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Last Week in College Gym: Aug. 16

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 year announcements to recruiting rumors and coaching news, we don’t blame you for missing some important points here and there.

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

5-Star McClain Commits to LSU

Senior elite Konnor McClain, in the class of 2023, announced her verbal commitment to LSU Saturday after months of speculation by gymnastics fans. Class of 2023 gymnasts were only allowed to begin verbally committing as of June of this year. Formerly of Revolution in West Virginia, McClain recently switched gyms to WOGA before cutting her 2021 season short and withdrawing from the Olympic selection process. She still intends to pursue the Paris 2024 Olympics.

What our Editors are saying… 

Konnor McClain could teach a masterclass on holding college gym fans’ interest. Her recruitment process was always going to generate speculation and attention, but McClain has stayed in the spotlight by giving just enough hints and red herrings to keep us guessing. In addition to her potentially massive gymnastics contributions, it seems like she has the self-promotion skills to keep all eyes on LSU even after Livvy Dunne graduates.” — Claire Billman, SEC Editor 

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Former Arkansas student assistant coach Jessica Yamzon was named the new volunteer assistant coach at Lindenwood. 
  • Northern Illinois posted the top team GPA for gymnastics with a 3.874. Every gymnast was named a WCGA Academic All-American.
  • Auburn freshman Sunisa Lee arrived on the Plains less than two weeks after winning all around gold at the Tokyo Olympics.  
  • Rutgers head coach Umme Salim-Beasley and junior Hannah Joyner, UCLA sophomore Chae Campbell, Auburn senior Derrian Gobourne, former Ball State and Alabama gymnast Tia Kiaku and Seattle Pacific alumna Darian Burns were among the coaches and gymnasts who participated in the fifth annual Brown Girls Do Gymnastics Conference hosted by Grambling State University. The university is exploring the possibility of becoming the first HBCU to sponsor women’s gymnastics.
  • Ohio State is upgrading its training gym over the next month, and you can follow along on Instagram.
  • Iowa State announced the signing of Marina González, a member of the Spanish Olympic team for Tokyo 2020.
  • Former Arizona gymnast Kennedi Davis announced her transfer to Washington for her final two years of school.

NIL Brand Deals

  • Rachel Lukacs collaborated with Iconic Leos to release “The Lukacs” leotard. This leotard supports Lydia’s Place, an organization that assists young adults in Georgia who have experienced foster care. 
  • Utah senior Sydney Soloski signed with Hawker Family Sports & Entertainment
  • LSU sophomore Olivia Dunne has signed with industry leading talent agency WME.
  • Georgia senior Abbey Ward is is working with Layout Leos
  • Donna Howell, Penn State senior, is working with Haute Swimwear.
  • Oklahoma junior Ragan Smith has signed with management company Premier Talent Sports and Entertainment.

Training Updates

  • Iowa State posted several training updates to its Instagram story, including a DTY from senior Kelsey Boychuk.
  • UW-Stout incoming freshman Gabrielle Winstead is training a front toss to BHS beam series. 
  • AnnaKate Bickel, incoming freshman at TWU, is training a 10.0 start value vault. She was seen on Instagram working on a Yurchenko full-on, tuck off onto two mats in the pit. 
  • Towson rising junior Camille Vitoff is training a double layout on floor.

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: Aug. 9

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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