The Dismount: Week 3

We’re slowly working our way into the heart of the season. Eight teams now have hit the 197 mark, and gymnasts are finally starting to hit their strides. Plus, the number of season-ending injuries are slowing down! Always a good thing!

Below you’ll not only find fast facts from every DI meet this weekend (for more on USAG and NCGA teams, check out their respective Dismounts), but a few superlatives for some of our favorite moments as well.

Routine of the Week

Lexy Ramler (Minnesota), beam, 10.000

The Minnesotan finally got her 10! And it was well-deserved too. With flawless form and technique, we’re more surprised she didn’t strike perfection sooner. Plus, you gotta love her megawatt smile after every nailed skill.

Stick of the Week

Maddie Karr (Denver), vault

Our favorite part of this Maddie Karr stuck vault isn’t the stick itself but rather the over-the-top salute afterward. Dare we say it’s our favorite salute in the NCAA?

Most Carol Score

Maggie Nichols (Oklahoma), beam, 9.975

Nichols had a 0.1 wobble during her routine and still got a near perfect score. She also had a rough pak catch (for her) to a sort of out of control van Leeuwen and went 9.950 on bars. It was a weird day. 

Note: The routines selected for this category are not a reflection on the gymnast performing the routine but rather the judging of the routine itself.

Silliest Reason to Lose a Tenth

Oregon State was in the heat of a close battle with Arizona at Sacramento State, when it put its last three vaulters up out of order and incurred a one tenth neutral deduction from the team total for the error.

Best Jump Series

Ursinus sophomore Kaylin Knapsack not only has an amazing name, but also this stellar beat jump to pike three-quarter on beam. It’s OK, we watched it several dozen times, too. 

Best of Both Worlds

Utah State freshman Sofi Sullivan earned a 9.900 for one of the most simultaneously aggressive and graceful beam routines we’ve seen in a while. Her front aerial to back pike was devastatingly good; the beam may have been shaking, but Sullivan never wavered! 

Biggest Glow-Up

Alaska junior Tere Alonso earned a 9.850 on bars this weekend, smashing her previous career high by over four tenths. She helped the Seawolves earn its third highest bars score in program history.

The Highlights

No. 1 Oklahoma at No. 9 Alabama
Full Results Oklahoma: 198.250 Alabama: 197.400
VT: Nichols 10.000 UB: Doggette, Nichols & Smith 9.950 BB: Webb 9.950 FX: Nichols 9.975 AA: Nichols 39.825

The Big Storyline: Oklahoma garnered the first 198-plus score of the season on the road, further cementing itself as the team to beat yet again. Alabama had one of its most promising meets in some time, with an especially great performance from freshman Makarri Doggette (on all events but vault). 

Implications: Alabama will rise atop its SEC competitors this week. We saw some incomplete performances from projected stars. We finally caught a glimpse of Olivia Trautman, but she competed only on bars (scoring a career high 9.900). Also, Lexi Graber competed on vault and bars but scratched the rest of the meet due to precautionary reasons (we learned she twisted her ankle on beam last week).

Records: Maggie Nichols notched the highest all around total of the season, and her 10.000 on vault is her 18th such score in her career. She is now in sole position of seventh most tens of all time. 

No. 32 Arkansas at No. 1 Oklahoma
Full Results OU: 198.175 Ark.: 196.550
VT: Nichols 10.000 UB: Nichols, Degouveia, Thomas 9.950 BB: Nichols 9.975 FX: Nichols 9.975 AA: Nichols 39.900

The Big Storyline: Maggie Nichols went 39.900, just 0.025 off her career high and the Oklahoma program record, on a pretty off day. Her vault score aside, this one was a Carol-fest. She caught her pak close, had a 0.100 wobble on beam among uncharacteristic form things and was a little wild on a floor landing, but still was nearly perfect? We do think she can get a real 40.0 and have nothing against her, but tonight was not as close to perfection as the scores would indicate, and we wish the judges would do their jobs. It was a little unhinged in a few other places, but overall scores weren’t extremely wild, save a few floor and bars sets. Arkansas looked strong overall, with some big mistakes that are fixable, like steps on landings and deep knees on floor passes.

Implications: Oklahoma proves once again that it’s the team to beat with this one, with two back-to-back 198s on a double meet weekend. Despite some scattered overscoring, this was within a few tenths of a real score for the Sooners. Arkansas will be thrilled with this away total under its belt when we hit NQS.

Controversies: See above. We can’t keep typing about it, or we will lose our remaining brain cells.

No. 2 Florida at No. 19 Missouri
Full Results Florida 196.850 Missouri: 195.600
VT: Reed 9.875 UB: Hu 9.950 BB: Thomas 9.925 FX: Thomas 9.950 AA: Schreiber 39.000

The Big Storyline: Florida looked a bit more vulnerable than in last week’s performance, in part because of Trinity Thomas’s off day (she fell on bars). But the Gators got better as they went along. Missouri hit all but one routine for an overall solid day, but it was in front of a much smaller crowd than usual due to bad weather. 

Implications: Florida squeaked in ahead of LSU but couldn’t catch Alabama this week. However, the Gators should remain in first in the SEC. Missouri’s Kambrie Brandt had a rough floor routine in which she fell twice, and she seemed dazed after getting off the apparatus; she was said to be uninjured, but it’s worth keeping an eye on where she stands in the lineup in the coming weeks. 

Controversies: Morgan Porter’s beam score of 9.250 (with no falls) might have raised an eyebrow for a casual observer, but she missed connecting her acro series and lost start value because of it.

No. 3 Denver at No. 32 Arkansas
Full Results Denver: 197.400 Arkansas: 196.825
VT: Brown & Karr 9.925 UB: Karr 9.925 BB: Karr & Vasquez 9.925 FX: Carter & Lovet 9.950 AA: Karr 9.925

The Big Storyline: Denver topped 197.000 for the first time this season, but the meet was all about Jordyn Wieber as she made her home debut with Arkansas. The Razorbacks had a big meet of their own, earning 49-plus on every event, and bars was especially solid with no gymnast scoring below 9.800.

Implications: Denver will slip below UCLA in the rankings despite a great meet. Razorbacks Sarah Shaffer and Hailey Garner both made expanded contributions from last week, with Shaffer adding beam and Garner competing bars. Also, Kiara Gianfagna made her all around debut with a 39.250.

Records: Arkansas freshman Bailey Lovett earned a career high of 9.950 on floor. Her title, shared with Sophia Carter, was Arkansas’ first of the season. Fayetteville showed out for Wieber’s first home meet, packing Barnhill Arena with a record home crowd of 6,714. Arkansas also earned its highest total for a home opener.

No. 5 UCLA, No. 34 Utah State at No. 15 BYU
Full Results UCLA: 197.425 BYU: 195.825 Utah State: 194.750
VT: Ross 9.875 UB: Ross 10.000 BB: Ross 9.975 FX: Kramer 9.950 AA: Ross 39.750

The Big Storyline: UCLA was finally able to put its errors from the first two meets behind it, finally hitting a full beam rotation and breaking 197 for the first time en route to sweeping the team, all around and event titles at this tri meet. Kyla Ross notched her second perfect 10 in a row on bars while also winning everything but floor, which teammate Gracie Kramer won. The Miner sisters yet again helped lead BYU, who finished second with a new season high despite only one event from star Shannon Evans. Utah State also notched a new season high, led by Autumn DeHarde’s second place finish on beam.

Implications: Helping the Bruins to their season high was the return of Olympic champion Madison Kocian. She competed for the first time this season, earning a 9.950 on bars to finish second and a 9.850 on floor to finish fifth. UCLA’s team score will propel it up to third in the rankings.

Records: Abbey Miner’s 39.375 in the all around is a career high. Her sister Sadie set a career high on beam with a 9.825.

No. 6 Minnesota, No. 44 Bowling Green and No. 72 Ursinus at No. 33 Rutgers
Full Results Minn: 196.875 RU: 194.550 BGSU: 190.925 UC: 184.800
VT: Loper 9.925 UB: Folcher, Ramler 9.850 BB: Ramler 10.0 FX: Loper 9.900 AA: Ramler 39.550

The Big Storyline: Lexy Ramler is the big story here. The Gopher scored the first 10.0 of her career on beam, in a rotation full of career highs which broke the Minnesota program record. Not to be lost in that is the fact that Ona Loper came in just half a tenth behind Ramler in the all around. The Gophers have two stud all arounders this season, which makes them more dangerous than ever on the national scene. Rutgers was also strong, putting up another mid-194. Freshman Hannah Joyner is living up to the hype and emerging as the team’s star. The Falcons came in three points below their total versus Eastern Michigan last week, due in large part to mistake-ridden bar and beam rotations. Ursinus, on the other hand, bested its opening meet score by about three points, led by strong beam and floor sets from Kaylin Knapsack.

Implications: Minnesota proved once again that it belongs in the mix at the top of the Big Ten, not to mention the national conversation. It will enter week four as the number one team in the conference, and will be pleased to have this away total under its belt. Rutgers is similarly making a case for itself in the middle-of-the-pack Big Ten squads after spending several seasons trailing behind them. Both teams will take some confidence away from this meet that should benefit them moving through season. Bowling Green will want to put this meet behind it and move forward. The team has plenty of away meets to drop this one out of its eventual NQS, but every low away total does add some pressure. Ursinus will remain right in the middle of both Division III and the NCGA-East, and Knapsack is part of the national beam and floor conversations.

Records: Joyner’s 9.925 on beam ties the Rutgers program record. Minnesota’s 49.700 on beam is a program record.

Controversies: We’ve landed at renewed talk about skimpy leos, this time Bowling Green’s, and we’re furious. A leo that doesn’t fit quite right does not make a gymnast more susceptible to abuse. That’s not how abuse works. It’s just not. Do your homework and stop spreading that drivel around our community. (May I suggest you start here.) Abusers are going to abuse no matter what their intended target is wearing. Implying a leotard is inviting abuse is victim blaming, something we just cannot tolerate either at College Gym News or on the whole in the gymnastics community. Think before you speak or type, and call it out when you see it.

No. 20 Auburn at No. 7 LSU
Full Results LSU: 196.575 Auburn: 196.275
VT: Edwards 9.950 UB: Gobourne 9.925 BB: Edney, Johnson & Sylvia 9.900 FX: Johnson 9.975 AA: Johnson 39.600

The Big Storyline: Auburn kept things interesting until the end, but LSU was able to get the win at home on the heels of a big all around performance from Kiya Johnson. Auburn had a clean performance with the exception of some unusually bouncy landings on vault; these tenths ultimately kept Auburn from repeating last year’s victory. 

Implications: LSU improved, but hasn’t yet had a breakout meet. Freshman Alyona Shchennikova was out of the bars lineup this week after falling in her first two outings, and it’s unclear when she’ll return. The Tigers earned their highest bars total (49.275) in her absence. Another freshman, Auburn’s Cassie Stevens, debuted in the all around this week and earned a solid score of 39.050. Her teammate, sophomore Sabrina Cheney, made her career debut in the floor leadoff spot. She scored a 9.525.

No. 35 Iowa at No. 8 Maryland
Full Results UMD: 196.125 Iowa: 195.675
VT: Killian 9.825 UB: Barber 9.950 BB: Vance 9.875 FX: Guerin 9.950 AA: Barber 39.425

The Big Storyline: Maryland solidified itself as a Big Ten team to watch with a second 196. This is a very strong bars squad, and it has the beam and floor numbers to put up solid totals. The Terps are now 48 for 48 across their first two meets. We learned that Collea Burgess is not eligible to compete this year (team rules violation), and Randi Morris was on the broadcast team. Iowa continued to put up some of the best floor work in the country and improved on its total for the second week in a row. Its week one 192 is a distant memory, although beam mistakes remain a problem.

Implications: Maryland will enter next week at No. 11 nationally and No. 3 in the Big Ten. This is absolutely a team to keep an eye on. The Terps will have gained confidence after a second fully hit meet and seem to be on a roll. Audrey Barber owns the second-best all around total in the conference and is No. 11 nationally.

Records: This is the first time Maryland has defeated Iowa in a dual since joining the Big Ten.

Controversies: Iowa was trapped at O’Hare Airport in Chicago for what seemed like an eternity. They made Tik Toks. They hung out with the similarly trapped Rutgers rowing team. They waited. Maryland sent encouraging GIFs and pushed the meet back several times to accommodate delays. Ah, winter.

No. 31 Penn State at No. 10 Nebraska
Full Results UNL: 195.150 PSU: 194.000
VT: De Jesus, Houchin 9.900 UB: Houchin 9.875 BB: Hassel, McCracken 9.825 FX: Bridgens 9.925 AA: De Jesus 39.075

The Big Storyline: Well yuck. This meet wasn’t too pretty. The first half was fine. Bars was scored a little tight for both teams while vault was a little looser. Everyone landed on their feet, and there were some bars saves but no crises. The meet was very close. Things were going swimmingly. And then both teams had to touch the beam. In the third rotation, Nebraska had two falls and two mediocre sets while Penn State put up a fine floor six, including a career high for Lauren Bridgens. In the fourth, Penn State had three falls (or fall-like scores) on beam. Not pretty. Another item of note: Kaylee Quinn was seen on crutches. 

Implications: Beam was the Nittany Lions’ enemy in 2019. Having a beam-plosion early in 2020 is not a great sign. We know they can put up a hit rotation, but when nerves set in, the dominos can clearly begin to fall—just like last year. It is a known problem with this squad, and they’ll need to adjust fast. We’re not even near NQS crunch time yet, but if away beam is going to be an issue, they need to make changes starting now. Nebraska is in a similar boat. When things start to get rocky for the Huskers, they can get in their heads and let a small problem snowball into mistakes in routine after routine. Like Penn State, those things need to be addressed now if 2020 will go more smoothly than 2019 did.

Controversies: It’s not a controversy, but we’d like to call out how cool it was that Nebraska offered a Spanish-language feed for this meet! Yes, good, A-plus, more.

No. 29 North Carolina, No. 39 N.C. State and No. 50 Lindenwood at No. 11 Kentucky
Full Results Kentucky: 196.375 UNC: 194.625 N.C. State: 194.425 Lindenwood: 193.300
VT: Patterson, Allen, Shepard 9.875 UB: Robinson 9.875 BB: Angeny 9.925 FX: Warren, Korth Worley 9.925 AA: Korth 39.400

The Big Storyline: The meet started out slow for Kentucky, having to count a couple of low scores on bars, but the Wildcats bounced back with big totals on beam and floor to break 196 for the second straight meet. North Carolina started out strong, even leading Kentucky after the second rotation, but a counting fall on bars was once again the Tar Heels’ undoing. 

Implications: North Carolina still leads the conference in average score, and if it can improve on bars it will be one of the favorites to win the conference title. N.C. State improved on its performance from last week, but a counted fall on beam and Drew Grantham still competing a watered down vault means there is still much more for the Wolfpack to improve upon.

Records: Ella Warren’s 9.925 on floor was a career high as was Alexis Allen’s 9.875 on vault and Meredith Robinson’s 9.875 on bars.

No. 24 West Virginia at No. 12 Iowa State
Full Results Iowa State: 195.800 WVU: 194.500
VT: Sophia Steinmeyer, 9.900 UB: Natalia Ros Vaquer, 9.850 BB: Kendra Combs, 9.850 FX: Andrea Maldonado, 9.900 AA: Ana Palacios, 38.875

The Big Storyline: Iowa State built on its season opener with another high-195 total. Cyclone newcomer Andrea Maldonado scored one of just two 9.900-plus scores of the meet on floor (the other by her teammate, Sophia Steinmeyer, on beam). West Virginia didn’t put up its best meet, but freshmen Kianna Yancey was a highlight for the Mountaineers.

Implications: West Virginia freshman Abbie Pierson was notably missing from her strongest events, vault and floor. Her vault is easily the best on the team, and if she is in any way not at 100%, it’s a big loss for the Mountaineers. This meet did give us a glimpse of what these two teams can do, but it didn’t affect either team’s ranking in the Big 12.

Records: Andrea Maldonado’s 9.900 on floor is a career high in her young career.

No. 12 Iowa State at No. 17 Georgia
Full Results Georgia: 197.325 Iowa State: 196.625
VT: Maxwell 9.95 UB: Roberts, Oakley, Ros Vaquer 9.925 BB: Baumann 9.925 FX: Maldonado, Vega 9.950 AA: Lukacs 39.175

The Big Storyline: Both teams put up their best meets of the season, each scoring a season high. Georgia put together its first complete meet and broke 197 while Iowa State improved on its first two meets and broke 196 for the first time. 

Implications: We learned that Iowa State’s Ariana Orrego is deferring this season to train for the Olympics, which could impact the Cyclones in the future. The Cyclones have depth, though, so it shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Records: Andrea Maldonado topped her 9.900 career high on floor set on Friday with a 9.950. Natalia Ros Vaquer’s 9.925 on bars is also a career high. Maddy Langkamp’s 9.850 on floor is a personal best. Mikayla Magee’s 9.875 on floor is a career high, as is Megan Roberts’ 9.925, Haley de Jong’s 9.875 and Amanda Cashman’s 9.825, all on bars.

No. 16 Michigan at No. 13 Illinois
Full Results UM: 196.700 Ill: 195.650
VT: Wilson 9.875 UB: Heiskell, Takekawa 9.875 BB: Funk, Brooks 9.900 FX: Brooks 9.900 AA: Brooks 39.500

The Big Storyline: Michigan used this meet to get back on track after its minor beamplosion opening meet. As expected, the Wolverines got ahead early while Illinois put up a fine but not outstanding vault rotation. The Illini made a push on beam, but it wasn’t enough to defeat a Michigan squad that was consistently solid on all four. We saw Nicoletta Koulos make her debut on vault and floor for Michigan, and Abby Heiskell performed a competition bars set. These Michigan lineups felt more secure and less risky than last week. Arayah Simons was missing for the Illini.

Implications: All feels right now for Michigan. With one hit under its belt, this team can focus on pushing for the big scores we expect of a national-quality team. That big initial pressure will be off. Illinois has now put up three strong mid-195s. While that’s a great start for a team that began in a rocky place in 2019, the conversation now is when will we see the 196. That’s the next step in Illinois’ renaissance.

No. 14 Central Michigan at No. 28 Eastern Michigan
Full Results Central Michigan: 195.100 Eastern Michigan: 194.275
VT: DeMers 9.900 UB: Bezold, Pedrick 9.850 BB: Tong 9.900 FX: Pedrick 9.875 AA: Pedrick 39.400

The Big Storyline: This meet was the first conference matchup for both teams, and while Central Michigan was the favorite, it really could have gone either way if both teams hit. Central Michigan freshman Hannah DeMers competed a gorgeous (and stuck) Yurchenko full that was rewarded with a 9.900, the highest vault score in the conference thus far, and sophomore Morgan Tong also notched the highest beam score in the MAC this season with a 9.900. Eagles senior Emili Dobronics is nursing a shoulder injury and did not compete bars, and junior Jada Rondeau was under the weather and only competed on bars and beam—the absence of their scores was noticeable.

Implications: Central Michigan remains in first place in the conference after this week, and Eastern Michigan drops to third. At this point, the Chippewas are the heavy conference favorite, and this meet further solidified that fact. There were some misses and form issues that need to be cleaned up, but overall it was a strong showing the proved Central Michigan will be a tough team to catch in the MAC standings. That being said, Eastern Michigan has a lot of potential, especially on beam. The meet didn’t necessarily reflect that, but once it cleans up form issues and increases consistency, expect to see the Eagles keeping pace.

Controversies: We’d like to take another look at Pedrick’s beam routine—there was a major balance check (granted she covered it well and made it look like she was going into an arabesque)—because 9.875 seemed a bit high. 

No. 25 Stanford at No. 18 California
Full Results California: 197.325 Stanford: 195.550
VT: George 9.875 UB: Watterson 9.975 BB: Bordas, DeSouza, Watterson 9.875 FX: George 9.950 AA: George 39.575

The Big Storyline: A school record-tying bars rotation—including a near perfect set from Emi Watterson—led California to victory and a season-high team score that makes the Golden Bears the seventh team this season to break 197. California also swept all the event titles, led by Kyana George who won the all around, vault and floor. Stanford was able to bounce back from missed routines on every event to still record a season high score, but suffered a scare at the end of the meet when Kyla Bryant landed on her back on the beam during her dismount. She appeared to be OK after walking off of the mat under her own power.

Implications: Unfortunately, there were several gymnasts who sat out of this meet due to injury. Rachael Flam, a regular in the vault and floor lineups for Stanford, has reportedly suffered a foot injury and is out for the season along with teammate Aleeza Yu, a vault and bars specialist, due to a back injury. California’s Ashton Woodbury was also spotted in a boot at this meet.

Records: In addition to several career bests for the Golden Bears, California’s team score is the fourth best in school history.

No. 21 Arizona, No. 27 Oregon State at No. 58 Sacramento State
Full Results Arizona: 195.425 Oregon State: 194.875 Sacramento State: 191.725
VT: Leydin 9.875 UB: Brovedani 9.875 BB: Lazaro 9.925 FX: Yanish 9.900 AA: Brent 38.725

The Big Storyline: The Wildcats used wins by Maddi Leydin on vault and Zaza Brovedani on bars to win this West Coast tri meet and beat fellow Pac-12 foe Oregon State. The Beavers finished second with a great beam rotation led by Maela Lazaro’s event win, but bars held them back from being able to call the meet a hit. Sacramento State finished third but got a season best team score and an all around win by junior Jordyn Brent.

Implications: After failing to break 195 for the second time this season, Oregon State will slide even farther down the rankings this week. Coming off an appearance at the NCAA championships last season, this was not the start to the season the Beavers were looking for.

Records: Lazaro’s winning beam score ties the senior’s career high on the event.

Controversies: Oregon State suffered a one tenth neutral deduction for performing out of order on vault.

No. 22 Boise State at No. 23 Washington
Full Results Washington: 196.275 Boise State: 193.975
VT: Cunningham 9.875 UB: Muhlenhaupt 9.925 BB: Amado 9.875 FX: Cunningham, Roberson, Washington 9.925 AA: Roberson 39.375

The Big Storyline: Washington in its home opener had no problem getting past Boise State who struggled just one week after losing Courtney McGregor for the season due to injury. The Huskies were led by dual event winners Evanni Roberson and Amara Cunningham, who were part of a three way tie for the floor title. The Broncos did manage wins by Emily Muhlenhaupt on bars and Isabella Amado on beam, but that didn’t negate the counting fall on bars and several falls on floor.

Implications: This meet reassured the worry that many had concerning Boise State’s lineups without McGregor. The Broncos will slide down the rankings after this performance while Washington will rise.

Records: Cunningham’s two event wins were both career high marks, as was Roberson’s score on floor.

No. 26 Southern Utah at No. 38 New Hampshire
Full Results SUU: 195.400 UNH: 194.975
VT: Kylie Gorgenyi, Caitlin Kho, 9.800 UB: Shylen Murakami, 9.875 BB: Shylen Murakami, 9.850 FX: Hannah Nipp, Hailey Lui, 9.875 AA: Karley McClain, 39.200

The Big Storyline: Southern Utah posted a season-high 195.400 led by a 49.025 on bars. Floor has room for improvement for the Thunderbirds, as they had to count two scores in the 9.6 range. New Hampshire put up a near-195; its 194.975 is its highest total of the season. Floor was a highlight for the Wildcats. Hailey Lui led the way with a 9.875 that tied the highest score on any event.

Implications: Southern Utah moves just outside the top 25 at No. 26 and New Hampshire moves just outside the top 36 at No. 38. Conference rankings remain unchanged (though New Hampshire’s total here is the highest EAGL score of the season), but New Hampshire’s upward trending scores are ones to watch as the season progresses.

Records: New Hampshire’s Robyn Kelley set two career highs: a 9.750 on beam and a 9.850 on floor.

No. 49 UC Davis at No. 30 Arizona State
Full Results Arizona State: 195.250 UC Davis: 187.225
VT: Leonard-Baker 9.775 UB: Leonard-Baker 9.925 BB: Wilson 9.875 FX: Hebert 9.900 AA: Boyer 39.125

The Big Storyline: Arizona State star Cairo Leonard-Baker finally seems to be back on track, still being held to limited routines but winning the only two events she competed to help the Sun Devils to a new season high. UC Davis unfortunately had an overall rough meet in addition to a disastrous beam rotation, leading the Aggies to record a score over six points lower than last week’s total. The bright spot for UC Davis came on floor where junior Kelley Hebert won the event title.

Implications: While rankings are being calculated by average and not NQS, this score will significantly drop the Aggies in the rankings. Thankfully, UC Davis competes in more than enough away meets to be able to drop this score for its NQS if it can perform well in those upcoming opportunities.

Records: Senior Morgan Wilson won the event title on beam for Arizona State with a career high 9.875.

No. 36 Ohio State at No. 42 Michigan State
Full Results MSU: 195.450 tOSU: 195.275
VT: Aepli 9.875 UB: Mitchell, Miller 9.875 BB: Douglas, Lowe 9.825 FX: Mitchell 9.925 AA: Mitchell 39.325

The Big Storyline: Michigan State stunned the Buckeyes in this one. Ohio State was ahead by a point going into the final rotation, and then melted down on beam, counting a fall. Meanwhile, the Spartans were excellent on floor and stole the meet. After her viral exhibition bars routine, Alaina Raybon was in that lineup. Ella Douglas was missing from floor; on the broadcast Mike Rowe said he was “resting” some gymnasts, so there’s no reason to panic about her health. Despite a beam fall, Olivia Aepli continues to show huge improvement in her mental game and details over past seasons; the senior is poised for a strong year. Lea Mitchell’s all around total is in the top five in the conference so far.

Implications: Both teams needed these scores. The Big Ten is proving to be extremely competitive this year, and every solid score in the bank is important across the conference. The Spartans will shoot up the rankings when they can drop their week one total, assuming they can keep putting up scores in the 195-plus range. Ohio State improved by over a point on week one, despite counting a fall. If this team can keep its head in the game and sort out beam in the next few weeks, it will be a dangerous player in the conference as well. The pieces are all there for the Buckeyes, it’s now just a matter of staying on the beam.

No. 37 San Jose State at No. 55 Alaska
Full Results San Jose State: 194.375  Alaska: 192.525
VT: Chan


UB: Hyderally


BB: Hyderally, Milne


FX: Chan


AA: Chan


The Big Storyline: A solid meet for both the Spartans and the Seawolves, launching them into first and second place, respectively, in the MPSF rankings.

Implications: MPSF rankings are always a bit of a wildcard, but no one could have predicted that Alaska would outrank both UC Davis and Air Force (even this early in the season). The Seawolves have been able to capitalize on uneven performances by the Aggies and Falcons, and enjoy their highest ranking since joining the MPSF in 2003. The Spartans won back-to-back MPSF conference championships in 2017 and 2018, but fell to Air Force in 2019. Their campaign to reclaim the title in 2020 is off to a promising start, but they will need to stay sharp if they wants to remain on top (they certainly can’t bank on weekly sub-190 scores from Davis and Air Force). 

Records: Alaska’s Tere Alonso, Sophia Hyderally and Louisa Marie Knapp earned career highs on bars while San Jose State freshman Emma Milne won her first collegiate event title (she shared the beam win with Hyderally). 

Controversies: One of the beam judges initially took an up-to-the-level deduction for Hyderally’s routine. However, by the time she realized her mistake, it was too late for the Seawolves to inquire or have the score corrected. She should have received a 9.900.

No. 48 Ball State at No. 39 Pittsburgh
Full Results Ball state: 193.750 Pittsburgh: 193.225
VT: Ward, Nychyk, Schweikert 9.775 UB: Burton, 9.825 BB: Herbine, 9.800 FX: Burton, 9.875 AA: Ostendorf, 38.725

The Big Storyline: Ball State improved upon its overall score by a point from last week, which also bumped it up a couple spots in the MAC rankings. It had an overall solid meet, avoiding any major mistakes, but with lots of things it will be working on improving in the weeks to come. Pittsburgh likely would have walked away with the win here had it not been for a bit of a disastrous beam rotation where it had to count two falls. On the plus side, Pittsburgh transfer Michaela Burton continues to shine for the Panthers, earning two event titles. 

Implications: This is a meet that Pittsburgh will certainly want to put behind it, but it isn’t representative of a long-term issue. Rankings this early in the season barely mean anything, and when NQS kicks in, this is a score that they should be able to drop.

No. 47 Kent State, No. 54 Penn and Cornell at No. 41 George Washington
Full Results Kent State: 195.325 George Washington: 193.225 Penn: 192.850 Cornell: 191.375
VT: Chambliss, DeCavitch 9.875 UB: Raymond, Banen, Chambliss, Trott, DeCavitch 9.800 BB: DeCavitch 9.875 FX: DeCavitch 9.875 AA: DeCavitch 39.400

The Big Storyline: Kent State walked away with the win and a big score, putting it into second place in the MAC and boosting its overall ranking a few places at least. Kent State freshman Rachel DeCavitch also had a HUGE day—she won the all around with a whopping 39.400. George Washington was having an average meet until it got to the floor, where they ended up making large errors on four of its six routines and only managed a 46.600 as a result. Both Penn and Cornell improved on their scores from the previous week, with the latter doing so by over four points. 

Implications: Kent State jumps up to second place in the MAC with this performance, and DeCavitch is now tied with Central Michigan’s Denelle Pedrick for the highest all around score in the conference. This was a big day for it, and much more representative of its potential than the first week.

No. 42 Western Michigan at No. 46 Northern Illinois
Full Results Western Michigan: 193.900 Northern Illinois: 192.775
VT: Kofmehl, Gruber, Spence, Harrison 9.750 UB: Hooper 9.825 BB: Lord, Mohler 9.850 FX: Kofmehl 9.875 AA: Sears 38.775

The Big Storyline: Western Michigan beat Northern Illinois on the Huskies’ home turf for the first time since 2012. Both teams had some issues, with at least one fall or major error on every single event. Losing Payton Murphy this season has stung, but the Broncos did show that they have enough depth to help cushion the absence of her scoring potential. It just might take them a little bit longer to hit those marks. Northern Illinois has had a rough start to the season overall and will want to put the first couple weeks behind it. It is capable of much more than these scores reflect. Huskie freshman Tara Kofmehl in particular had a spectacular floor routine, where she captured the event title with a 9.875.

Implications: Northern Illinois drops to sixth overall in the MAC, which isn’t where the reigning conference champions will want to remain. Western Michigan holds steady in third thanks to its massive week one score. The Broncos are going to want to prove that their first week out wasn’t a fluke (or solely the result of Murphy’s performance), so each week they move closer to that total is a good sign.

No. 45 West Chester, No. 59 William & Mary and Cornell at No. 51 Towson
Full Results Towson: 194.725 W&M: 192.150 WCU: 191.400 Cornell: 186.750
VT: Wesoly, Vitoff, Bolen 9.750 UB: Stewart 9.825 BB: Waldman 9.825 FX: Temkov 9.800 AA: Meakim 38.900

The Big Storyline: Towson showed what it is capable of this season, besting its season high from last year by nearly a point. Freshmen Camille Vitoff and Amy Stewart continue to impress, going 1-2 on the uneven bars. William & Mary improved upon its performance from last week but still showed a lot of room for growth.

Implications: Towson’s score here was not only over two points better than last week, but it is the third highest score in the EAGL this season, showing that Towson should be more competitive with its conference mates this year than in the past. While William & Mary improved from last week, it still only put up five people on floor, indicating a potential depth problem. This is something we will be watching in the coming weeks. 

Records: Towson’s total is its highest ever in a home opener and bested all its scores from 2019.

No. 62 Southern Connecticut and No. 69 Cortland at No. 52 Temple
Full Results Temple: 190.675 SCSU: 187.500 Cortland: 185.075
VT: Castrence 9.800 UB: Castrence 9.800 BB: Castrence 9.825 FX: Castrence 9.850 AA: Castrence 39.275

The Big Storyline: It was a rough meet for Temple with multiple counted falls, but it wasn’t all doom and gloom as sophomore phenom Ariana Castrence swept all the events and set a program record all around score.

Implications: Temple will take a bit of a dip in the rankings with a low score here. The Owls were still only able to put up five vaults, as Jazmyn Estrella is still out, so this will be something to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. 

Records: Castrence’s all around score is a program record.

No. 57 SEMO at No. 56 Illinois State
Full Results Illinois State: 191.300 SEMO: 190.925
VT: Cooke 9.700 UB: Iribarren 9.800 BB: Kaziska 9.825 FX: Topp 9.825 AA: Kaziska 38.750

The Big Storyline: The Illinois State Redbirds walked away with the win in this conference dual, but it wasn’t without some issues. The meet had a rough start due to a vault malfunction that caused the Redbirds to initially skip their vault rotation and head straight to bars. Luckily they were strong on that event, with three gymnasts scoring above 9.650 to take the top three spots and sophomore Sofia Iribarren winning the title with a big 9.800 score. 

Implications: While not the strongest showing for the Redbirds, the score keeps them in second place in the MIC and shouldn’t have too big of an impact on their overall ranking. Freshman Angelica Labat had a mishap on vault, where she received only a 9.275. With her big Yurchenko 1.5, we still expect her to have big scoring impact for the Redbirds in the future. 

Controversies: We are unclear on what exactly the vault malfunction was, but anytime there is a big enough equipment issue that it causes the team to skip the event until it is fixed, we’d consider that controversial. 

READ THIS NEXT: Technique Point: Breaking Down the Double Layout Bars Dismount

Article by the editors of College Gym News

Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.