MPSF had an unusual year even by 2021’s standards, with Air Force being the only team to have a full schedule’s worth of meets (San Jose State competed in five meets total while UC Davis, Sacramento State and Alaska opted out completely). The conference also lost Seattle Pacific after the university dissolved the program in 2020. It’s been two seasons since the last MPSF conference championship, not to mention these teams functionally have two classes of newcomers, so predicting the upcoming season is even trickier than usual.
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.
No. 51 San Jose State
San Jose State only had the opportunity to compete a handful of times in 2021 and didn’t have full lineups until its second meet. The program scored a season high 194.475 against Air Force and should improve on its results in 2022 after losing no routines from 2021.
|Gains:||Michaela Gentry, Trinity Johnson, Sophia Jonieczny, Katherine Weymiller|
Potential Contributors: Lauren Macpherson (9.769 NQS), Cameron Kelperis (9.694), Madison Kirsch (9.619), Jaudai Lopes (9.625), Antonia Marquez ( 9.488) Tia Gin, Emma Milne, Shyan Phillips, Carli Orcutt, Alexa Solomon, Natasha Forrand, Makayla McMahon, Mercedes Sanchez
How It Looked Before: The Spartans had individual high scores in the 9.700s but were unable to consistently put together a strong lineup each week. Lauren MacPherson had the team’s highest score with a 9.800.
How It Looks Now: Junior Shyan Phillips has a beautiful Yurchenko full if she can stay healthy. Alexa Solomon, Jaudai Lopez and Makayla McMahon are likely to become lineup mainstays with strong Yurchenko fulls. Both MacPherson and Lopez have trained a Yurchenko one and a half onto a hard surface, and if they can get them competition ready for 2022, those upgrades could help the team keep pace with the better teams on this event.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The added depth and increased competition experience will definitely help improve the Spartans’ vault performances.
Potential Contributors: Emma Milne (9.819 NQS), Mercedez Sanchez (9.725). Alexa Solomon (9.694), Lauren MacPherson (9.675), Jaudai Lopes (9.663), Jada Mazury (9.600), Carli Orcutt, Tia Gin, Shyan Phillips
How It Looked Before: Emma Milne and Mercedez Sanchez were a dynamic duo for the Spartans in 2021 and helped make bars the team’s highest scoring apparatus.
How It Looks Now: Solomon has a great set with a variety of difficult skills to throw into her routine, such as a Ricna, Maloney, Pak and full-twisting double layout.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. The group had a 2021 on the event but will need to push past previous consistency issues to reach the 49-plus range.
Potential Contributors: Emma Milne (9.819 NQS),Lauren MacPherson (9.763), Mercedez Sanchez (9.675 NQS), Jasmine Henley (9.463), Jada Mazury (9.319), Cameron Kelperis (9.300), Tia Gin, Shyan Phillips, Madison Kirsch, Jaudai Lopes, Makayla McMahon, Carli Orcutt, Madison Kirsch
How It Looked Before: Beam was a rough go for the Spartans. The team consistently counted multiple falls or huge errors in the lineup. Milne and MacPherson were strong standouts for the program once again.
How It Looks Now: Last season was not an indicator of the potential of this beam team. Mazury and Gin are capable of huge scores, and sophomore Madison Kirsch did not compete on the event but has a back handspring + Onodi series that can score extremely well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. 2021 was not a reflection of what this beam squad can do. Expect a different story in 2022.
Potential Contributors:Cameron Kelperis (9.756 NQS), Antonia Marquez (9.725 NQS), Carli Orcutt (9.631) Lauren MacPherson (9.581), Jasmine Henley (9.544), Jada Mazury (9.875 high), Shyan Phillips, Tia Gin, Alexa Solomon, Natasha Forrand, Madison Kirsch, Jaudai Lopes, Makayla McMahon, Julieta Mendiola
How It Looked Before: The Spartans are stellar on floor as evidenced by Jada Mazury’s season high 9.875. This is an event that was hindered with COVID-19 restrictions and lack of competition experiences for the freshman—now sophomore—class.
How It Looks Now: Jade Mazury, Tia Gin and Cameron Kelperis are capable of 9.8-plus every week. The sophomore class all had strong performances in level 10 that will transfer very well to the NCAA season. Floor had the most variety of athletes competing in 2021, which goes to show how intense the internal team competition to make the top six will be.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. California had some of the strictest pandemic restrictions, and floor was the event those restrictions affected training on most. Given the depth and number of potential contributors, expect to see some variation in the lineups.
San Jose State was one of the only two MPSF teams to compete in 2021. While the Spartans certainly have the edge experience-wise, will it be enough to overtake the other teams for the conference title in 2022?
No. 53 Air Force
After a rocky start, the Falcons hit their stride mid season. Their 2021 campaign culminated in five individual finalists at USAG championships and 11 USAG All-American honors.
|Losses:||Cam Barber, Brooke Bruder, Chloe Camello, Tyler Davis, Jessica Kirkpatrick, Lauren Miller, Heidi Sand|
|Gains:||Velandra Brochi, Sarah Brown, Ashley Hay, Alexa Kabat, Maddie Kinsey, Ayla McKean, Gabriella Meccia, Cassidy O’Neill, Genevieve Sabado Baez, Tessa Volpe, Leilani Zander|
Potential Contributors: Daija Stevenson (9.756 NQS), Grace Bardes (9.650), Natalie Meyer (9.538), Pixie Brock (9.525), Grace Nelson (9.500 AVG), Natalie Meyer (9.425), Maddie Kinsey, Ayla McKean, Genevieve Sabado Baez, Gabriella Meccia, Cassidy O’Neill,
How It Looked Before: Never a super high scoring event, Air Force had an uncharacteristic number of sub-48 performances.
How It Looks Now: Unlike its conference-mates, Air Force is not gaining a high caliber incoming vault class. However, Cassidy O’Neil did earn herself a spot on the 2021 Top 100 with a strong Yurchenko full. Ayla McKean also has a nice Yurchenko full that should crack the lineup, and Maddie Kinsey has a consistent Yurchenko full that should make an appearance for the program this season as well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. McKean and O’Neil should add nice scores to the lineup, but the team is losing two of its best and most consistent vaulters in Heidi Sand and Tyler Davis.
Potential Contributors: Daija Stevenson (9.738 NQS), Grace Bardes (9.669), Pixie Brock (9.094), Elizabeth Shearns (9.600 AVG), Ainsley Prins (9.275), Velandra Brochi, Tessa Volpe, Genevieve Sabado Baez, Leilani Zander
How It Looked Before: Historically, bars has been a tough event for Air Force, and last season was no exception.
How It Looks Now: The team lost three of its stronger bar workers on an already weak bar squad last season. Fortunately, the team will be gaining strong routines from its freshman. Sabado Baez was in the 2021 top 100 on the event with a floaty Maloney and Pak. Brochi brings a Jaeger to the lineup, and Volpe has a viable set with a double front half-out dismount.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. This is the event where the incoming class will have the biggest chance at early season contributions.
Potential Contributors: Briona Carswell (9.856 NQS), Daija Stevenson (9.825), Pixie Brock (9.731), Valerie Smith (9.725), Cameo Stapleton (9.706), Elizabeth Shearns, Genevieve Sabado Baez, Tessa Volpe, Leilani Zander
How It Looked Before: Beam was Air Force’s standout event thanks in no small part to standouts Briona Carswell and Daija Stevenson.
How It Looks Now: Beam should be a strong suit for the Air Force once again with only one key routine lost. Carswell, Stevenson, Pixie Brock, Valerie Smith and Cameo Stapleton are a strong lineup that will make it challenging for freshmen to sneak in. Genevieve Sabado-Baez is the most likely to grab that final lineup spot.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. Air Force keeps the majority of its lineup for 2022 and has increased depth from its freshman class.
Potential Contributors: Daija Stevenson (9.831 NQS), Came Stapleton (9.806), Pixie Brock (9.756), Natalie Meyer (9.750),Genevieve Sabado Baez, Maddie Kinsey, Ayla McKean, Gabriella Meccia
How It Looked Before: Floor has always been a strong event for the Falcons and continued to be in 2021. While they missed Davis’ performance on a weekly basis, Stevenson, Stapleton, Brock and Meyer picked up the slack.
How It Looks Now: Air Force will be relying on its strong senior and junior class for contributions. Sabado-Baez, Brochi, Zander, Hay and McKean have potential to crack into the lineup and grab those final two lineup spots.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. Floor was great for the Falcons in 2021 and will be returning the majority of its lineup for 2022.
Air Force tends to be upperclassman-heavy in its lineups. Despite a large freshman class, its likely few will see significant competition time, especially with large junior and sophomore presence in its lineups in 2021. Sabado-Baez is a potential standout all arounder for the program that can fit into lineups nicely in week one, though.
Note: UC Davis did not compete in 2021 due to COVID-19. Team data is based on 2020 results.
UC Davis had one of the most exciting incoming classes for 2021, which included highly anticipated recruit Emma Otsu. While her collegiate debut was delayed a year, her long-awaited 10.0 start value vault is just one reason why the program will remain a favorite in the conference heading into 2022.
|Losses:||Sarah Liddle (AA), Kelley Hebert, Alyssa Ito|
|Gains:||Anna Holtan, Isabella Fitz-Gerald, Marisa Laird, Kaitlyn Lyle, Emma Otsu, Nandhini Senthil, Keanna Abraham, Allison Gard, Isabella King, Athena Koehler, Valerie Mostajo, Emily Pires, Megan Ray, Izabella Trejo|
|Returning From Injury:||Lauren Chu (unknown), Kyla Kessler (ACL and meniscus)|
Potential Contributors: Cammi Johnson (9.785 NQS), Cortney Cunningham (9.775), Alyssa Ito (9.770), Logan Clagg (9.760), Gabby Landess (9.730), Rachel Schuelke (9.375), Kelley Hebert (9.419 AVG), Thea Michovsky (9.400), Emma Otsu, Kaitlyn Lyle
How It Looked Before: Difficulty has never been the highlight of the Aggie lineup, but the program has consistently scored well.
How It Looks Now: Otsu’s Omelianchik and Kaitlyn Lyle’s Yurchenko one and a half are the story of this lineup. The two vaults were highly anticipated in 2021, and that won’t change in 2022. Otsu scored a 10 on her vault in level 10 in 2020.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. This is likely the Aggies’ best event, and adding Otsu and Lyle to the lineup is a complete game changer for the program.
Potential Contributors: Gabby Landess (9.800 NQS), Cortney Cunningham (9.780), Cammi Johnson (9.760), Alyssa Ito (9.650), Logan Clagg (9.645), Thea Michovsky (9.450 AVG), Shannon Sklow (9.550), Lauren Chu, Kelley Hebert, Kyla Kessler, Anna Holtan, Marisa Laird, Kaitlyn Lyle, Emma Otsu, Nandhini Senthil
How It Looked Before: UC Davis ended the 2020 season with bars as its highest scoring event.
How It Looks Now: This should be a lineup filled with newcomers. Lyle and Otsu were two of the top level 10 bar workers in 2020, and classmates Anna Holtan, Marisa Laird and Nandhini Senthil are also potential contributors. Fifth-year Gabby Landess and senior Cortney Cunningham were the team’s top scorers in 2020 and will likely keep their spots.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The Aggies are gaining two classes of incredible talent on this apparatus.
Potential Contributors: Alyssa Ito (9.845 NQS), Cammi Johnson (9.805), Kelley Hebert (9.785), Rachel Schuelke (9.770), Logan Clagg (9.670), Gabby Landess (9.520), Shanae Oishi (9.237 AVG), Petra Engstrom (8.950), Kyla Kessler (9.725 AVG in 2019), Anna Holtan, Marisa Laird, Kaitlyn Lyle, Emma Otsu
How It Looked Before: The Aggies were wildly inconsistent on beam with a four and a half-point swing between their season high (49.200) and low (44.750).
How It Looks Now: The Aggies’ top scorer, Alyssa Ito, graduated in 2020, so they’ll be looking to find some consistency. Lyle and Otsu will likely contribute to the lineup with their strong reputation of beam consistency. Former lineup staples Rachel Schuelke, Logan Clagg and Landess have experience but will need to earn their spots with consistency over the newcomers. The potential is strong, but the risk may not be worth the reward if gymnasts from the two incoming classes can hit.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. Beam has always been a shaky event for UC Davis, and there are likely a lot of jitters to come with two years of missed competition.
Potential Contributors: Gabby Landess (9.825 NQS), Cortney Cunningham (9.785), Logan Clagg (9.775), Shannon Sklow (9.705), Petra Engstrom (9.350 AVG), Kelley Hebert (9.685), Cammi Johnson (9.765), Thea Michovsky (9.644), Rachel Schuelke (9.575), Kyla Kessler (9.683 AVG in 2019), Emma Otsu, Izabella Trejo, Megan Ray
How It Looked Before: Despite being its most consistent event, UC Davis only ranked 53rd nationally on floor behind both San Jose State and Air Force in 2020.
How It Looks Now: Landess and Cunninghan will be leading the way for the upperclassman on this event once again. Otsu will likely be in the all around and brings some unique tumbling; her front double twist to front pike is sure to be a crowd favorite. Freshman Izabella Trejo has a strong full-twisting double back that she competed internationally for Sweden. Classmate Megan Ray should also easily find herself in this lineup with her clean execution and high amplitude when tumbling.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. Despite losing Hebert, the incoming classes provide difficulty and execution in their tumbling and dance elements, which should help improve the Aggies ranking on this event.
This is a program that will gradually improve over the course of the season as the underclassmen gain valuable experience and upperclassmen get back into competition mode. This program is likely to surprise many with the elite-level skills it has in its arsenal.
Note: Sacramento State did not compete in 2021 due to COVID-19. Team data is based on 2020 results.
After a rough 2019 season, Sacramento State finished 2020 on a high note. The program had a strong expected 2021 freshman class that will remain key for 2022.
|Losses:||Alexis Belkoff (VT, UB, FX), Kendra Braida (BB, FX), Tara Catour (VT, BB, FX), Wanda Deriot, Courtnee Marquez (UB, BB, FX), Taylor Weber (AA), Addy Barbee, Jordyn Brent, Raine Gordon, Mariah York|
|Gains:||Sarah Fitzgerald, Emma Morgenthaler, Torri Tavenner, Katelyn Searle, Mary Won, Simone Dumas-Guzman, Elizabeth Crawford, Madison Farris, Grace Gilman, Ruby Mach, Katelyn Stearle, Taija Wells|
|Returning From Injury:||Karissa Hoffman (unknown), Destiny Watley, Mariah York (ankle)|
Potential Contributors: Destiny Watley (9.705), Bella Lahmidi (9.685), Payton Gillen (9.575 AVG), Kelly MacLeod (9.463), Anna Leroy (9.306), Sarah Fitzgerald, Emma Morgenthaler, Katelyn Searle, Torri Tavenner
How It Looked Before: The Hornets lacked the amplitude and distance to keep up with their conference rivals on vault.
How It Looks Now: Don’t be surprised if this lineup is mainly newcomers. Torri Tavenner could potentially compete a Yurchenko one and a half, but even her Yurchenko full would likely secure her the anchor position. Sarah Fitzgerald also has a 10.0 start value with a roundoff full-on pike half. Emma Morgenthaler has a fabulous Yurchenko one and a half that scored a 9.900 during her level ten days. She was in the level 10 Top 100 vaulters for both 2019 and 2020.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. Three potential 10.0 start values is huge for any team to add to its lineup, but it could be a game changer for the Hornets.
Potential Contributors:Bella Lahmidi (9.670), Destiny Watley (9.580), Shaye Mathias (9.415), Amber Koeth (9.490 AVG), Shaye Mathias (9.454), Sarah Fitzgerald, Emma Morgenthaler, Mary Won
How It Looked Before: Bars is typically a consistent event for the Hornets, but lower start values have kept them a step behind MPSF rivals in recent years.
How It Looks Now: The team is losing its best competitor in Jordyn Brent, and Bella Lahmidi is the only returning lock to the lineup. Expect another top six filled with newcomers: Morgenthaler competed a full-twisting double layout in level 10 that would boost the team’s overall difficulty. Tavenner, Won and Searle have strong sets with great releases that can compete against the upperclassmen. Fitzgerald is another viable option—with strong lines and handstands—if she can maintain form throughout the entire routine.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. This lineup will likely be a work in progress for most of 2022.
Potential Contributors: Amber Koeth (9.820 NQS), Peyton Gillen (9.685),Bella Lahmidi, , Sarah Fitzgerald, Emma Morgenthaler, Katelyn Searle, Torri Tavener
How It Looked Before: Beam was the Hornets’ best event in 2020. Senior Amber Koeth was the standout with a season high of a 9.900.
How It Looks Now: Sacramento State lost the majority of its 2020 lineup with the past two graduating classes. Koeth will likely be the anchor and the steadiest and highest scoring routine all season long. But the rest of the top six is up for grabs. Stearle brings unique skills with a Valdez and Memmel turn that will earn her a spot. Morgenthaler also has the potential to compete difficult elements, but consistency and execution are a concern. Fitzgerald and Tavenner have solid acro skills that can add stability.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. Losing Brent in addition to the 2020 graduating class will make it hard to field a consistent, high-performing beam squad.
Potential Contributors: Anna LeRoy (9.755), Bella Lahmidi (9.660 AVG), Destiny Watley (9.125 high), Sarah Fitzgerald, Emma Morgenthaler, Katelyn Searle, Torri Tavenner, Mary Won
How It Looked Before: Brent was the third highest scorer in the MPSF in 2020. The team had the conference’s highest floor total of the season in 2020 but lacked consistency here.
How It Looks Now: It’s the story of newcomers for the MPSF, and once again the freshmen and sophomores will make their presence known in this lineup. Won has a one and a half to front full and could potentially compete an E-level full-twisting double layout. Searle carries over her gorgeous leaps and turns from beam onto floor. Morgenthaler, Fitzgerald and Tavenner bring strong tumbling, but have to improve on execution and flexibility to bring in good enough scores.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. Sac State lost the bulk of its floor routines from 2020 and will be relying on a strong transition to NCAA competition from the freshmen and sophomores.
Sacramento State will be off to a slower start, but it’s freshman and sophomore classes are impressive for the program. The potential for large scores is there, but the transition to NCAA oftentimes takes a little bit of time. The team will need them to contribute right away in order to have any shot at winning a title.
Note: Alaska did not compete in 2021 due to COVID-19. Team data is based on 2020 results.
The Seawolves have been hanging on by a thread for a while now, but fortunately, the program will survive at least through 2022. The last time the team competed, it was one of the strongest seasons to date, but the uncertainty of the program’s future has left holes in its recruiting. COVID-19 prevented Alaska from competing in 2021, leaving a lot of unanswered questions.
|Losses:||Kennedy Green (VT, FX), Sophia Hyderally (UB, BB, FX), Mackenzie Miller (UB), Isabelle Fox (AA), Michaela Phillips (BB), Kenadi Brown (AA), Joanna Chambers, Winter Osborne, Alezandra Britz, Tere Alonso, Louisa Marie Knapp, Hope Nelon|
|Gains:||Kylie Reese (SR transfer from Seattle Pacific), Marcela Bonifasi, Montana Fairbairn, Silje Hildebrand, Jessica Johnson, Brooklyn Kopsack, Alyssa Manley, Allie McClure, Emily Walker, Shannon Farrell,|
Potential Contributors: Mackenzie Robinson (9.505), Tere Alonso (9.375), Rachel Decious (9.350 AVG), Joanna Chambers, Montana Fairbairn, Silje Hildebrand, Jessica Johnson, Allie McClure, Emily Walker
How It Looked Before: Depth has historically been an issue for the Seawolves on vault. In 2020, they were often challenged to find six competitors to field a full lineup.
How It Looks Now: Alaska’s two top vaulters, Isabelle Fox and Kenadi Brown, both transferred after the 2020 season, but it does have some impressive talent in the freshman and sophomore classes. Canadian elite Montana Fairbairn was one of CGN’s most anticipated freshmen on vault for 2021; her 10.0 SV Yurchenko half-on, pike half will be a game changer for the Seawolves. Jessica Johnson also has the potential for a 10.0 start value Yurchenko full-on, tuck. Plus, Emily Walker and Allie McClure bring usable Yurchenko fulls, and Siilje Hildebrand has a cleanly executed front handspring tuck.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The fact that a program on the edge of being cut has the potential to bring two strong 10.0 start values to the table is a huge win.
Potential Contributors: Mackenzie Robinson (9.292 AVG), Rachel Decious, Montana Fairbairn, Jessica Johnson, Alyssa Manley, Emily Walker
How It Looked Before: Bars was the Seawolves’ best event in 2020 where they ranked second in the conference and 49th nationally.
How It Looks Now: Alaska has lost the bulk of its 2020 lineup, so the team will need the upperclassmen to step up and the newcomers to adapt to college quickly. Senior Rachel Decious is going to be a key factor on this event. She brings college experience and the potential to compete a double Arabian dismount to the table. The newcomers bring in high amplitude release skills, too; freshmen Alyssa Manley has a gorgeous Tkatchev, and Emily Walker has a piked Jaeger. Johnson has impressive difficulty and a large skill repertoire to choose from. Fairbairn and Robinson are also contenders for the top six.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. Alaska has to fill almost every single lineup spot with newcomers or upperclassmen who have not been consistent lineup contributors thus far. It’s very unlikely it’ll remain the top bar team in the MPSF with the talent of conference rivals, but it should be an exciting event to watch nevertheless.
Potential Contributors: Rachel Decious (9.655), Kylie Reese (9.108 with Seattle Pacific), Mackenzie Robinson; Marcela Bonifasi, Montana Fairbairn, Jessica Johnson, Alyssa Manley, Emily Walker
How It Looked Before: The Seawolves were good when they hit, but struggled to do so consistently.
How It Looks Now: Once again, Alaska lost a majority of its lineup routines here. Guatemalan elite Marcela Bonifasi’s execution and unique skills should virtually guarantee her a spot. Walker’s dance elements and gorgeous flexibility will lock her into the top six as well. Fairbairn, Manley and Johnson are also potential contributors, but consistency is a concern.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. It’s going to be tough to replace Fox’s and Hyderally’s scores. The newcomers bring in strong routines, but finding consistency will be key.
Potential Contributors: Rachel Decious (9.655 NQS), Tere Alonso (9.615), Kylie Reese (9.575 with Seattle Pacific), H, Mackenzie Robinson (9.550), Marcela Bonifast, Montana Fairbairn, Jessica Johnson, Alyssa Manley, Emily Walker
How It Looked Before: The tumbling and dance elements may not achieve the highest execution scores, but the routines were always engaging and well-choreographed.
How It Looks Now: Kylie Reese, a transfer from Seattle Pacific, has a energetic demeanor on floor and is a natural fit for the Seawolves’ lineup. Bonifasi is a standout floor worker and brings elite-level tumbling. Fairbairn has a solid presence on the floor and is capable of E passes alongside Walker and Johnson.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. Alaska struggled with consistency on this event in 2020 and lost its choreographer, Alina Cartwright, to Michigan State.
Alaska will be relying on underclassman contributions for the majority of its lineups. Unlike other programs, the Seawolves did not have many gymnasts utilize their COVID year. The lack of experienced upperclassmen may lead to a consistency issue early on. That being said, this team is full of heart, and the program surprised many in 2020 with its success. However, with the future of the program still so uncertain, there’s no telling how the Seawolves will ultimately perform in 2022.
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Article by Katie Walsh and Claire Billman
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