Jade Carey Beam

The NCAA Report Card: Feb. 2, 2022

While the official rankings are a great indicator of how a team is scoring, they don’t always tell the full story of how a team is actually doing. Overscoring, injuries, upgrades and downgrades are all things a score can’t necessarily tell you about, so I will. In my biweekly Report Card, I will grade our top teams on each event while giving feedback on what’s working well and what needs to improve to make the Honor Roll – where you want to be to truly contend for an NCAA championship.

Now about a quarter of a way through the season, we’re finally starting to get a better picture of what the national landscape is like and what everyone is bringing to the table. The top four remain unchanged but have reordered themselves with Florida and Oklahoma outsourcing the Wolverines and putting more pressure on the reigning champions. Minnesota has once again emerged as a frontrunner for a nationals berth with Auburn and our current Olympic champion Sunisa Lee ready to play spoiler.

Top of the Class


Vault: A+ Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Living up to Expectations

Compliments: The Wolverines came into the season with high expectations as defending national champions. They responded by snatching the No. 1 ranking in week one and have yet to relinquish it. Michigan also attempted to be a normal team and vault just a Yurchenko full for once, yet didn’t even total a new season low. With the core five of Sierra Brooks, Abby Heiskell, Naomi Morrison, Gabby Wilson and Natalie Wojcik rolling along smoothly, as well as a top-five ranking on every event, all is well in Ann Arbor.

Concerns: Michigan has yet to completely dispel the concerns about overall depth, only using three theoretical “seventh routines” while resting its stars on a few events against Michigan State. There’s still no answer as to who could step in if one of the core five were to be absent completely or miss significant time, but we’re fortunate to live in a world right now where that’s not reality.

Honor Roll


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Top Freshman Class

Compliments: It took them a few meets to settle in, but Florida’s touted freshman class was on full display in its win over Arkansas, contributing nine routines including Leanne Wong’s 10.0 on bars—the lone perfect score by a freshman thus far. The massive 198.250 also came with unstuck vaults, counting a 9.750 and was sans a floor routine from Trinity Thomas, meaning that the Gators could potentially score even higher. Florida finally matched what it theoretically looks like on paper.

Concerns: Although the Gators have done their best, it’s just a tad too soon to forget about the sub-197 away meet. For a program that expects to be the best, there’s a little inconsistency still to iron out, now with a bigger target on its back.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Scoring Potential

Compliments: After falling just short twice, the Sooners burst through the 198 barrier last weekend and reminded everyone that they’re also a contender despite the loss to Utah earlier this month. Oklahoma joins Florida as the only schools to hit 49.500-plus on every event and would be ranked in the top five on every event if not for counting one fall on beam earlier in the season. Carly Woodard, that lone counting beam fall, has also already paid off her debts by notching a perfect score last week. That’s just how Oklahoma beam works.

Concerns: Since counting that fall, Oklahoma has only once notched an event total below 49.400, and it was still a 49.325. Recent performances have erased any doubt the Sooners would have a down season, and now just have to stay on course.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Beam

Compliments: All is going well for the undefeated Utes who rank in the top six on every event, haven’t posted any event totals below 49 and recently recorded the nation’s highest total on beam, capped off with a perfect 10 from Maile O’Keefe. With Utah’s three biggest challenges of the regular season coming up in the next three meets (at UCLA, at California and home against Jade Carey), the Red Rocks are currently cruising and could nearly cement themselves as Pac-12 regular season champions by the end of the month if February goes according to plan.

Concerns: Despite the constant hits, Utah isn’t quite scoring as highly as other top teams and is the only program in the top four yet to break into 198 territory. The Utes have also yet to compete outside of the Salt Lake City metro area, leaving a few questions about if they will be able to carry that home momentum on the road.

Plenty of Potential


Vault: A- Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Competitiveness

Compliments: The two SEC losses were by less than half a point combined and were against the conference’s top two ranked teams (yes, Auburn is the SEC’s No. 2 right now). The Crimson Tide knows how to compete, always rising to the level of their competition in almost every situation. Alabama is in good company joining Michigan as the only programs to compete six 10.0 start values, and doing so this early could pay dividends come April.

Concerns: Alabama is currently suffering the consequences of going for broke with the increased-difficulty vault lineup, with wild landings more than accounting for the margin of defeat in those conference losses. Returnees who are relied on for 9.9-plus scores are also still making small errors, with nervy performances counting and resulting in missed opportunities.


Vault: A- Bars: A Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Sunisa Lee

Compliments: The Olympic all-around champion has already transformed Auburn into a gymnastics destination. Lines to get into meets wrap around the building, celebrities are regularly in attendance and the infamous Gymnasties make Auburn home meets one of the best gymnastics atmospheres there is. She did that in four weeks. With Lee and Derrian Gobourne leading the way and a legit group of contributors like Drew Watson, Sophia Groth and Aria Brusch, the Tigers should realistically challenge for an SEC title this year, much earlier than expected.

Concerns: Since the last report card, vault has seen a slight regression with the departure of Gabby McLaughin and her Yurchenko one and a half from the lineup. Auburn has no misses on vault, but also no 9.9s since the lone vault 9.950 in the opening meet.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A- Floor: A-

Biggest Flex: Depth

Compliments: With health and COVID plaguing the Tigers in the early season, they’ve had the opportunity to show they have more than enough early lineup routines capable of 9.750-plus ready to go across the board. That’ll keep you in contention in most situations while nursing injuries. For a team yet to hit 197, the scoring potential is high once Haleigh Bryant and Kiya Johnson are good to go in the all-around.

Concerns: LSU’s signature powerful tumbling and solid landings on floor have been stunningly lost amongst a lineup of hoppily landed front double fulls in the absence of Bryant and Johnson at the end of the lineup—and it’s showing up in the scores too. If the game plan is to roll out the red carpet for that duo to nab huge numbers in the anchor spots on beam and floor in the postseason, things are going to need to be cleaned up by the current crew to ensure the proper set-up.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A- Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Underdog Status

Compliments: The Golden Gophers continue to do exactly what they need to do, showing up with impressive performances in Monday night meets when the pressure is on. The vault lineup managed to go toe-to-toe with Michigan, Ona Loper and Mya Hooten have reached perfection and Lexy Ramler is the highest ranked all-arounder in the country. There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. 

Concerns: Unfortunately, Minnesota has only been able to compete twice this season, so there’s a bit of a lack of data compared to other teams. In those two meets, however, the Golden Gophers left plenty of tenths on the table on beam, with the first few routines unable to capitalize on having Ramler and Loper in the lineup. It’s an issue that, honestly, is present on all four events but so far has only reared its head on beam.

Room for Improvement


Vault: A- Bars: B+ Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Bars

Compliments: The beam and floor lineups have done exactly as one would want after an iffy first meet, putting up two complete hit lineups and keeping the Razorbacks in contention. The bar lineup still boasts the nation’s second-highest total on the event after the Auburn meet, giving Arkansas that special event where it has the ability to outshine opponents and win meets. For a team coming off COVID issues, that is encouraging to see.

Concerns: A stellar lineup is only worth it when it hits, and so far, Arkansas has only hit bars once. Vault has been consistent through three meets, but with limited difficulty, the scoring potential appears to be maxed out in the low-49s. If vault is currently at its max, bars cannot afford to miss, as that’s where the Razorbacks have to make up ground or create some distance.


Vault: A- Bars: A Beam: A- Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Reliability

Compliments: Bouncing back from a lower-than-expected score in the first outing against Stanford, the Golden Bears made steady improvements in their next two bouts and now find themselves back in the top 10. Bars continues to shine after leading the nation last season, and that’s with 10.0 club member Emi Watterson yet to make an appearance in the lineup and freshman Madelyn Williams shining instead. With the freshman class stepping up as expected, the loss of Kyana George hasn’t been felt much, at least in the scores.

Concerns: Although the Yurchenko fulls are scoring well, California is at a difficulty disadvantage on vault. The Golden Bears have only a pair of 10.0 start values right now, and with one typically underrotated and the other accompanied by form issues, the scoring potential is very limited right now.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: A- Floor: A-

Biggest Flex: Lynnzee Brown

Compliments: Even though she’s out for the season, Lynnzee Brown is still Denver’s biggest flex because she’s a big reason why the Pioneers are where they are. She’s continued on the legacy of those before her, like Nina McGee and Maddie Karr, in Denver’s ascension from a top 20 team to a top 10 one, and has certainly played a part in making the Pioneers a gymternet favorite. Brown has helped build Denver so much that it should actually be OK without her.

Concerns: Brown is one of the few names for whom there is never going to be an adequate replacement, and due to that alone, the expectations for Denver, unfortunately, take a significant drop. Until the injury, the Pioneers were off to a great start to the season and will need to manifest that again moving forward. The talent is there, but there’s a lot now to prove.


Vault: A Bars: A Beam: B+ Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Raena Worley

Compliments: Behind the strength of now three-time SEC Gymnast of the Week Raena Worley, Kentucky has been quietly cruising to start the season. The trio of front handspring pike halves on vault look more powerful this season and are consistently going 9.800-plus, setting up Worley for a big number in the anchor spot as the Wildcats have been executing the ideal version of the game plan. Bars and floor continue to look better each week, and last weekend beam finally hit 49 for the first time in 2022.

Concerns: Inconsistency is still a worry on beam at this point, as Kentucky still had a fall in last week’s 49 and has only hit that mark once in three tries. Early routines on bars and floor are also still falling into the 9.700 realm, and if the Wildcats want to steal a nationals spot, those will need to be at least 9.85s.


Vault: A- Bars: A- Beam: A Floor: A

Biggest Flex: Consistency

Compliments: The Tigers have opened their season with three nearly identical performances and only two and a half tenths of a difference between their best and worst outings. Missouri ranks third nationally on beam, only behind brand-names Utah and Florida, and now has an event where it can separate itself from other teams. Yet to go sub-49 on any event, the Tigers could be starting an impressive streak.

Concerns: Although it’s yet to fall below 49, Missouri has been flirting with the line all season on vault and bars, where landings and the unique dismounts are not being appreciated by the judges. The lack of Helen Hu everywhere but beam also exposes a few holes for the Tigers, who could greatly benefit from the return of a 39.500-plus all-arounder.

Oregon State

Vault: A Bars: B+ Beam: A- Floor: A

Biggest Flex: The NCAA’s Top Gymnast

Compliments: Remember this exact time last season when Oregon State was ranked 36th? Jade Carey is the real deal. Not only has she been the top-performing freshman, but her lack of scores below 9.9 through three all-around performances is arguably the most remarkable stat for any gymnast right now. With the Beavers ranked in the top 15 on vault, beam and floor, they’re showing they’re capable of contending for a spot on the nationals bubble.

Concerns: Even with Carey’s currently permanent 9.950 in the anchor spot, bars continues to be an issue for Oregon State. Not only have there been falls, but the Beavers are in a position where most of their hits aren’t going to score into the 9.800s. If Carey and fellow former elite Phoebe Jakubczyk don’t pull in big numbers, the bars lineup can be easily outscored.

Tutor Time


Vault: A Bars: B+ Beam: D Floor: A-

Biggest Flex: The Gymdogs cannot be removed from the SEC.

Compliments: After two huge disappointments to open the season, Georgia got things together in week four to post a total that should help it get on the right side of the regionals bubble. The vault and floor lineups should be competitive in the SEC, with a handful of 10.0 start values to boast on vault and Rachel Baumann’s perfect score on floor the highlight of the season for this squad.

Concerns: Unfortunately, the last time there was confidence the Georgia beam lineup was going to hit, the head coach was anchoring it. With the best lineups still counting falls, the Gymdogs have a lot of work ahead of them before the gymternet lets them live down their infamous five-fall feature—and rightfully so as the winningest program of all time. The built-in errors on hit routines on bars also limit that event’s scoring potential to totals that will likely fall short of other conference foes.

READ THIS NEXT: The NCAA Report Card: January 19, 2022

Article by Brandis Heffner

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  1. Seriously? Every team gets an A in everything. Arkansas has done 18 UB routines, including 3 falls and 10 of which have scored in the 9.7s or below. That’s D, not a B+ LOL. I could cite quite a few other examples. But it’s a waste of time to even read this when the top 12 get across the board As except for a couple B plusses.

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