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Last Week in College Gym: Aug. 30

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

ACC, Big Ten and Pac-12 Announce Partnership

The alliance will largely affect football and men’s and women’s basketball scheduling and championships. The response to the expanding SEC will consider expanded cross-conference competition in Olympic sports as well, specifically to foster the creation of new and exciting rivalries. 

What our editors are saying: 

“I’m intrigued! Olympic sports getting a callout in the official release is encouraging. The release also mentions ‘broad-based athletic programs’ and speaks about expanding athletic opportunities, which to me signals that the three conferences are all thinking about non-revenue sports. That’s all good news, especially given the impending ACC gymnastics landscape. The situation feels ripe for another ACC team to add gymnastics. I will be curious to see if the alliance has any effect on broadcasting rights. The Pac-12 Network has been under fire recently. It seems to me that to really compete with the SEC, these three conferences will need a robust broadcast deal.” – Emily M

Clemson Plans to Hire Head Coach in March 2022

The Tigers’ athletic director said that while they’ve interviewed candidates for the head coach position, timing became too crunched with the upcoming season to make the hire this year. Former Utah head coach Greg Marsden shared his insight and thoughts, too.

Sunisa Lee to Join DWTS for Season 30

NIL opened the door for plenty of opportunities for collegiate athletes. A main one? DWTS. Suni Lee will join the cast for Season 30, which begins on Sept. 20. Lee is taking on a busy schedule with classes at Auburn, team practices and DWTS training, performances and press. It is likely Lee’s DWTS partner will travel to Auburn during the week for practice, and the duo will fly in for the live shows on Mondays. Her professional partner is yet to be announced.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • UCLA freshman Emma Malabuyo posted that she has arrived on campus for her freshman year.
  • TWU has named George von Drashek its new assistant coach. He has served as an assistant coach at Hamline for the last four seasons. Kristen Harrold, a member of the Pioneer’s coaching staff for the last six seasons, is now responsible for recruiting coordinator responsibilities. 
  • Sophomore Gillian Rutz has been removed from the Arkansas Gymnastics roster. Rutz contributed a few times on bars and beam for the Razorbacks in 2021. 
  • Haleigh Bryant was selected as LSU’s Female Rookie of the Year.
  • Sydney Thomas-Lutchmedial quit gymnastics for seven months over a year ago due to injury. In March of 2021, Thomas-Lutchmedial began to train again and officially returned to gymnastics five months ago. She will begin her collegiate gymnastics career at Alaska this season. 
  • Former Rutgers gymnast Makenzey Shank has been promoted to director of operations at Rutgers.

NIL Brand Deals

  • Georgia senior Rachel Baumann is the first female Atlanta Braves athlete.
  • Megan Skaggs signed on with Team Make it Loud. Madison Kocian, Jordyn Wieber and Samantha Peszek are a handful of other athletes who work with the Agency. 
  • LSU freshman Aleah Finnegan and Oklahoma junior Ragan Smith signed an NIL deal with Fanjoy.
  • Florida senior Sydney Johnson-Scharpf signed an NIL Deal with Rind Snacks.

Training Updates

  • Illini sophomore Ashley Resch is training a full-twisting double back bar dismount, and junior Lexi Powe is working a big piked Jaeger.
  • Kyla Dickson, UW-La Crosse freshman, is training Tkatchevs on her Instagram. 
  • North Carolina sophomore Cory Shinohara, who missed the 2021 season after tearing her Achilles, showed a Yurchenko full into the pit.
  • Kentucky senior Josie Angeny was seen training a double layout into the pit. Angeny made her floor and all around debut for the Wildcats in her junior season. 
  • Haley de Jong, Georgia junior, is training an E-level triple twist on floor. 
  • Minnesota’s Maddie Quarles is working a front through to double tuck on the Tumbl Trak.
  • Georgia senior Rachel Baumann is training a Y1.5 on vault. 
  • LSU sophomore Haleigh Bryant is training a double front half dismount on bars. 
  • Auburn freshman Sophia Groth is training a bhs loso bhs series on beam. 
  • Missouri freshman Jocelyn Moore is working on a FTDB dismount on bars. 
  • Aleah Finnegan, LSU freshman, is back training on bars after undergoing foot surgery two weeks ago. 

READ THIS NEXT: Miki Aderinto Overcomes Mental Blocks to Commit to California

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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