The Dismount: Week 4

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

Lexy Ramler achieved perfection for the second week in a row at the Gopher home opener this week. Considering she performs virtually an identical set each time she’s on beam, we suspect that reaching perfection will become routine for Ramler in no time at all. 

Stick of the Week

Vanessa Deniz, Oklahoma, floor

Vanessa Deniz made her debut for the Sooners, competing on bars, beam and floor at Metroplex. She was put on floor last-minute for Maggie Nichols, and performed a stellar set for a 9.900 and share of the event title, including this lovely closing pass.

Save of the Week

Talitha Jones (Cal), beam

The Cal sophomore had a huge wobble on her series with two backbends and a bend at the hips but somehow managed to stay on the beam.

Fall of the Week

Derrian Gobourne (Auburn), floor

Auburn sophomore Derrian Gobourne had an uncharacteristic miss on floor, her standout event. But in true Gobourne fashion, she used the fall as a chance to strike a glamorous pose. 

Confused Commentator of the Week

“Kayla Ross, 2012 gold medalist in Beijing.”

Best Videobomb

Clair Kaji (Iowa)

The Highlights

Metroplex Challenge with No. 1 Oklahoma, No. 4 Alabama, No. 5 Denver and No. 18 Georgia
Full Results OU: 197.525 DU: 196.575 UA: 196.575 UGA: 196.300
VT: Nichols 9.975 UB: Karr 9.975 BB: L. Brown, Karr, Webb, Nichols 9.900 FX: Graber, Karr, Webb, Deniz 9.900 AA: Karr, Webb 39.650

The Big Storyline: This one was a ride as always. Alabama hung in reasonably close to Oklahoma for the first half of the meet, falling behind on vault in the last rotation. The Sooners were good but not quite as dominant as usual on all three, coming in with a solid 197. They pulled Maggie Nichols from floor, likely to give her barely-hanging-on knees a little rest since the team was comfortably ahead. That gave Vanessa Deniz the chance to do her first career floor set in the anchor spot when all other competition had ended, which was fun. She also debuted on bars and beam. Denver had lower-than-normal totals on beam and floor, but a massive bars rotation saved the day. Georgia was just not able to get out of the 9.8s, which held the team below 197. Sabrina Vega got the entire arena to herself for her floor routine, and it was magical.

Implications: The Sooners won’t lose any ground after this one, though it is worth noting that Florida is inching closer and currently owns the highest team total in the country. Alabama and Denver won’t see much movement while Georgia will actually climb after other teams faltered this week. Alabama made some big, correctable errors here, which is promising for its place in the SEC. LSU and Florida are ahead, but not unreachable. 

Controversies: We’re all for exhibitions in duals, but why the heck are we doing them in prestige quad invites!? We guess everyone wants podium practice, but come on folks, quads are long enough as-is. Just a note: We think Jade Degouveia’s floor score is what it was because she performed three front fulls after bailing on her opening double full; she likely was short on difficulty, and gymnasts cannot compete three identical elements for credit. Commentators said it looked like a 9.850 start value was flashed.

No. 8 LSU at No. 2 Florida
Full Results Florida: 198.375 LSU: 197.775
VT: Edney & Harrold 9.950 UB: Thomas 10.000 BB: Johnson 10.000 FX: Johnson & Thomas 9.975 AA: Thomas 39.775

The Big Storyline: This was an inconsequential meet with nothing very exciting to report on, unless you consider Florida earning the highest team score of the season and its third highest team score ever “exciting.” Oh, and Trinity Thomas earned her first career 10.000 on bars. And LSU’s Kiya Johnson got a perfect score of her own on beam. So yeah, nothing too crazy. In all seriousness, this rivalry meet couldn’t have been much more exciting; both teams looked the best they could have been, with LSU especially showing some good progress.

Implications: LSU junior Sarah Edwards was unable to finish her floor routine after a rough landing on her middle pass, and LSU confirmed she was injured but in good spirits. It wouldn’t be surprising to see her miss some time. In lineup news, Sydney Johnson-Scharpf, a floor lineup staple for Florida, was replaced by Payton Richards. Johnson-Scharpf still competed, making her career debut on beam. 

Records: Florida set or tied 22 season or career highs. LSU senior Ruby Harrold earned a career high of 9.975 on bars.

Controversies: Though both teams performed admirably, it can’t be ignored that the judging was liberal at best. Both teams earned considerable scoring gifts, and that’s that. 

No. 3 UCLA at No. 25 Stanford
Full Results UCLA: 197.575 Stanford: 196.250
VT: Dennis, Ross 9.900 UB: Ross 9.950 BB: Glenn 9.975 FX: Ross 9.975 AA: Ross 39.575

The Big Storyline: Once again, Kyla Ross led the way for UCLA as it cruised to victory on the road at Stanford while earning a new season high. Ross won or tied for all but the beam title, which was won by fellow Bruin Grace Glenn who notched a near perfect 9.975 for the second meet in a row. Stanford also scored a new season high led by Kyla Bryant, who was the top performer for the Cardinal on three events and in the all around.

Implications: Bryant remaining in the all around just a week after a scary fall onto the beam is great news for Stanford who is already dealing with injury woes.

Records: Stanford sophomore Madison Brunette tied her career high on bars with a 9.875.

Controversies: After originally vaulting second in the lineup, UCLA’s Gracie Kramer had to redo her vault at the end of the rotation for reasons unknown to us. She ended up scoring a 9.825 for her vault.

No. 29 Arizona State at No. 5 Utah
Full Results Utah: 197.050 Arizona State: 194.200
VT: Burch 9.950 UB: Dula, Isa 9.925 BB: LeBlanc 9.900 FX: Isa, Paulson 9.900 AA: O’Keefe 39.225

The Big Storyline: The Utes used season highs on bars, beam and floor to easily get past visiting Arizona State, post a season-high team score and sweep all the event titles. Cristal Isa led the way for Utah, winning both bars and floor while taking second on beam. Arizona State struggled in its opening rotation, suffering three missed bars routines, but was able to bounce back with consistency across its remaining three events. Cairo Leonard-Baker was still limited to only vault and bars, but was the Sun Devils’ top performer by taking third on both events.

Implications: Arizona State will slide down in the rankings after posting a season low score over a point lower than its total from a week ago.

Records: Utah’s Alexia Burch stuck her Yurchenko 1.5 on vault for a career high 9.950. Isa also tied her career high on bars while setting a new one on floor.

No. 17 Illinois at No. 7 Minnesota
Full Results Minnesota: 196.300 Illinois: 195.225
VT: Loper 9.925 UB: Ramler 9.950 BB: Ramler 10.0 FX: Loper 9.925 AA: Loper 39.525

The Big Storyline: The Gophers came away with a victory, and a decent score to boot despite needing to count a fall. It was a night of firsts for Lexy Ramler: Her perfect 10 on beam was the first perfect 10 recorded at home, but unfortunately it was followed by the first fall of her career on floor. Minnesota made a few uncharacteristic mistakes but the fact that they were still able to lock in a score above 196 despite those errors shows just how strong they are this year. For Illinois, little mistakes here and there added up, and they scored below what they have been so far this season. Mia Takekawa had a very strange issue on bars, ultimately coming off three times before calling it, but came back strong on beam where she performed a beautiful routine for a 9.875. Overall the Illini reminded everyone that beam is where they shine, and they had a fabulous rotation there. Another exciting development was Illinois senior Rae Balthazor made her return; she performed an exhibition routine on bars and beam, and both looked lineup ready. 

Implications: Minnesota has been leading the Big Ten up til now, but finds itself tied with Michigan after week four. Getting that 197 is growing more and more important for the Gophers if they want to remain in the conversation as a true nationals contender. The pieces are all there, they just need to put together four strong rotations at the same meet. 

Records: Lexy Ramler scored her first perfect 10 at home in Mautri Pavilion, Minnesota junior Ona Loper scored a career best 39.525 in the all around and Minnesota sophomore Kaitlyn Higgins scored a career best 9.850 on floor. 

No. 36 Rutgers at No. 9 Michigan
Full Results UM: 197.300 RU: 192.950
VT: Wilson, Wojcik 9.900 UB: Heiskell, Wilson, Wojcik 9.875 BB: Wojcik 9.950 FX: Wojcik 9.900 AA: Wojcik 39.625

The Big Storyline: The Wolverines Flipped for Chip and proved that they can play with the big teams. This is Michigan’s first 197 of 2020. It was a career night for Natalie Wojcik, who finished just under one tenth behind her all around career high. She matched her career mark on bars. The Wolverines hit all 24 routines in this meet. Rutgers had a solid outing, but wonkiness on floor for the majority of the team—bounding out of landings and leap rotation short enough to make us question whether they were credited—kept the team total a pace behind the Scarlet Knights’ opening two meets. Hannah Joyner had her first 39-plus all around mark, and Belle Huang vaulted a Yurchenko one and a half upgrade.

Implications: The Wolverines remain perfect in the Big Ten, and are the only team in the conference to have surpassed 197 so far. Nationally, this performance keeps the Wolverines in the conversation; they’ll need to replicate the 197, though, and next week at Nebraska on national television would be a good time to do it. Rutgers remains near the back of the conference, but shouldn’t worry too much yet. This is a program that is building, and if Joyner’s total plus Huang’s vault upgrade are a sign of things to come, this team is on track.

Records: Michigan remains perfect in its Flip for Chip meets.

Controversies: Scores were weird. Not egregiously Carol high so much as just strange.

No. 10 California at No. 24 Washington
Full Results Washington: 197.225 California: 197.075
VT: George 9.925 UB: Bordas, Copiak, Schank, Watterson 9.925 BB: Roberson 9.950 FX: Hoffa 9.975 AA: Roberson 39.550

The Big Storyline: In front of a home crowd, senior Evanni Roberson used a career high all around performance to lead Washington to an upset of 10th-ranked California while also breaking the 197 mark for the first time since 2018. Redshirt senior Kristyn Hoffa capped off the meet with a near perfect score on floor to become one of the Huskies three event title winners of the meet. California still had a good meet, also nabbing a score above 197 despite having several missed routines to bounce back from throughout the meet. Kyana George stuck a Yurchenko full just one rotation after suffering a three fall routine on bars, where a trio of her teammates were part of a four way tie for the title.

Implications: With its score, Washington will jump up the rankings significantly and nab the fourth highest ranking among Pac-12 teams, further heating up the conference race.

Records: Roberson’s winning beam score is a career high, as is Hoffa’s winning floor score.

No. 11 Maryland and No. 23 Central Michigan at No. 31 Ohio State
Full Results tOSU: 195.500 UMD: 195.250 CMU: 194.325
VT: Rubio, Barber, Jennings 9.900 UB: Aepli, Swartzentruber 9.925 BB: Hankins 9.900 FX: Gagliardi 9.925 AA: Pedrick 39.375

The Big Storyline: Beam was a disaster at this meet across the board. Each team counted a fall. Maryland’s first two falls of the season both came in its beam rotation. The Chippewas and Buckeyes also had no-fall routines with major mistakes in their totals on the event. Beam aside, this was a great one. The win came down to the final few routines between Ohio State and Maryland. Central Michigan started on beam and was climbing out of a hole, only to have a few too many mistakes on bars in the final rotation to really be in the fight.

Implications: This total is much closer to where the Buckeyes want to be; it is a good sign for them, with beam still to clean up. Maryland came back down to earth a bit after two outstanding opening meets, but this total isn’t catastrophic, and the Terps have plenty of time to get back in the 196-groove. Likewise for the Chippewas, who have been sitting in the 195s so far. 

No. 12 Kentucky at No. 19 Arkansas
Full Results Kentucky: 196.750 Arkansas: 196.650
VT: Korth 9.950 UB: Korth & Laird 9.900 BB: Angeny, Korth & Yamzon 9.875 FX: Carter & Hambrick 9.925 AA: Korth 39.625

The Big Storyline: This competition was really clean (only one fall all night) and showcased the best of both teams. Kentucky was a sticking machine on bars and beam, and while things could have been a little stronger on the leg events, it’s clear the Wildcats are making good progress. Arkansas shined with some dynamic beam and floor performances and proved that last week’s home scoring excitement wasn’t a fluke.

Implications: Both teams should retain their places in the hierarchy after scoring within a few tenths of every non-Florida/LSU team in the conference. 

Records: Arkansas redshirt junior Sarah Shaffer earned a career high 9.900 on her stuck Yurchenko half vault.

Controversies: Josie Angeny anchored Kentucky’s beam lineup, and she needed a 9.875 to seal the competition for the Wildcats. She ended up scoring exactly that. It was a 9.875-worthy routine with few mistakes, but the coincidence is worth noting.

No. 20 Missouri at No. 14 Auburn
Full Results Auburn: 196.700 Arkansas: 196.650
VT: Watson 9.950 UB: Hu 9.925 BB: Hu 9.950 FX: Porter 9.900 AA: Porter 39.425

The Big Storyline: Missouri and Auburn were both on track to crack 197 but couldn’t quite pull things together; nonetheless, it was an overall strong night for each team. Missouri showed its prowess on the road and could’ve pulled off the upset if not for counting a fall on floor. Auburn had a solid home showing that seemed like more of a building block than a peak performance, which is a good sign.

Implications: Note that this meet’s final score was almost exactly the same as the one above. It’s clear that these four teams, usually ranked among the lower tier of the SEC, have the ability to compete with one another and even challenge the powerhouses going forward.

Records: Auburn junior Drew Watson earned a career high vault score of 9.950 en route to the event title.

No. 15 BYU at No. 26 Southern Utah
Full Results BYU: 197.075 SUU: 196.600
VT: Evans, Alfaro 9.875 UB: Murakami 9.950 BB: A. Miner, Stainton 9.950 FX: Evans 9.900 AA: A. Miner 39.350

The Big Storyline: This was a big meet for both teams. BYU recorded its highest score since 2004, while Southern Utah put up its most complete performance of the season en route to a season high score. Beam was the story for the Cougars, where three of its five counting scores were above 9.900. The Thunderbirds continued to show their strength on bars and set a program record in the process.

Implications: This conference matchup provided a glimpse of what we could see in March at the conference championships. Southern Utah is now second in the MRGC after its performance, while BYU solidified its spot as the top team in the conference. If this meet was any indication, we’re in for an exciting season in the MRGC. 

Records: Shylen Murakami’s 9.950 on bars ties the program record. Becky Rosza-Thompson also set a career high on bars with a 9.925. Overall, Southern Utah’s 49.400 on bars is a new program record. Thunderbird Rachel Smith also scored a career high 9.850 on beam. For the Cougars, Abby Stainton’s 9.850 on floor is a career high, as is Brittany Vitkauskas’ 9.875. Lexi Mather recorded a career high 9.850 on beam and teammates Abbey Miner and Stainton both scored 9.950 to set career highs.

No. 16 Nebraska at No. 39 Michigan State
Full Results UNL: 197.100 MSU: 196.550
VT: de Jesus, Dujakovich 9.950 UB: Jackard 9.900 BB: Verceles Karr 9.950 FX: Mitchell 9.950 AA: de Jesus 39.450

The Big Storyline: Scores in this meet were quite a bit looser than we sometimes see in the Big Ten, but not extremely lax; the gymnastics was largely clean. Nebraska looked stellar on vault, sticking two back-to-back Yurchenko one and a halfs from Anika Dujakovich and Adnerys de Jesus and one with a small step from Taylor Houchin. We also saw the return of Kynsee Roby on vault and beam; she was understandably a little shaky on both, but her comeback could be a significant gain for this team if she can get back to her freshman-season shape quickly. Abby Johnston, who has been out with a shoulder injury, competed an exhibition floor routine and looked strong. Michigan State went five-up on vault, though it didn’t seem to pull the team total down too far after a lineup of mostly clean Yurchenko fulls, plus Gabriella Douglas’ exquisite half, resulted in a solid total.

Implications: Nebraska now owns the second-best score in the Big Ten so far. The Huskers had been a pace off of the Gophers and Wolverines, but this score interrupts that narrative. Michigan State makes a statement with this total. It made a case for itself to be solidly in the top half of the conference. The Big Ten is fascinating this year.

Records: This is the Spartans’ fifth-highest team total in program history, and its 49.475 on floor ties the program record.

Controversies: Beam was a mess! Not the gymnastics, the judging. We had three, maybe four, conferences, including one just before the beginning of the fourth rotation that lasted about 20 minutes. Michigan State had some start value and connection bonus issues that slowed us down, and Nebraska had one routine that caused the judges problems. This was a regular dual that lasted over two hours. Yikes.

No. 21 Boise State and No. 64 Seattle Pacific at No. 40 San Jose State
Full Results Boise State: 195.525 San Jose State: 194.675 Seattle Pacific: 191.575
VT: Bouza 9.825 UB: Muhlenhaupt 9.975 BB: Andrada 9.825 FX: Chan 9.875 AA: Chan 39.100

The Big Storyline: All three teams earned season-high totals at the tri-meet hosted by the Spartans.

Implications: The Broncos proved they can put together a cohesive performance without contributions from senior standout Courtney McGregor. Despite only fielding a five gymnast bars lineup, it remains the Boise State’s highest-scoring event. San Jose State continues to prove itself as the team to beat in the MPSF this season, leading the second-ranked Aggies by nearly three points in average team score and over a point in team high score. While the Falcons remain sixth in the MPSF rankings, their performance was notably more consistent than we’ve seen from them thus far. They went 47.4-plus on all four events for the first time in 2020, even breaking the 48 mark on floor. 

Records: Career and season highs were abundant: Seattle Pacific gymnasts earned eight career high scores and eight season high. Boise State’s Gabriela Bouza won her first event title (vault) while teammate Emily Muhlenhaupt matched her career-high 9.975 on bars while Maddi Nilson and Tatum Bruden both notched career high scores.   

Controversies: Despite securing a season-high team score and their first win in 2020, the Broncos’ head coach Tina Bird noted that she doesn’t believe the scores “truly reflected our performance.”

No. 28 Oregon State at No. 22 Arizona
Full Results Oregon State: 196.400 Arizona: 196.150
VT: Leydin 9.900 UB: Berg 9.900 BB: Hargrove, Lowery 9.850 FX: Yanish 9.925 AA: Leydin 38.775

The Big Storyline: A week after losing to Arizona, Oregon State traveled down to Wildcat country to edge out Arizona in a close meet while also notching a season high. The Beavers finally put together a complete meet, counting no scores below 9.750 and Isis Lowery and Kaitlyn Yanish both earning event titles. Despite losing, Arizona also scored a season-high team score, won three event titles, and the all around. Maddi Leydin took the title on vault while leading the Wildcats to a season high on the event.

Implications: If Oregon State is to make a late-season rise up the rankings, this meet will help as the Beavers notched this season high on the road. 

Records: Leydin’s vault score also ties the senior’s career high on the event.

No. 38 New Hampshire and No. 52 Temple at No. 27 West Virginia
Full Results WVU: 196.025 UNH: 195.125 Temple: 191.925
VT: Castrence, Cluchey, Merwin 9.800 UB: Ki. Yancey 9.875 BB: Worthington 9.900 FX: Cluchey 9.925 AA: Ki. Yancey 39.150

The Big Storyline: West Virginia recorded its highest total and first 196 of the year thanks to a huge 49.475 on floor. Kianna Yancey continues to impress for the Mountaineers, competing in (and winning) the all around for the first time and recording 9.875s on both bars and floor. New Hampshire recorded its first 195 of the season despite counting a fall on bars and competing without Lauren Diggan, who suffered an achilles injury during warmups. Notably, standout freshman Alyssa Worthington recorded a 9.900 on beam, continuing the New Hampshire legacy of beam queens. Temple started its meet out strong and was on pace for a season high mark but unfortunately had a rough rotation on bars, counting multiple falls.

Implications: West Virginia is going to move up a few spots in the rankings this week, thanks to the strong score here. While their floor lineup is strong, the Mountaineers are going to need to clean up some things on the other three events to become more competitive nationally and within the Big 12. New Hampshire is only the second EAGL team to hit a 195 this season. This is quite impressive, considering it was an imperfect meet. Don’t sleep on the Wildcats this year! With improvements on three of the four events (and full lineups on each event this week), Temple has a lot of good things to take away from this meet but will need to work on consistency in its bars lineup.

No. 44 Pittsburgh at No. 30 North Carolina
Full Results UNC: 193.625 Pitt: 192.450
VT: Petrikis, Hislop 9.850 UB: Burton 9.850 BB: Culton 9.825 FX: Hislop 9.900 AA: Culton 38.875

The Big Storyline: Both teams started off strong in the first rotation, but North Carolina again struggled on bars, opening the door for Pittsburgh to come out on top. However, the Panthers had struggles of their own, counting a fall and some weaker routines on both beam and floor, while the Tar Heels rallied on their last two events to come out on top.

Implications: This is a meet that both teams are going to want to put behind them. It was the lowest score of the season for both teams.

Controversies: The judging here was all over the place. There were several instances of large judging splits, which meant there were many judging conferences, and the meet ended up lasting over 2 hours. But that’s not all. Some weaker routines ended up scoring just as well (or even higher) than near flawless routines. Sometimes it seemed like the judges were rolling dice to come up with the scores.

No. 32 Iowa at No. 35 Penn State
Full Results PSU: 196.275 Iowa: 193.675
VT: Guerin, Bonsall 9.825 UB: Bonsall 9.900 BB: Rushlow 9.900 FX: Guerin, Bridgens 9.950 AA: Bridgens 39.400

The Big Storyline: Iowa had a rough outing. Bars saw three scores that didn’t hit 9.000, and the Hawkeyes counted a major mistake on beam. Clair Kaji has not seemed herself this year, with misses and so-so scores so far. Missing her reliable bar and beam scores hurts. The Laurens, Bridgens and Guerin, were strong here. Both are nationally relevant floor sets: Guerin will go into next week tied at No. 9. Penn State had another great floor outing, which made up for a 9.7-heavy vault rotation and a bit of a hiccup on beam which suppressed the total there. The Nittany Lions went five-up on vault, pulling Jessie Bastardi from the lineup after the first five hit.

Implications: Iowa continues to struggle, and is falling behind the rest of the conference. On the whole, the Big Ten is very strong this year, and back-to-back meets counting major errors isn’t helping the Hawkeyes’ case. Normally, we wouldn’t worry too much in January (especially since the team does have two mid-195s under its belt!), but given where the rest of the Big Ten is, it is becoming critical that Iowa have a big hit soon, if for no other reason than to prove to itself that it can. This meet was that important big hit for Penn State, which is climbing the conference rankings. Now the Nittany Lions just need to replicate this performance on the road.

No. 43 Western Michigan at No. 33 Eastern Michigan
Full Results Western Michigan 195.175 Eastern Michigan: 194.650
VT: Dobronics, Tishkoff, Thomas 9.800 UB: Bezold 9.850 BB: Gruber 9.850 FX: Rondeau, Dobronics, Binstock 9.825 AA: Rondeau 39.175

The Big Storyline: Western Michigan came away with the victory and came close to matching its season-high in its conference dual against Eastern Michigan this weekend. This score held an extra importance for the Broncos because it demonstrates that they are capable of achieving a similar outcome despite missing routines from all-star freshman Payton Murphy. It is the first time they have started a season 3-0 in dual competition since 2013. Eastern Michigan showed improvement on three events but ultimately fell short on beam, which has proven to be a bit of an obstacle for it this season despite being one of its best events. Once they manage to put all the pieces together, the Eagles should start to see that score tick up into the 195s. 

Implications: Not much will change this week as far as rankings go, but each MAC matchup proves just how competitive and closely matched the teams are. The big question is which team will put all the pieces together first and start to see those scores creep up into the mid to high 195s. 

No. 34 Utah State at No. 61 Air Force
Full Results Utah State: 195.550 192.375
VT: Salamone 9.850 UB: Salamone 9.900 BB: Sullivan 9.975 FX: Davis 9.925 AA: Sullivan 39.325

The Big Storyline: Freshman Sofi Sulli lead Utah State to its first win in 2020. 

Implications: The Aggies are looking sharp and showing steady improvement week-to-week. If they continue on this trajectory, they could surpass Boise State in the MRGC rankings. The Falcons’ stars continue to shine, contributing numerous 9.8-plus scores, but can’t compensate for counting multiple falls per meet. Though the low 192s they’ve scored in their last two meets are certainly preferable to their disastrous 188.650 from week one, the Falcons are still well shy of the 194s that were their norm in 2019. 

Records: Sullivan earned a program-record 9.975 on beam as well as her first collegiate all around title. The Falcons’ captain Heidi Sand scored a career high on beam while sophomore Pixie Brock notched career highs on both beam and floor.

No. 36 Rutgers at No. 51 Penn
Full Results Rutgers: 193.575 Penn: 190.875
VT: Joyner 9.800 UB: Farrell & Kraez 9.750 BB: McLachlan 9.950 FX: Huang 9.825 AA: Joyner 39.050

The Big Storyline: Rutgers capped off a double meet weekend with some improvement over its performance at Michigan. The Scarlet Knights had to count a low bars score and a low floor score (neither of which were low because of falls), but shined on vault and beam. Penn also had to count some low scores but shined on beam as well, with Natalie Yang coming through as the beam anchor and earning the fourth best score in program history.

Implications: Rutgers floor leadoff Mia Betancourt was injured on her first pass and could not continue her routine; she was later seen on crutches with a wrapped ankle. The vault and floor contributor could miss some time in the coming weeks. Also, Penn all around standout Sydney Kraez did not compete on floor this week after being listed in original lineups, but there didn’t seem to be a need for concern. 

Records: Erin McLachlan hit a 9.950 beam routine to set a new program record for Rutgers, two weeks after her teammate Hannah Joyner tied it with a 9.925. 

Controversies: Judging was fairly tight at this meet, particularly on floor. Arguably the most glaring example, though, was Penn freshman Najah Curtis earning a 9.175 for a hit bars routine. She had some handstand issues, but this score seemed pretty low.

No. 37 Kent State, No. 47 Lindenwood and No. 70 UW-Oshkosh at No. 62 Texas Woman’s
Full Results Kent State: 194.950 Texas Woman’s: 193.400 Lindenwood: 192.325 UW-Oshkosh: 190.025
VT: Manitkul-Davis 9.850 UB: Franz 9.825 BB: Danielson 9.850 FX: Franz 9.850 AA: Franz 39.200

The Big Storyline: Kent State cruised to victory, but Texas Woman’s edged out MIC rival Lindenwood to take second in the Pioneers’ first home meet of 2020. 

Implications: Lindenwood remains at the top of the MIC rankings, but Texas Woman’s proved that the Lions aren’t invulverable. Kent State is a hair behind MAC rival Eastern Michigan in both the conference and national rankings; if the Golden Flashes can maintain their momentum—and continue posting scores in the 195 range—they should be able to overtake the Eagles.

Records: Texas Woman’s notched a season-high team total. Lindenwood’s Aleah Leman scored a career high on vault to help the team set a new season high on that event. Kent State sophomore Riley Danielson and junior Nasha Manitkul-Davis earned career highs on beam and vault, respectively. UW-Oshkosh improved its season-high team score by nearly four points. 

No. 42 Towson at No. 40 N.C. State
Full Results N.C. State: 195.650 Towson: 193.975
VT: Shepard 9.850 UB: Grantham Shepard 9.825 BB: Grantham 9.825 FX: Grantham 9.875 AA: Grantham 39.250

The Big Storyline: N.C. State finally showed what it is capable of this season, not counting a fall and breaking 195 for the first time this season. Towson also had a solid day, not counting any falls and showing that it is capable of competing with the other teams in the EAGL.

Implications: N.C. State recorded the highest score and first 195  in the EAGL so far this season. Notably, it reached this without Nicole Webb, who was spotted in boots on both feet and in a wheelchair at the meet. Towson came just shy of its second 194 in a row, and is not ranked last in the conference for the first time in two years.

No. 45 George Washington, No. 53 Alaska and No. 59 Sacramento State at No. 58 UC Davis
Full Results George Washington: 194.350 UC Davis: 192.975 Sacramento State: 192.675 Alaska: 189.600
VT: Crasa 9.825 UB: Weber, Cunningham, Michovsky 9.800 BB: Hyderally, Ito 9.850 FX: Cunningham 9.850 AA: Brown 38.700

The Big Storyline: George Washington set a season high, going 48.425-plus on all four events, to easily secure the win against its three MPSF competitors. 

Implications: George Washington was finally able to put together a cohesive performance on floor, propelling them over the 194 mark for the first time this season. UC Davis got off to a tough start with an injury to star junior Kelley Hebert. The Aggies finished second and improved on last week’s score by nearly five points, but are still well-below the 195 mark they’re used to hitting. Sacramento State notched a season-high team total and came within three tenths of beating conference rival UC Davis (the Hornets actually outscored the Aggies on vault and bars). After an uncharacteristically off performance on bars, Alaska had their first sub-190 meet of the season, dropping them from second to fifth in the MPSF rankings. However, less than three tenths separate the average scores of UC Davis and Alaska, so expect plenty of shuffling in the weeks to come. 

No. 48 Northern Illinois at No. 56 Illinois State
Full Results Illinois State: 193.625 Northern Illinois: 193.400
VT: Kofmehl 9.825 UB: Cooke, Labat, Martucci, Hamp, Hooper 9.825 BB: Remkus, Schroeder 9.825 FX: Kofmehl 9.900 AA: Winner Score

The Big Storyline: Northern Illinois fell to Illinois State in its matchup this weekend, but managed to get its best score of the season in the process. The Huskies were led by sophomore Tara Kofmehl, who had a spectacular day, winning both vault and floor. Kofmehl’s 9.900 on floor was the highest individual score of the season for any member of the team. This meet went back and forth each rotation, with the Redbirds coming out just a little bit stronger in the end. 

Implications: Northern Illinois has found itself in the bottom half of the MAC rankings this year, and unfortunately this meet did not do anything to change that. Illinois State has been having a strong season thus far, and will look to continue improving in order to catch Lindenwood.

No. 50 Bowling Green, No. 60 SEMO and No. 69 UW-La Crosse at No. 46 Ball State
Full Results Ball State: 194.200 Bowling Green: 192.725 SEMO: 191.450 UW-LaCrosse: 188.375
VT: Nychyk 9.900 UB: Fochler, Solorzano-Caruso 9.800 BB: Kaziska 9.875 FX: Goyco 9.900 AA: Kaziska 39.175

The Big Storyline: Ball State continues on its upward trajectory, earning a season-high team total and defeating MAC rival Bowling Green. 

Implications: Ball State has steadily improved from week-to-week. So far, it’s largely relying on the strength of its power events to compensate for inconsistency on bars and beam; if the Cards can hit well on those two events (i.e., not count a fall) in future meets, they could jump up in the MAC rankings. Bowling Green has struggled with consistency across the board this season, but managed to bounce back from last place after two rotations to finish second behind the Cardinals. SEMO continues to prove that it has put its disastrous 2019 season behind it, capturing a season-high team score and its highest vault total since 2015. Despite counting multiple falls on bars and beam, UW-Lacrosse also earned a season-best team total 

Records: SEMO’s entire vault lineup equalled or surpassed its season highs, while freshman star Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso won bars and sophomore Anna Kaziska won beam and the all around title with a career-high 39.175. Bowling Green redshirt sophomores Samantha Marion and Katelyn Goldstrom both earned career highs on vault.

READ THIS NEXT: The NCGA Dismount: Week 4

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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