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Last Week in College Gym: Sept. 20

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

Bryan Raschilla Promoted

Oregon State announced the promotion of Bryan Raschilla to associate head coach alongside head coach Tanya Chaplin. Raschilla was an assistant coach for the Beavers last season after previous coaching stints at Auburn, Alabama and Michigan.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Official practices are starting across the NCAA. 
  • Simone Biles’s Gold Over America Tour has officially hit the road. The tour features many current and former NCAA Gymnastics athletes, including Grace McCallum, Jade Carey and Nia Dennis.
  • Former Utah gymnast Mykayla Skinner and UCLA freshman Jordan Chiles both performed on last Wednesday’s America’s Got Talent finale episode.
  • Former Kent State gymnast and current North Carolina assistant head coach Marie Denick will be inducted into the Kent State hall of fame as part of the 2021 class. As a gymnast at Kent State, she was a three-time MAC gymnast of the year and helped the Golden Flashes reach nationals in 2011 for the first time in program history.
  • Oregon State announced the medical retirement of sophomore Jane Poniewaz. She plans to remain a part of the team by taking on the role of student assistant with the Beavers.
  • Denver senior Mia Sundstrom has been named president of her university’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which works to improve communication between student-athletes and athletic department administration.

NIL Brand Deals

  • Olivia Dunne signed her first NLI deal with activewear brand Vuori. Forbes said it is “mid six-figures.”
  • Hallie Thompson is partnering with Salute leos to design her own custom leo.
  • Samantha Sakti tweeted about a new partnership with Sam’s Club.
  • LSU freshman Aleah Finnegan is partnering with Amazon Lifestyle
  • Oklahoma junior Ragan Smith has partnered with Allbirds shoes.
  • LSU senior Sarah Edwards is partnering with Orange Theory Fitness.
  • Auburn freshman Sunisa Lee announced her partnership with Celsius in a TikTok.

Training Updates

  • New Hampshire sophomore Jenna DeVincenzo is training a full-in on floor. 
  • SEMO had its first show day of the preseason. Some notable skills featured were Molly Maxwell’s front double full on floor, Lydia Webb’s side aerial to switch leap beam connection and Jordan Jones’ front tuck step out through to 2.5 twist on floor. 
  • Centenary’s TikTok featured a compilation of practice videos this week. The Ladies showed off a few upgrades, including senior Madison McCary’s clear hip to Tkatchev, senior Kendall Sanders’ BHS + layout two-feet series on beam and junior Leilani Johnson’s punch front on beam. 
  • Sophomore Quinnlan Burger was seen training a punch front on beam on Winona State’s Instagram story. Teammate Bryce Stoltz is training a round off + LOSO series. 
  • West Chester freshman Caitlyn Allen is training a BHS + one-armed BHS + LOSO series on beam. 
  • Georgia junior Amanda Cashman is training a Yurchenko one and a half. She is the third Gym Dog—along with senior Rachel Baumann and junior Haley DeJong—to unveil that upgrade on vault during the 2021 preseason. Sophomore Victoria Nguyen showed off a piked Jaeger. 
  • Hailey Davis of Kentucky showed off a front tuck on beam while teammate Josie Angeny is training a double layout on floor. 
  • Alabama showcased training footage from the team’s first official day of practice on Instagram. Freshman Lily Hudson was working a back two and a half twist on floor. Teammates Griffin James and Shallon Olsen were also featured working twisting passes. James completed a FHS + Rudi and Olsen completed a triple twist. 
  • Central Michigan shared some snippets of its floor choreography for this season on Instagram. The post highlighted routines from Adrian Bustelo, Amber Mueller, Christie Tini, Sierra DeMarinis and Audrianna Hammond.
  • Kentucky posted this training reel of its gymnasts sticking bar dismounts, including double layouts from Carissa Clay and Ashlyn LaClair. 
  • Missouri’s Hannah McCrary is working on a tucked Yurchenko one and a half, an upgrade from the Yurchenko full she competed last season. 
  • Iowa State senior Ariana Orrego is training a Ray to Pak combination on bars, via ISU’s Instagram story. The team also posted a double layout bars dismount from freshman Marina Gonzalez, a punch front beam mount from sophomore Alondra Maldonado and a side aerial to full twist beam dismount from freshman Josie Bergstrom.
  • West Virginia posted several training videos to its Instagram story, including a Yurchenko full and a back handspring gainer full beam dismount from freshman Brooke Alban. Freshman Anna Leigh is training a piked Jaeger, junior Abbie Pierson is training a toe-on piked front half bar dismount and senior Esperanza Abarca displayed a unique beam combination—a side aerial to side somi.
  • Pitt posted several highlights of its first day of practice on its Instagram story. Of note, freshmen Jordyn Ewing and Hallie Copperwheat are both training piked full-ins on floor, and senior Katie Chamberlain is back training floor after not competing the event in 2021. In addition, Copperwheat appears to be keeping her double turn in her beam routine. Fifth-year Kailey Gillings, who missed the 2021 season after tearing her ACL, showed some training on bars.
  • Nebraska posted a first-week-back training update on its Instagram.
  • Senior Alyssa Baumann of Florida stated in an interview that she is planning on competing a Yurchenko one and a half on vault and an Onodi on beam. Additionally, she is looking to try to continue making the bar lineup. 
  • Florida senior Sydney Johnson-Scharpf shared a video of a double layout dismount on bars into the pit. It’s unlikely she’ll compete the event for Florida, but it is the first training clip since she tore her Achilles last season. 
  • UCLA posted a tumbling video to its team TikTok. It features Samantha Sakti’s double pike, Chae Campbell’s full-in and Chloe Lashbrooke’s double layout.

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: Sept. 13

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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