This week we’re discussing the Division II teams competing in the newly formed GEC, and you know the drill now: Since none of these teams competed in 2021, there’s a bit of guesswork involved in predicting their lineups. The uncertainty is doubled for Southern Connecticut, which is adding literally the largest freshman class in NCAA gymnastics history this year. As bewildering as all these options might be, though, they’re also incredibly exciting. These teams all have a lot to play for in 2022.
We’re getting back into the groove of things and returning to the status quo for the 2022 season (as much as we can at least!). 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 the upcoming season—from who’s expected to contribute, holes that need to be filled and exciting upgrades fans should look out for.
Bridgeport finished third at USAG nationals in 2019 before ending the season early in 2020. A strong and talented team, it gains a few more routines than it lost, but there’s still the factor of looking toward experienced team members to guide the team as it gets the season going.
|Losses:||Regan Dillon, Molly Grau, Caitlin Gray (transfer), Gabrielle Kistner (transfer), Julianna Roland (transfer), Amanda Wygonik|
|Gains:||Joanna Chambers (transfer from Alaska), Catherine Aucoin, Olivia Imbarlina, Gaby Jorden, Savannah Lindley, Kiana Session, Alyssa Wiggins|
|Returning From Injury:||Crystal Gwinn|
Potential Contributors: Jordan Streete (9.745), Crystal Gwinn, Joanna Chambers, Alyssa Wiggins, Savannah Lindley, Kianna Session, Gaby Jorden, Olivia Imbarlina
How It Looked Before: After starting off with a low 46.850, Bridgeport rebounded and never dipped below a 48.200 for the rest of the season, which remains in line with its consistent 2019 where it never dipped below a 48.300.
How It Looks Now: With a consistent Jordan Streete and a healthy Crystal Gwinn, the lineup is sure to be a strong one, as Gwinn had an NQS of 9.805 in 2019. Joanna Chambers could absolutely see time in the top six with her front handspring pike half, assuming she stays healthy. Alyssa Wiggins has a strong Yurchenko half that, once more consistent, could quickly become a reliable addition to the lineup. Kianna Session, Olivia Imbarlina and Savannah Lindley all have Yurchenko tucked or laid-out fulls are also options with improved execution.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Overall, with so many strong vaulters already on the team and big scores coming in, this event is definitely trending up.
Potential Contributors: Kathryn Doran (9.845), Joanna Chambers, Kiana Session, Alyssa Wiggins, Olivia Imbarlina, Gaby Jorden
How It Looked Before: In 2019, Bridgeport started off with a 48.225, peaking at 49.175. While 2020 didn’t have as many high scores, the team kept it above a 48.050 for most of the season, with a fluke 46.450.
How It Looks Now: Doran is training a stunning laid-out Jaeger, which will hopefully make an appearance in 2022. Even if it doesn’t, her consistency will no doubt anchor the top six. Chambers has a few flying releases of her own—her piked Gienger and clean double tuck would make a great addition to the top six. Session is very much in the discussion as well, with a packed bar routine that includes a Pak and double layout dismount. Gaby Jorden and Olivia Imbarlina have been training double layouts as well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Overall, trending up. There’s a lot of potential from this team on the event.
Potential Contributors: Nicole Javinett (9.715), Kathryn Doran (9.285), Jordan Streete (avg. 8.300), Joanna Chambers, Alyssa Wiggins, Olivia Imbarlina, Gaby Jorden, Kiana Session, Savannah Lindley
How It Looked Before: Beam has been a bit inconsistent for Bridgeport the past two seasons, with nearly a two-point swing between the highs and the lows. In 2020 it had a low 47.025 three meets after an incredible 48.900.
How It Looks Now: Javinett has been a strong competitor for Bridgeport on beam, with her consistency holding the team down. When Doran hits, she’s capable of putting up a stream of 9.700s and higher, but bobbles stand in the way. The incoming routines have a fair mix of the expected back handspring + layout step-out series, and Chambers brings a back handspring + back tuck (and is training a unique one-arm front handspring + back tuck). Jorden’s intricate and clean set would be great in the lead-off spot; her confidence and steady movement easily complements Javinett later in the lineup.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. There are too many variables at play just yet with consistency and start values.
Potential Contributors: Hayley Bangart (9.500), Crystal Gwinn, Joanna Chambers, Alyssa Wiggins, Kiana Session, Olivia Imbarlina, Savannah Lindley, Gaby Jorden
How It Looked Before: Bridgeport had a fairly consistent floor rotation in 2020, keeping its scores around a 48.500 for most of the season with an opening-day low of 47.600 before scoring a season-high 48.975 just before the end of the season.
How It Looks Now: A healthy Gwinn will certainly find herself back this event with her having scored an average of 9.805 in 2019. Chambers and Wiggins are also options while Session recently upgraded to a full-in, giving her an elevated chance to compete. Jorden is training a front tuck through to a double tuck that could make the lineup once perfected.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up! It will take some finessing and cleaning, but there’s a lot to work with.
Overall, Bridgeport has some great potential and is a strong program that could topple some DI schools. The incoming underclassmen have an impressive spectrum of skills that they’re bringing to the program, and combined with the experience of the rising seniors, Bridgeport only has itself to contend with at the start.
SCSU is welcoming its largest incoming class of freshmen, as well as eight transfers, to the team in 2022. In short, the Owls have an abundance of options.
|Losses:||Emily Balasco, Morgan Gatewood, Keara Loughlin, Jordan Peloquin, Natalie McCormack (transfer), Shannon Farrell (transfer)|
|Gains:||Delaney Fields (SPU), Ava Boyd (Bridgeport), Audrey Arnold (Bridgeport), Breyana Daniels, Shannon Farrell, Jayci Jordan, Emily Kahl (Bridgeport), Kamryn Leinheiser (Bridgeport), Charlie Lister (Bridgeport), Sydney Smith (Bridgeport), Hannah Zebdi (Bridgeport), Libby Allen, Elena Bailey, Erica Beyer, Alexa Bracher, Brooke Burkhart, Emelia Diaz, Brianna Dorr, Alexandra England, Makenna Fay, Molly Froman, Talia Kraus, Brianna Marriott, Alexa Melanson, Sarah Moussa, Shreya Munshi, Sara Ortiz, Ciana Rios, Morgan Romeis, Paige Scott, Madison Tansowny, Sidney Wilson, Megan Workman|
Potential Contributors: Cassidy Girolamo (9.640), Hannah Stahlbrodt (9.630), Kamryn Leinheiser, Hanna Zebdi, Sydney Smith, Libby Allen, Brooke Burkhart, Brianna Dorr, Elena Bailey, Megan Workman, Molly Froman, Natalia Kraus, Morgan Romeis, Sidney Wilson, Ciana Rios, Alexa Bracher, Alexandra England, Sarah Moussa, Alexa Melanson
How It Looked Before: Vault is a fairly consistent event for SCSU, scoring within the 47 range without much deviation, aside from a low 46.700 in the 2020 season. Its 2019 season was a bit better overall with scores regularly in the 48s.
How It Looks Now: SCSU lost a fair amount of its vault lineup, but with so many new members on the team, there are plenty of options. In combination with Hannah Stahlbrodt’s vault, sophomore Sydney Smith also brings in a powerful Yurchenko full. Brooke Burkhart and Natalia Kraus have clean Yurchenko layouts with power enough to add a twist down the line. Libby Allen has a clean layout as well but has been previously training a unique front handspring onto the board into a front handspring tuck. Elena Bailey already has a stunning Yurchenko half with immaculate form and power that could easily make the top six regularly, and Molly Froman could add another front handspring-style vault with her front handspring tuck. Morgan Romeis is another contender.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? It’s too early to tell right now with so many options to choose from.
Potential Contributors: Hannah Stahlbrodt (9.730), Cassidy Girolamo (9.405), Bianca Leon (9.350), Noely Macias (9.345), Sydney Smith, Jayci Jordan, Hanna Zebdi, Kamyrn Leinheiser, Elena Bailey, Ciana Rios, Morgan Romeis, Natalia Kraus, Molly Froman, Erica Beyer, Alexandra England
How It Looked Before: SCSU hasn’t always found a consistent lineup on bars. In 2020 it had a low of 45.525 but peaked at 48.225 just two meets later. Its 2019 season was more reliable, mostly scoring high 46s or mid 47s.
How It Looks Now: Leon scored a sky-high 9.900 on bars in 2020 and Stahlbrodt typically scores around a 9.800, so the bar lineup will be about who can continue to add consistently high scores to complement that duo. Smith brings a nice Pak and clean Endos that would fit the lineup well. Jayci Jordan has the potential to crack the lineup with some cleaning up and work on consistency. Natalia Kraus and Morgan Romeis have strong potential to make it into the top six with some touch ups, and Romeis’ bar routine flows nicely and doesn’t give away too much in deductions.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Still too early to tell, but trending up feels likely.
Potential Contributors: Hannah Stahlbrodt (9.745), Bianca Leon (9.550), Cassidy Girolamo (avg. 9.206), Noely Macias (avg. 8.025), Sydney Smith, Emiley Kahl, Libby Allen, Natalia Kraus, Molly Froman, Elena Bailey, Emelia Diaz, Madison Tansowny, Alexa Bracher, Alexandra England, Sarah Moussa, Alexa Melanson
How It Looked Before: SCSU started 2020 shaky but once scored a 47.550 and never dropped back into the 46s. It looked a little stronger on beam in 2019, staying between a 47.150 and 48.550 throughout.
How It Looks Now: With only Stahlbrodt and Leon returning as lineup regulars, there could be a lot of turnover in 2022 as the team finds the most ideal top six. Few underclassmen bring a level 10 start value over 9.500, so SCSU will want to work this fall on upgrades and bonuses to maximize scoring potential. Smith’s flexibility shines on beam—a transverse straddle jump half is the star of her set. Emiley Kahl’s split positions shouldn’t be counted out either; her extension easily makes her a contender. Emelia Diaz has a stunning press handstand mount and a unique acro series, side aerial to barani, that’s a nice deviation from the typical cookie cutter combinations so often seen on the event. And, Madison Tansowny’s side aerial to back handspring and side somi would make an excellent addition to the top six as well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Overall, SCSU is trending up. It might be rocky at first, but it’s going to be solid eventually.
Potential Contributors: Hannah Stahlbrodt (9.730), Noely Macias (9.640), Cassidy Girolamo (9.380), Madison TansownySydney Smith, Hanna Zebdi, Audrey Arnold, Libby Allen, Natalia Kraus, Morgan Romeis, Sara Ortiz, Elena Bailey, Erica Beyer, Molly Froman, Alexa Bracher, Alexandra England, Sarah Moussa, Alexa Melanson
How It Looked Before: With the exception of a 46.725, SCSU kept its scores above a 47.425 in 2020, with the tail end of 2020 being within the 48s. The 2019 season was a similar story, scoring above 47.650 the entire season.
How It Looks Now: Stahlbrodt and Macias are the two high-scoring returners for SCSU, although expect to see upperclassman Girolamo in the lineup as well. Tansowny is a former level 10 national champion on floor and has the experience to deliver big numbers here. Natalia Kraus, Hanna Zebdi and Sara Ortiz are other strong options.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Overall, trending up. SCSU will need to smooth out some kinks, but overall floor will look good.
As a whole, SCSU is absolutely trending up. The pool of underclassmen could be a detriment but also a gift as the team settles into the season and everyone starts to gain some valuable experience. With such a big team, it’ll be useful to see how they nudge one another along, applying just the right amount of pressure to keep everyone competitive and peaking at the right time.
The last few seasons have been the best in program history for West Chester, and the 2020-21 freshman class was a great one, so the news that the Golden Rams wouldn’t compete last season stung. Luckily, senior all around star Jessica Meakim is back for a fifth year, and West Chester looks ready to pick up where it left off.
|Losses:||Sarah Boyd, Jordan Miranda, Natalie Onderko, Paige Parsnik, Sydne Powers, Kelley Lubking, Yoli Nodarse, Alaina Steinberg, Melanie Wojewoda|
|Gains:||Hyla Betts, Caroline Cascadden, Kiley Fred, Lily McFarland, Maggie Storz, Madison Whitaker, Lauren Wicker, Caitlyn Allen, Shannon Carroll, Jordan Coleman, Natalie Marshall, Kristina Rodriguez, Bridget Sullivan, Korryn Wingertsahn|
Potential Contributors: Kiah Johnson (9.770), Jessica Meakin (9.680), McKenna Kissinger (9.585), Annie Bailey (9.510), Brashlyn Johnson (9.465), Maggie Storz, Caitlyn Allen, Kiley Fred, Caroline Cascadden, Shannon Carroll, Lily McFarland
How It Looked Before: Vault was West Chester’s lowest-ranked event in 2020, but it was a consistent one. Like most other teams in this ranking bracket, the Golden Rams usually vault a mixture of 9.95 start values, Yurchenko layouts and front handspring tucks.
How It Looks Now: Most of the vault lineup returns, so the Golden Rams have lots of room to grow here. We’ve seen a viable Yurchenko one and a half in training lately, but it wasn’t labeled with a gymnast’s name. Our best guess is that powerhouse junior Kiah Johnson has an upgrade in the works. Maggie Storz’s gorgeous Yurchenko full is the top vault among the newcomers. Caitlyn Allen and Kiley Fred also have fulls while Caroline Cascadden has trained both front handspring and Tsukahara entries. Shannon Carroll has the top incoming Yurchenko layout, and Lily McFarland does a tucked full.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? There’s a lot of potential new difficulty on this event. It should be easy for the Golden Rams to improve.
Potential Contributors: Jessica Meakim (9.680), Samantha Kelly (9.625), Samantha Gill (9.585), Lauren Wicker, Hyla Betts, Maggie Storz, Tiara DeTommaso
How It Looked Before: Bars was very reliable for the 2020 Golden Rams, rarely dropping below 47.500.
How It Looks Now: A lot graduated here, including key routines from Yoli Nodarse and Melanie Wojewoda, so the underclassmen will be key. Freshman Lauren Wicker stands out with a level 10 high score of 9.700 and great handstands. Sophomores Hyla Betts and Storz are also future mainstays with Betts in particular a potential anchor contender. Junior Tiara DeTommaso hasn’t competed yet in college, but she showed bars at last year’s intrasquad and is a definite option.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. There’s enough talent to make this lineup great, but bars is one of the most difficult events for a very young lineup to handle—both physically and mentally.
Potential Contributors: Jessica Meakim (9.685), Rose Fanara (9.635), Kiah Johnson (avg. 9.560), Lily McFarland, Hyla Betts, Natalie Marshall, Caitlyn Allen, Kiley Fred, Maggie Storz, Tiara DeTommaso, Caroline Cascadden
How It Looked Before: The 2020 beam squad could be a little inconsistent, but led by seniors Yoli Nodarse and Sarah Boyd, its best was absolutely brilliant.
How It Looks Now: Luckily there’s plenty of beam talent joining the Golden Rams this year. Based on level 10 performance, sophomores McFarland and Betts are the frontrunners. According to the May intrasquad lineups, though, virtually the whole sophomore class has competitive beam routines. Fred, Storz and junior DeTommaso all showed full sets, though the strongest technique of that tier belongs to Caroline Cascadden. Freshman Natalie Marshall was a top performer in level 10, as was Caitlyn Allen.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down…probably. This will be an extraordinarily pretty lineup, but it’s such a big ask for such a young group to get consistent on beam in its first handful of college meets.
Potential Contributors: Jessica Meakim (9.815), Rose Fanara (9.780), McKenna Kissinger (9.755), Kiah Johnson (9.745), Brashlyn Johnson (9.655), Samantha Kelly (avg. 8.900)
How It Looked Before: Floor was West Chester’s top-ranked event in 2020, and most of the core routines return in 2022.
How It Looks Now: Freshman Carroll scored a perfect 10 on floor once in level 10, so she has to be one to watch. Classmate Marshall and sophomore McFarland were the most reliable on this event in the past while fellow sophomores Fred and Storz have high peak scores.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? This event should improve. So many of the key routines from 2020 are still on the roster, and the underclassmen contribute plenty more depth.
West Chester has been fantastic in recent history with a team program record in 2017 and virtually all of the individual program records tied or exceeded since then. There’s every reason to believe that the Golden Rams will keep knocking at the door of another 194-plus this year. This team is usually borderline on qualifying a full team to USAG nationals, but it was in line to do so decisively in 2020 before the championship was cancelled because of COVID. Sending a whole team to Ithaca, New York, in 2022 would be a clear marker of success.
READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: GEC Part I
Article by Allison Freeman and Rebecca Scally
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