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Last Week in College Gym: Dec. 13

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.

Newsworthy Items

  • Utah announced a $4.6 million expansion project and upgrades for its training facility. Groundbreaking is set for March 2022 with an expected completion in December 2022.
  • Arkansas is giving back this season through donating to a variety of causes. The team has decided that for each 9.900-plus or stuck dismount, the Razorbacks will donate to a specific meaningful organization to them. 
  • LSU sold more than 7,000 season tickets for the 2022 season so far.This breaks the previous record of 6,912 from 2020. 
  • LSU’s former head coach D-D Breaux is the 2022 LSU Alumna of the Year
  • Auburn freshman Sunisa Lee was named Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Athlete of the Year alongside swimmer Caelab Dressel.

NIL Brand Deals

  • Illinois State sophomore Isabella DeCroo announced her partnership with The Spot, a local tea and shake shop in Normal, Illinois. 
  • LSU senior Sarah Edwards is the first NCAA gymnast to create an NFT.

Training Updates

  • Rutgers’ Emily Leese moved her full-in to the floor. The sophomore only competed floor once in 2021.
  • Terp Emma Silberman is back tumbling on floor after her ACL injury in March last year.
  • Nationals qualifier Angelica Labat is training a front aerial to two feet per Illinois State’s Twitter.
  • Florida freshman Leanne Wong performed a Yurchenko half-on pike half (layout half?) in a recent intrasquad.
  • Hamline hosted its annual Red and Gray intrasquad. Vault was highlighted by a sky high Yurchenko layout from Bailee Davis. Beam was really fun to watch: The Pipers featured a unique mix of skills sprinkled throughout the lineup. Freshman Meighan White performed a one-handed front handspring to back tuck series. Lilly Ramsey and Nikki Johnsen both did tour jete quarters. Julia Hintermeister, Brianna Weikel and Katie Viles also featured unique series combinations. Floor was highlighted by strong tumbling from Katie Viles. Interestingly, most of the Pipers’ floor lineup  featured two pass routines, which means start values are resting on the backs of D-value dance elements. However, less passes also means less landing deductions, so hopefully the gamble will be worth it come season. It should also be noted that Julia Cheely and Livia Isackson-Rod, both freshmen, were seen on the sidelines in boots. 
  • Winona State held an intrasquad this week. Can we talk about freshman Camdyn McSweeney’s Yurchenko half? Because it’s beautiful. Kennedy O’Connor competed a full-on, tuck vault as well. The Warriors are upping their game with the vault start values this year. Highlights of the bar rotation included Gabrielle Johnson’s Tkatchev and Ava Gaudet’s unique toe handstand to back 1.5 twisting layout dismount. Quinnlan Burger’s unique FHS two-feet, BHS LOSO beam series was a highlight of the rotation. Based on intrasquad performances alone, Gabrielle Johnson and Breanna Ho look poised for a strong season on beam as long as nerves stay under control. Floor was highlighted by strong performances from Hailey Bryant and Kennedy O’Connor. It is such a power move to end with a floor routine with a double pike, and Bryant executed hers well. It appeared as if Taryn Sellner was in a boot, an unfortunate injury for the Warriors.  
  • Highly anticipated freshman Jordan Chiles officially had her first practice with UCLA.
  • Oklahoma hosted an intrasquad on Friday, giving fans a preview of competition routines. Sophomores Audrey Davis and Katherine LeVasseur competed in the all around, as did freshman Jordan Bowers. On vault, Bowers showed a strong one and a half while newcomers Danae Fletcher and Sheridan Ramsey competed Yurchenko fulls. Sophomore Audrey Lynn was back after an early 2021 injury and competed a front handspring pike half. Other vaulters included senior Allie Stern and sophomore Meilin Sullivan. Bars featured LeVasseur, Fletcher, senior Karrie Thomas, junior Ragan Smith, Bowers, Davis and sophomore Bell Johnson. Davis debuted her double front half out dismount, and LeVasseur a new Tkatchev release. The beam lineup featured junior Jenna Dunn, LeVasseur, Davis, Thomas, Smith, senior Carly Woodard and Bowers. On floor, Davis and LeVasseur made their first appearances in the lineup alongside Bowers and Fletcher. Johnson showed an upgraded three pass routine, and seniors Woodard and Emma LaPinta showed their new routines. The Sooners open the season Jan. 9 at home against Alabama.
  • West Virginia junior Kianna Yancey is training a Maloney half on bars.
  • Georgia hosted its annual First Look intrasquad. Notably absent was Victoria Nguyen, who was seen in a boot and with a scooter. Nguyen is a key all around competitor for Georgia. Fifth-year Emily Schild competed on both bars and beam after struggling with injuries the past couple of years. Nhyla Bryant made her competition debut after sitting out the 2021 season with injury. 
  • Alabama hosted a recent intrasquad that featured Mati Waligora on floor. Waligora has dealt with numerous injuries that prevented her from competing the event in 2020 and 2021.
  • Lindenwood hosted its annual Black and Gold intrasquad. Vault was highlighted by an upgraded Yurchenko 1.5 from Gayla Griswold. The power is definitely there for this to be a reliable addition to the lineup this season. Other vaulters included Jenna Eagles, Nicole Wojcik, Hannah Moon, Payton Gatzlaff, Sydney Lopez and Riley Daniels, none of which were consistent contributors to the lineup in 2021. Wojcik, Moon, Hannah Appleget and Daniels showed strong bar routines. Appleget’s clear hip handstand to Gienger to overshoot combination will be a nice addition to the lineup. Overall, the beam lineup was the most consistent on the day. Simone Evans’ piked front toss was executed to perfection in her first routine as a Lion. New additions to the floor lineup included Maddie Rush, Simone Evans, Jenna Eagles, Gatzlaff and Daniels. Nine total athletes competed floor routines. Gayla Griswold also showed off her upgraded full-twisting double tuck. The most improved Lindenwood athlete so far this preseason has to be Eagles. She competed one beam routine in 2021 and looked strong on three events for the Lions at the intrasquad. Hadley Roberts also looked impressive on her two events as usual going into her senior season. 

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: Dec. 6

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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