There’s less than three weeks until the start of the 2022 season, and it wouldn’t be a new year without some predictions! We’ll be answering one pressing question over the course of 10 days as we gear up for the first meet on January 5. Check out the previous days’ questions and predictions here.
With a number of last year’s standout seniors returning for their COVID years in 2022, the competition for this year’s AAI Award will be fiercer than ever. We almost think there should be two awards—one for fifth years and one for “first year” seniors.
Which Senior Will Win the AAI Award in 2022?
Winner: Natalie Wojcik, Michigan (5 votes), Trinity Thomas, Florida (5 votes)
Elizabeth: It’s possible this is a harder prediction to make than top freshman because not only are most of 2021’s top seniors back, but we have the new seniors as well. Really, any number of gymnasts could win it, and I don’t envy the folks who have to narrow down the field this year. Ultimately, my prediction is Natalie Wojcik. I think the voters will go with a “true senior” for the award.
Carolyn: Although there are some fantastic 2021 seniors coming back, you simply can’t deny the talents of Florida’s Trinity Thomas. I think it will be between Natalie Wojcik and Thomas with the latter ultimately pulling ahead.
Emily M: I do agree that it seems likely the committee will look at true seniors. It’s too messy otherwise. Trinity Thomas has finished all of her three seasons thus far in the top five, and improved that rank every year. No one else competing can boast that. I think she walks away with the crown.
Brandis: Like Elizabeth, I think the voters will honor a 2022 senior this year, but I think that senior will be Trinity Thomas. When looking at all she’s already accomplished in her career, it’s hard to believe she’s only a senior, and therefore gets my nod for the AAI Award.
Katherine: If Florida doesn’t win the national championship, I would give Natalie Wojcik the edge since she will have that on her resume.
Allison: I can definitely see this going to Trinity Thomas. She’s been a solid gymnast these past years, even if she’s still a freshman in my head, and her senior year will be no exception to how she’s been a top competitor.
Ryan: I was going to say Lexy Ramler until I realized she won it last year, so I’ll have to agree it’s between Wojcik and Thomas. I want Thomas to get a couple individual national titles this season, so maybe I’ll give the AAI Award to Natalie Wojcik.
Tara: I also agree that the voters will go for a true senior. It’s a tough call between Natalie Wojcik and Trinity Thomas—not to mention the many other stellar seniors competing. Ultimately, I think it’ll go to Natalie Wojcik.
Talitha: As everyone else has said, it will have to be one of Trinity Thomas and Natalie Wojcik. The latter is a two-time national champion and the face of Michigan gymnastics, so I’m going to say Natalie Wojcik.
Katie W: Trinity Thomas has flawless technique and flexibility combined with strength, power and performance. She’s coming for the gym slam this season and the AAI Award.
READ THIS NEXT: 2022 Predictions: Who Will Be the Top Freshman?
Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Carolyn Lien, Emily Minehart, Brandis Heffner, Allison Freeman, Ryan Wichtendahl, Tara Graeve, Talitha Ilacqua, Katie Walsh
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