Brooke Kelly Missouri

2022 Predictions: Which Team Will Outperform Its Traditional Standing?

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.

Every year brings teams that excel more than normal—and it’s one of our favorite things to watch throughout the season. Will a new team break into the nationals conversation? Or maybe a program will win its first NCAA title.

Which Team Will Outperform Its Traditional Standing in 2022?

Winner: Missouri (7 votes)
Runners-up: Ohio State (1 vote), Iowa (1 vote), West Chester (1 vote), Iowa State (1 vote)

Elizabeth: I think a lot of people are going to overlook Missouri this season. But the Tigers performed well in 2021 even after losing their star in Helen Hu, and this year not only is Hu healthy again (and not to mention redshirt freshman Kyra Burns), but former 5-star recruit Amari Celestine is finally in Columbia, creating a dynamic one-two punch. The night session of the conference championship is entirely possible.

Carolyn: Ohio State has been looking REALLY good in its preseason intrasquads and training clips, and with the help of a lovely incoming freshman class, its ranking will improve in 2022.

Emily M: I agree with Elizabeth: Missouri is poised to sneak into the night session of SECs. 

Brandis: After notching only its second top 20 finish since 2005 last season, I think Iowa will have another season of outperforming its traditional standing. 

Katherine: I’ve hyped Missouri before, and I’ll keep it up. Barring unforeseen injuries, the Tigers will be formidable in 2022. 

Allison: Missouri. Hands down. I love the chaos of Missouri bumping around with the usual top teams and positively shining.

Rebecca: Everyone is right about Missouri of course, so I’m going to take the opportunity to mention a more niche team. Between its great recruiting and the massive personnel changes on the other former ECAC-II teams, it’s no surprise that West Chester is poised to jump up the GEC and USAG rankings, but since those teams didn’t compete in 2021, the power dynamics in the Northeast have changed quietly.

Ryan: I’ve mentioned this several times in our preseason coverage, but Iowa State has the opportunity to do big things this year. The Cyclones didn’t lose any routines and have a strong and large freshman class that could boost them significantly in the rankings.
Tara: Definitely Missouri. Between returning redshirts and freshmen like Amari Celestine and Jocelyn Moore, the Tigers are poised to soar higher than they have in a long time. 

Talitha: I agree that Missouri has all the talent it needs to have a great season this year. Not only is the freshman class exceptional, but Helen Hu will also be back in action. I can’t wait!

Katie W: Missouri barely lost any routines from 2021 and has the opportunity to be something extremely special this season. Particularly look for vault and bars to be night and day differences from 2021.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Watch College Gym in 2022

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Carolyn Lien, Emily Minehart, Brandis Heffner, Katherine Weaver, Allison Freeman, Ryan Wichtendahl, Tara Graeve, Talitha Ilacqua, Katie Walsh

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