’ll still miss updates from time to time. Let us know in the comments or on social media if we didn’t include a new skill, injury comeback or more from someone on your favorite team!

Training Updates

  • Frazier Trains Unique Floor Pass: UCLA sophomore Margzetta Frazier posted a video on Twitter of herself performing a side aerial to round-off to three back handsprings and a stuck double tuck. Frazier tumbled this pass on a competition floor, so it’s very possible we may see this in the 2020 season.
  • Utah freshman Maile O’Keefe is training both a front aerial to scale and a side aerial + layout step-out on beam, as seen on Utah’s Instagram Stories.
  • Also on Utah’s Instagram Story, sophomore Cristal Isa was working on a new beam series; a back handspring to two layout step-outs.
  • Georgia sophomore Rachel Baumann was seen working a triple wolf turn on floor Georgia’s Instagram Story.
  • Also on Georgia’s Instagram Story, freshman Amanda Cashman threw a double back dismount off beam.
  • Oklahoma freshman Ragan Smith is keeping her Ricna in her college routine per her recent Instagram post
  • Illinois State junior Cammie Topp is training a double layout.
  • Freshman Alexis Hankins is already putting in work at Ohio State; the team posted her performing a full-in to its Instagram Story. Hankins performed the skill in J.O., but it has improved significantly.

Elite News

  • Incoming San Jose State freshman Emma Milne and Tienna Nguyen (North Carolina ‘21) competed at the Mersin Cup in Turkey. Milne, representing Canada, and Nguyen, representing Vietnam, both qualified to the bars and floor finals, while Nguyen also placed third in the beam final. 
  • Stanford’s Kaylee Cole has qualified to 2019 world championships for Bolivia. 
  • Alabama sophomore Shallon Olsen and Brooklyn Moors (UCLA ‘21) have been named to Canada’s 2019 world championship team. Moors’ future classmate Frida Esparza was named to the Mexican team with the alternate to be named later while former UCLA team member Giuliana Pino will represent Ecuador.
  • Boise State alumna Sandra Collantes was named to Peru’s worlds team. 

Coaching Changes

  • West Chester alumna Cassie Hageman has joined Temple’s coaching staff.
  • Kentucky’s Rachel Garrison has been promoted to associate head coach.
  • Former Michigan State assistant coach Brittany Harris is the new director of operations for Rutgers while former Bowling Green assistant coach Marissa Beucler is the new volunteer assistant coach at Pittsburgh.
  • Oklahoma coaches Lou Ball and Tom Haley have both been promoted to associate head coach.
  • Central Michigan has named Don Houlton and alumna Katy Clements as assistant coaches.
  • Former Minnesota gymnast Hannah Hitchcock will serve as volunteer assistant coach at Minnesota.
  • North Carolina alumna Madison Hargrave has been named volunteer assistant coach at N.C. State. 
  • Alexandra Pintchouk returns to her alma mater Stanford as an assistant coach.
  • Michigan State has named Whitney Snowden and Brittany Webster to its coaching staff.

What Else? 

  • Rutgers Unveils New Facility: Rutgers gymnasts got a first look at the school’s new gymnastics facilities when they returned to campus last week, including an updated practice facility, locker rooms and a new weight room and recovery space.
  • Gagliardi, Brenner Featured in Big Ten Ads to Air on BTN: Ohio State’s Claire Gagliardi and Michigan’s Abby Brenner are featured in new BTN commercials that will air on the network during Big Ten action.
  • Farrell Awarded Full Scholarship: Rutgers bar standout Shannon Farrell was awarded a full scholarship for her senior season.
  • Oklahoma’s Maggie Nichols announced plans to take a fifth year to serve as a student coach.
  • Stella Savvidou no longer appears on the UCLA roster.
  • Haley Kondo is no longer on Cornell’s roster while Natalia Nottingham has rejoined the team.
  • Nicole Nebel and Paige Yasui-Durlacher no longer appear on Sacramento State’s roster. 
  • Georgia’s Sami Davis has medically retired
  • Alaska gymnastics and the university system get a temporary reprieve.
  • Amoree Lockhart announced her commitment to Denver and plans to begin her collegiate career this season. She was previously committed to Oklahoma for the 2021 season.

Numerous athletes and teams have been touched by tragedy during the past month: 

  • 2019 Kentucky graduate Aubree Rosa is recovering after a devastating car accident; you can help support her recovery here
  • George Washington alumna Alex DeMoura (2017) tragically passed away while swimming with friends. A scholarship fund has been established in her memory; contributions can be made here
  • Don Finnegan, father of past and future LSU Tigers Sarah and Aleah Finnegan, passed away after a long illness; sadly, Sarah’s teammate Lexie Priessman unexpectedly lost her own father soon after.

All of us at CGN offer our deepest condolences and support to those affected by recent losses.

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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