Potential Lineups: MIC

There is perhaps no more closely knit conference in the NCAA than the MIC, with connections and history between all five teams reinforced by the structure of the conference itself, which is run by coaches. For example, SEMO was coached to its breakout 2020 season by a former Lindenwood coach and a Lindenwood alumna. That means that, no matter how friendly this conference might be, the personal stakes are incredibly high and compelling—especially when three teams finish within four ranking spots of one another. The rivalry between Lindenwood and Texas Woman’s is legendary, SEMO’s comeback story is thrilling, plucky Centenary continues to perform at the very top of Division III and Illinois State enters 2021 with one of the country’s most impactful freshman classes. You won’t want to look away.

While there’s still so much uncertainty surrounding the upcoming season, it’s business as usual until we hear otherwise. That means it’s time for our annual potential lineups analysis! With preseason training in full swing for most teams, we’re breaking it all down and taking a look at every squad’s prospects for 2021—from who’s expected to contribute, holes that need to be filled and exciting upgrades fans should look out for.

No. 50 Lindenwood

After a breakout 2019 season that included a maiden NCAA regionals appearance and a USAG national title, Lindenwood took a rankings dive in 2020. However, the Lions showed signs of recovery in March, just before the season was called off. With a huge and consequential senior class departing and an even bigger freshman class replacing it, the sky’s the limit for Lindenwood in 2021—if the Lions can find consistency.

Losses: Katie Bailey (UB, BB, FX), Mackenzy Chavez (UB, BB, FX), Taylor Colwell (UB, BB, FX), Breanna Franklin (VT, BB, FX), Georgina Harris, Ryan Henry (AA), Emily Milliet (BB, FX)
Gains: Jenna Eagles, Simone Eans, Grace Kramer, Audrey Manivong, Hannah Moon, Savannah Newsome, Madison Rush, Nicole Wojcik
Returning From Injury: Riley Daniels, Aleah Turon


Potential Contributors: Gayla Griswold (9.805 NQS), Aleah Leman (9.795), Kyndall Baze (9.740), Sydney Lopez (9.725), Jordan Boogerd (9.660), Courtney Mitchell (9.675 AVG), Aleah Turon (9.785 NQS in 2019), Simone Adams, Madison Rush, Nicole Wojcik

How It Looked Before: Vault was Lindenwood’s most reliable event in 2020. The Lions are able to field a full lineup of Yurchenko halves and fulls, and peak around the 49.000 mark. Then-freshman Gayla Griswold became an immediate standout on this event.

How It Looks Now: Expect 2019 vault standout Aleah Turon to return to this event after a 2020 injury. Of the freshmen, Simone Adams leads the pack with an impressive Yurchenko half-on tuck off. Madison Rush has a Yurchenko full that’s comparable with the rest of the team, and Nicole Wojcik alternately competes a solid Yurchenko tuck full or a very piked layout full and will likely be a backup option.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? This is the event on which Lindenwood graduates the least 2020 routines. While the freshmen aren’t game-changers, they should fill the gaps and allow vault to be as good as in 2020 or perhaps a little better.


Potential Contributors: Courtney Mitchell (9.820 NQS), Jordan Boogerd (9.705), Sydney Lopez (9.565), Riley Daniels, Savannah Newsome, Nicole Wojcik, Hannah Moon, Madison Rush

How It Looked Before: The Lions weathered a month of bars drama at the beginning of 2020 before finding consistency. Courtney Mitchell led the team in scores and is the likely anchor for 2021.

How It Looks Now: Only two really reliable routines return, so the underclassmen have some work to do. Riley Daniels was injured in 2020, but has been training bars recently. Of the freshmen, Savannah Newsome is the clear frontrunner with a peak of 9.700 in level 10 and gorgeous form. Wojcik also brings strong scores but has some work to do on foot form and leg separations if she wants to make a real impact in college. Hannah Moon has a true Shaposhnikova and great toe point, and Madison Rush is a backup option with a Ray.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Bars could be a sore spot in 2020. Only a few routines return, and the freshman class has plenty of difficulty but some form concerns.


Potential Contributors: Courtney Mitchell (9.775 NQS), Gayla Griswold (9.725 NQS), Sydney Lopez (9.525 AVG), Madison Rush, Nicole Wojcik, Savannah Newsome, Simone Evans, Jenna Eagles

How It Looked Before: Beam is typically the Lindenwood event with the most potential, and this senior-packed lineup cracked 49.000 twice in 2020. The best returning contributors are Mitchell and Griswold.

How It Looks Now: Lots of new options join the beam lineup in 2020. Rush and Wojcik will make a splash with impressive flexibility, and Rush in particular brings excellent scores. Newsome’s great form makes her a prospect here and Evans and Jenna Eagles have been featured in training clips recently.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? There are enough good routines to keep beam at the same high level we’ve seen in recent years, but asking three or four freshmen to perform under pressure might lead to some issues in January. As always with beam, it’s all about mental game here.


Potential Contributors: Gayla Griswold (9.830 NQS), Kyndall Baze (9.770), Aleah Leman (9.700), Hadley Roberts (9.615), Sydney Lopez (9.717 AVG), Nicole Baars (9.280).

How It Looked Before: The floor team weathered a February storm to finish the season on a high, scoring an impressive 49.325 in the first week of March. The loss of leader Ryan Henry will be felt perhaps most on this event, where she often competed in the five spot in order to drive up the score of a new or inconsistent routine in the anchor, but Griswold and Kyndall Baze also brought in big numbers.

How It Looks Now: Evans is the obvious freshman prospect for this lineup with a big double Arabian first pass. Wojcik brings another E pass, a front double twist. Courtney Mitchell is a wildcard. She has a career high of 9.900 on this event, but couldn’t compete the event in 2020 due to injury. Rush, Moon and Audrey Manivong are also options.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? With a bit more difficulty coming in than was lost, this lineup has the potential to improve in 2020.

Overall Outlook

On the all around front, it’s unlikely we’ll see a freshman competing immediately. Lindenwood’s most likely all arounder is senior Courtney Mitchell, who is undoubtedly still good enough to contend for postseason AA titles if her health allows it. Sophomore Sydney Lopez could contribute, though some of her events are less consistent. Lindenwood should be able to exceed its 2020 ranking, but returning to NCAA regionals and USAG titles might take a bit more time. This season is all about finding which new routines are reliable under pressure. 

No. 51 Texas Woman’s

Since its national championship in 2018 and the subsequent graduation of a senior megaclass led by Schyler Jones, Texas Woman’s has struggled to compete like the dominant team we once knew. At the end of the 2020 season, though, the Pioneers seemed to be finding a rhythm once again. With the addition of a robust group in 2021, they’ll hope to continue that trajectory and avoid hurting too much without all around superstar Bria Northrop.

Losses: Bria Northrop (AA), Natalie Payne, Hope Parkin (VT, BB, FX), Hunter Vincent (VT, UB, BB)
Gains: Maddie Gose, Steelie King, Alexia Leake, Alix Pierce (VT, BB, FX, transfer from SPU)
Returning From Injury: Kyla Podges (ACL)


Potential Contributors: Daisy Woodring (9.820 NQS), Domi Bonzagni (9.705), Beth Lazarus (9.685), Mara Johnson (9.680), Alix Pierce (9.540 NQS at SPU), Isabel Goyco, Paige Stuyniski, Maddie Gose, Steelie King, Alexia Leake

How It Looked Before: Texas Woman’s has struggled to produce enough Yurchenko fulls to keep pace with the top teams in the USAG division for the past few years, but this was a decent and reliable event in 2020, with the top totals coming in around the 48.700 mark.

How It Looks Now: It’s very welcome news for the Pioneers that all three freshmen compete good Yurchenko fulls, with Maddie Gose leading the way in consistency. If that’s not enough depth, transfer Alix Pierce has one of the country’s best Yurchenko layouts and should come in ahead of some of TWU’s backup options. Kyla Podges once competed an excellent Yurchenko full-on, tuck off but after an ACL tear last year, her status and health are questionable.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? This is a great set of freshman vaults, and the event was less senior-dependent than others in 2020. It should improve and could even crack 49.000 in 2021.


Potential Contributors: Isabel Goyco (9.740), Maddie Griffith (9.680), Mackenzie Kunzman (9.605), Paige Stuyniski (9.460), Domi Bonzagni, Mackenzie Kunzman, Beth Lazarus, Mara Johnson, Alexia Leake, Steelie King

How It Looked Before: Bars caused big issues for the Pioneers in 2020, coming in below 47.000 on three separate weeks. Even weekly bars gymnast, now-graduated Bria Northrop, fell at least three times.

How It Looks Now: None of the freshmen are massively consistent on this event, but of the three Leake is the technical frontrunner. King has some potential, but currently doesn’t have an up-to-level dismount. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Eek. There are enough routines to fill this lineup, narrowly, but no one seems primed to replace Northrop as the consistent one, so this event could be dramatic.


Potential Contributors: Mackenzie Kunzman (9.755 NQS), Alix Pierce (9.735 NQS at SPU), Daisy Woodring (9.725), Domi Bonzagni (9.660), Isabel Goyco (9.215), Paige Stuyniski (7.540), Mackenzie Balderas, Alix Pierce, Maddie Gose, Kyla Podges

How It Looked Before: Beam was imperfect but decent in 2020. Freshman Mackenzie Kunzman hit every week but her very first, and if she can stay so consistent for the rest of her career, she’ll be important for the stability of this lineup.

How It Looks Now: Transfer Pierce’s routine should immediately fit into this lineup with an NQS that ranks second among the returners. It’s a strong event for Gose and a decent one for redshirt freshman Podges, too.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Odds are, beam will stay about the same in 2021.


Potential Contributors: Isabel Goyco (9.860), Alix Pierce (9.735 NQS at SPU) Domi Bonzagni (9.720), Mackenzie Balderas (9.710), Daisy Woodring (9.650), Mackenzie Kunzman (9.645), Bridgette Peterson

How It Looked Before: Floor could get a bit chaotic for the 2020 Pioneers, but Isabel Goyco’s relentless fantasticness kept us watching through even the messiest weeks. On the good outings, floor was by far the Pioneers’ best event.

How It Looks Now: There’s lots to love about the 2021 floor lineup. Once again, Pierce can slot in toward the end of the lineup with little adjustment needed. All three freshmen had strong floor results in level 10, with Gose leading the pack. Podges also had good results here in club. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? There’s plenty of depth on floor in 2021, and if Goyco can handle the pressure of leading the floor lineup without Northrop by her side, there are more 9.900-plus scores in her future. This event should improve in 2020.

Overall Outlook

In all likelihood, Texas Woman’s won’t make a major rankings jump in either direction in 2020. But if the Pioneers can get bars consistency sorted out, there’s potential to creep back up the USAG standings.

No. 53 SEMO

SEMO had a fantastic 2020 season. It finished third in the conference and 53rd overall, a 17-spot jump from the previous year, which saw the team struggling while being plagued with injuries. The additions of Temple transfer Heidi Vanderboom and a stellar freshman class only add to the depth of the returning gymnasts; overall the Redhawks are looking at a promising 2021 season. 

Losses: Kendra Benak (UB), Megan Dennis (UB, BB), Kenna Skepnek (FX) , Mackenzie Slee (AA)
Gains: Anna Speller, Sophia Studdard, Lydia Test, Lydia Webb, Heidi Vanderboom (VT, BB – transfer from Temple)
Returning From Injury: Catherine Costantini


Potential Contributors: Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso (9.740 NQS), Gabrielle Adams (9.705), Anna Kaziska (9.700), Molly Maxwell (9.635), Heidi Vanderboom (9.550 NQS at Temple), Alana Fischer (9.450), Catherine Costatini, Lydia Test

How It Looked Before: Despite being the Redhawks’ lowest ranking event, vault was consistent. The Redhawks always seem to be playing with potential upgrades, and regardless of whether or not they make it into the lineup, it does bode well for their depth. 

How It Looks Now: Temple transfer Heidi Vanderboom will make an immediate impact here, as will the incoming freshmen. Lydia Test has a lovely Yurchenko half that would fit into the lineup nicely. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell.


Potential Contributors: Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso (9.795 NQS), Lindsey Bates (9.720), Anna Kaziska (9.695), Jordan Jones (9.690), Alana Fischer (9.675), Jolie Miller (9.600), Lydia Webb

How It Looked Before: Bars was the hardest hit by the injury wave that plagued SEMO in 2019, so by comparison it looked fantastic in 2020. Jordan Jones and Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso were especially notable on this event, but the entire lineup was capable of 9.8 plus routines when they hit. 

How It Looks Now: With the entire lineup returning the Redhawks only stand to improve in 2021. Incoming freshman Lydia Webb has a strong bar routine that could definitely see some lineup time as well. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Holding steady.


Potential Contributors: Anna Kaziska (9.855 NQS), Jordan Jones (9.755), Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso (9.755), Molly Maxwell (9.655), Lindsey Moffitt (9.610), Alana Fischer (9.590), Heidi Vanderboom, Lydia Test, Sophia Studdard, Anna Speller

How It Looked Before: Beam was a pretty solid event for the Redhawks, with sophomore Anna Kaziska having another standout year. 

How It Looks Now: The Redhawks return with their entire beam lineup intact this season, and with the addition of the freshmen it looks like there will be considerable depth. We expect to see some lineup maneuvering early on as SEMO figures out who best fits into the top six, but overall there is definitely opportunity for improvement.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. 


Potential Contributors: Anna Kaziska (9.855 NQS), Lindsey Moffitt (9.760), Dahlia Solorzano-Caruso (9.750), Molly Maxwell (9.720), Mallory Desch (9.480), Catherine Costatini, Lydia Webb, Anna Speller, Lydia Test

How It Looked Before: Floor was the Redhawks’ best event, and they are retaining all but one routine from last season. Anna Kaziska in particular excelled, finishing second overall in the conference by a mere half a tenth. 

How It Looks Now: SEMO retains all of its strength here, and with the addition of the freshmen it only stands to improve. We expect freshmen Lydia Webb, Anna Speller and Lydia Test to make an impact and be the most-likely contenders to compete for lineup spots. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. 

Overall Outlook

SEMO is poised for another successful season and should be able to match or even improve on its 2020 results thanks to a solid returning roster and talented freshman class. The pieces are all there, but the big question will be whether or not it can capitalize on its prior success to keep trending up. 

No. 56 Illinois State

Illinois State finished 2020 in the exact same ranking spot that it finished 2019. The Redbirds will be looking to improve on that ranking in 2021, thanks in large part due to the addition of an absolutely stellar freshman class. 

Losses: Gabrielle Cooke (AA), Anna Marema (UB), Jessica Rothman, Madison Solka (VT, BB, FX), Alyssa Wiggle (AA)
Gains: Isabella DeCroo, Kaitlyn Donovan, Isabelle Fox (AA, transfer from Alaska), Carly Hawksworth, J’Chelle Heard, Reagan Hestermann, Madison Kipp, Jazmine Neely, Kaylee Sugimoto
Returning From Injury: Kennadi Ledoux, Cameron Topp


Potential Contributors: Angelica Labat (9.705 NQS), Isabelle Fox (9.675 NQS at Alaska), Charlise Doctor (9.660), Sofia Iribarren (9.560), Christin Bandy (9.545), Madison Solka (9.530), Cameron Topp, Jazmine Neely, J’Chelle Heard, Kaitlyn Donovan 

How It Looked Before: Vault was not the Redbirds’ strongest event in 2020, but it was a consistent one. The addition of Angelica Labat’s Yurchenko 1.5 gave that lineup a boost that it will be looking to build upon this season. 

How It Looks Now: Even with the loss of Gabrielle Cooke, this lineup has a lot of potential with the addition of this freshman class. Look for Jazmine Neely and J’Chelle Heard to make an immediate impact here. Kaitlyn Donovan has played around with a Yurchenko 1.5 that could be a serious bonus to the lineup if it comes to fruition as well.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up.


Potential Contributors: Sofia Iribarren (9.845 NQS), Angelica Labat (9.840), Katherine McGowan (9.395), Isabelle Fox (9.625 AVG), Mia Quigg, Madison Kipp, Isabella DeCroo, Jazmine Neely

How It Looked Before: This was the Redbirds’ best event in 2020 and likely where they will be working the hardest to fill the gaps left behind by the graduated seniors. They finished first overall in the MIC with an NQS of 48.835, three tenths higher than in 2019.

How It Looks Now: Losing consistent performers, such as Cooke, Alyssa Wiggle and Anna Marema will be noticeable here, and it will fall largely to this (very impressive) freshman class to fill in the gaps. This is also an area where Alaska transfer Isabelle Fox has the potential to make an impact—while there were some consistency issues in 2019, this is a strong event for her when she hits. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell.


Potential Contributors: Angelica Labat (9.795 NQS), Isabelle Fox (9.755 NQS at Alaska), Savannah Remkus (9.675), Triniti Barron (9.505), Sofia Iribarren, Cameron Topp, Madison Kipp, Isabella DeCroo

How It Looked Before: Beam was a decent event—albeit one that could be improved upon. The skills and potential were there, but the consistency was lacking. 

How It Looks Now: The Redbirds should be able to build on their lineup from last year and hopefully see their NQS start to move up this season. This is another event where we expect freshmen, such as Madison Kipp and Isabella DeCroo to see lineup time immediately, and Fox will certainly be a welcome addition to the lineup on her best event. 

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up.


Potential Contributors: Angelica Labat (9.830 NQS), Isabelle Fox (9.820 NQS at Alaska), Sofia Iribarren (9.725), Savannah Remkus (9.675), Triniti Barroni (9.165), Cameron Topp, Sofia Iribarren, Savannah Remkus, Reagan Hestermann, Jazmine Neely, Madison Kipp

How It Looked Before: Floor was a great event for the Redbirds in 2020. They are losing some key contributors here, but there is potential from returning gymnasts and the freshmen are more than capable of stepping into the lineup.

How It Looks Now: This should be a strong event for Illinois State. The returning gymnasts are capable, and the potential additions to the lineup have some serious scoring potential. Fox will be especially essential here, as will some of the incoming freshmen. We have our eyes on Reagan Hestermann, Neely and Kipp especially.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up.

Overall Outlook

The Redbirds didn’t have the season they were capable of in 2020, finishing fourth in the conference and seeing no movement in the overall rankings. We anticipate seeing some lineup shuffling in the early part of the season as they suss out which routines will be most reliable to fill the gaps left behind by some key contributors. But the incoming class has a lot of depth and will surely be up to the challenge. Overall, the potential is there for the Redbirds, and so the big question will be whether or not they can capitalize on it.

No. 66 Centenary

The story of 2020 for the Centenary Ladies was Cami Bea Austin’s outstanding senior season. She provided stability for a very young team, and while she won’t return in 2021, her dominance allowed the 2020 freshmen to find their place in lineups while still producing the best final team ranking since 2015.

Losses: Cami Bea Austin (AA), Dorothy Mims (VT, BB)
Gains: Rylie Molina, Roxanne Myers, Isabel Plaza, Courtney Tripp


Potential Contributors: Kendall Huff (9.595 NQS), Leilani Johnson (9.540), Xian Baumgartner (9.465), Kendall Sanders (9.430), Jenny Jackson (9.355), Rylie Molina, Isabel Plaza, Courtney Tripp

How It Looked Before: Vault was very consistent for the Ladies in 2020, with freshman Kendall Huff following close behind Austin in scores. She is poised to lead the team next year.

How It Looks Now: Courtney Tripp leads the team in scores. Rylie Molina brings a Yurchenko layout that looks competitive with the rest of the team, and Isabel Plaza’s Tsukahara layout brings a half-tenth of extra difficulty compared to the Yurchenko equivalent.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? The incoming vaults likely can’t replace Austin’s scores, but the added depth won’t hurt. If there’s a decrease in team scores, it should be marginal.


Potential Contributors: Sierra Ponder (9.630 NQS), Kendall Sanders (9.625), Xian Baumgartner (9.620), Jenny Jackson (9.390), Kendall Knaps (9.060), Kendall Huff (9.005), Roxanne Myers, Isabel Plaza

How It Looked Before: Bars started slow for Centenary in 2020, but scores crept up throughout the season. The Ponder-Sanders-Baumgartner trio is robust enough that the Ladies shouldn’t have much to worry about in the near future.

How It Looks Now: Roxanne Myers comes in with a level 10 bars track record that’s very impressive for Division III. Plaza is a bit short on difficulty but has great form.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? No weekly routines graduated on this event, so even if Myers is the only freshman who materializes, the Ladies should be able to improve on bars in 2021.


Potential Contributors: Kendall Sanders (9.650 NQS), Xian Baumgartner (9.595), Jerrica Harris (9.515), Kendall Knaps, Rylie Molina, Courtney Tripp

How It Looked Before: Dorothy Mims’ emergence as a force on beam in her senior season was a very sweet story, but it does now mean that beam is the only event on which Centenary graduates two routines—and they were both very good ones.

How It Looks Now: None of the freshmen have a history of being very confident on this event, with two never breaking 9.000 in level 10. But Rylie Molina has lots of dance difficulty and a step-in Rudi dismount and is a serious prospect.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? This event likely won’t reach the heights that 2020 brought.


Potential Contributors: Kendall Sanders (9.660 NQS), Jerrica Harris (9.495), Jenny Jakson (9.485), Kendall Knaps (9.425), Leilani Johnson, Rylie Molina, Courtney Tripp

How It Looked Before: Centenary has always been a team with the ability to put on a show on floor, and 2020’s floor team brought the highest event scores of the season,

How It Looks Now: None of the freshmen bring incredible floor scores, but on tape Molina looks like a strong contender. Tripp is the next-highest based on level 10 statistics.

Trending up, down or too early to tell? This event has enough lineup options to get by, but to repeat 2020’s successes, it will need someone to step up to fill Austin’s shoes.

Overall Outlook

2021 might be a transition year for Centenary. There are no events on which we can expect an absolute crisis, but it’s hard to see who will step up and replace Cami Bea Austin’s 9.800 scores. If someone does, the outlook changes substantially.

READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: EAGL

Article by Kalley Leer and Rebecca Scally

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