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“Last Week in College Gym: December 21

There’s a lot that happens on the gymternet each week. So much so that it can be hard to keep track of it all. From training updates and COVID news to recruiting rumors and coaching announcements, we don’t blame you for missing some important points here and there.

But that’s where we come in. Last Week in College Gym is your one-stop shop for all the important headlines from the previous week in college gymnastics. No matter if you’re taking a social media break, went on vacation or just don’t have the capacity to follow every single gymnast, team and fan, we have you covered.

Top Storylines

NCGA Cancels East Regional and NCGA Nationals

Before this announcement, only Rhode Island and Springfield were slated to compete in the East. It remains to be seen whether they will still hold seasons of any kind. WIAC and its affiliates in the West plan to compete.

eMjae Frazier, 4-Star Recruit, Commits to California

Frazier was one of the top uncommitted 2022s before her announcement. She will join British elite Ondine Achampong and American level 10 Reese Drotar in the Bears’ recruiting class. 

NQS Rules Modified for 2021

Road to Nationals announced that in 2021 only four scores—including at least two away numbers—will be used to calculate an NQS in 2021. High scores will not be dropped.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Casey Rorbaugh was named assistant coach at Penn. She is a former Penn State gymnast and has most recently coached at AJS Pancott gymnastics.
  • Mallory Mizuki is the Illinois Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Athlete of the Month. The junior missed her first two seasons with consecutive ACL tears. This commendation is a good sign for her return in 2021; she has been featured on bars and beam recently on team social media.
  • According to Headline Planet, UCLA senior Nia Dennis’ appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show in 2020 was the show’s second most viewed post of the year.

Preseason Sneak Peeks

Utah

Utah held a closed Red Rocks preview on Wednesday evening, but provided the public with a recap and video with insight on how it went. Junior Cristal Isa was the Utes’ lone true all arounder on the night, however, Alexia Burch, junior Adrienne Randall and freshman Lucy Stanhope also competed four but had at least one in exhibition. The pre-meet preview had tabbed Maile O’Keefe and Jayden Rucker as all arounders; O’Keefe didn’t vault, and Rucker sat out of beam.

Michigan

The Wolverines hosted a full intrasquad on Tuesday, complete with competition leotards and judges. Notable items include all around appearances from Gabby Wilson and Naomi Morrison, beam and floor only for Carly Bauman, a full-twisting double layout bar dismount from Abby Heiskell and a double tuck beam dismount from Bauman.

LSU

The LSU Tigers hosted their annual Gymnastics 101 on the SECN+ network on Thursday. The team had a rough showing, especially on bars and vault. However, head coach Jay Clark says the team has more depth in years past. Senior Reagan Campbell did not compete due to illness and Olivia Dunne, freshman, was limited to bars, beam and floor choreography. Sarah Edwards, Haleigh Bryant and Kiya Johnson were the highlights of the intrasquad and will be counted on. Sierra Ballard could be a contender for lineups as she looked solid on beam and floor.  

Training Updates

  • California junior Milan Clausi is training a new beam skill: a roundoff to layout stepout mount.
  • Two Utah gymnasts were seen training new bars dismounts this week. Senior Alexia Burch is working on a double layout while sophomore Jaedyn Rucker showed off a double front half-out.
  • Air Force senior Brooke Bruder has upgraded her vault from a Tsuk tucked full to the laid out version
  • Denver standout Lynnzee Brown has resumed training her Yurchenko one and a half vault after tearing her Achilles earlier this season. Brown was ranked tenth on the event in 2019. 
  • Illinois State sophomore Christin Bandy has upgraded her vault from a Yurchenko tuck full to a Yurchenko layout full, per the team Instagram story.
  • Western Michigan sophomore Ronni Binstock showed off one last floor upgrade on the team Instagram story before the holiday break with a new combo pass: front handspring + one and a half + front full + straddle jump.
  • Illinois sophomore Mia Townes vaulted a Yurchenko one and a half to a competition landing. If she competes it, it would be the Illini’s first 10.0 vault since the full was downgraded.
  • Michigan State senior Ashley Beatty has a new floor pass: front full + front full.
  • Arayah Simons competed bars in Illinois’ Thursday intrasquad; she didn’t appear on the event in her freshman campaign.
  • Centenary’s Kendall Knaps will be bringing back one of the coolest skills we saw in the 2020 season. Her gainer layout beam dismount is looking sharp in training.

READ THIS NEXT: Data Deep Dive: Simulating the 2020 Postseason


Article by the editors of College Gym News

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One comment

  1. UCLA has inked the No. 1-ranked signing class in the nation, according to College Gym News. The Bruins’ top-ranked class includes U.S. National Team members Jordan Chiles, Emily Lee and Emma Malabuyo, Canadian World medalist Ana Padurariu and U.S. senior elite Alexis Jeffrey .

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