Emily Muhlenhaupt Boise State bars

2022 Predictions: Who Will Make the Most of Their COVID Year?

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.

Teams having their star gymnasts back for one more year is about to get wild. We truly don’t deserve an extra year of some of these stellar gymnasts. However, we get it anyway, and today’s prediction is all about which one will make the absolute most of the opportunity.

Who Will Make the Most of Their COVID Year in 2022?

Winner: Lynnzee Brown, Denver (2 votes), Emily Muhlenhaupt, Boise State (2 votes), Alyssa Baumann, Florida (2 votes)
Runners-up: Ona Loper (1 vote), Kyla Bryant (1 vote), Mia Sundstrom (1 vote)

Elizabeth: I was convinced Lynnzee Brown was on her way to the national all around title until she fell on her very last skill of the meet. Because of that, I think she’s going to have a lights-out 2022, seeking revenge for that nationals disappointment and going out with a bang.

Carolyn: I gotta go with my girl Emily Muhlenhaupt. One of the reasons for her fifth-year comeback is to finally score a 10 on bars, and I am aggressively hoping for that to happen.

Emily M: Speaking of revenge tours, Ona Loper. She just gets better and better every year, and one has to think the Gophers felt a little let down finishing last at nationals.  

Brandis: With COVID regulations barely giving Kyla Bryant a senior season last year, she and Stanford are going to explode back onto the scene this season. Get ready for some exciting floor routines from her as she gives it one last go for the elusive 10.

Ryan: All of Denver’s seniors coming back is huge, but I’m most excited about Mia Sundstrom. She was an important part of the Pioneers’ fourth place finish in 2019 and appears to finally be healthy after injuries held her back the past two seasons.

Tara: I was about to go with someone else, then Elizabeth reminded me of the heartbreak that was the end of Lynnzee Brown’s last meet. I definitely think she’ll come back better than ever and ready to take advantage of the last year! Honorable mention to Emily Muhlenhaupt and Kaitlyn Yanish who have another season to attain the coveted perfect 10. 

Talitha: I’m going to go with Emily Muhlenhaupt, too. I will settle for nothing less than a perfect 10.0 on bars, a qualification to nationals and, why not, even a challenge to the national title itself.

Katie W: I could absolutely list a ton of gymnasts right now, but I’m going to go with Alyssa Baumann. Baumann is one athlete who somehow does not have a collegiate 10 next to her name, but 2022 could be her year. 

Rebecca: I’ll go with Alyssa Baumann. I hope that Florida’s increased depth mean she can leave VT/UB behind and focus on her best events. With nine 9.975s on her resume she has to break through eventually… right? If she can walk away from her college career with a 10.0 and a championship, we’ll remember her very differently than if she’d called it quits in April 2021.

READ THIS NEXT: How to Watch College Gym in 2022

Article by Elizabeth Grimsley, Carolyn Lien, Emily Minehart, Brandis Heffner, Ryan Wichtendahl, Talitha Ilacqua, Alyssa Baumann

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