Jordan Chiles UCLA

Last Week in College Gym: August 22

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.

Top Storylines

Big Ten Inks Huge Media Deal

It’s unclear how much or how little the conference’s new CBS/NBC/Fox deal will affect gymnastics coverage. From what we can tell, Fox still owns most Olympic sport coverage, which would keep it on BTN and BTN+. That said, it’s unclear how the break with ESPN will change coverage of bigger matchups that occasionally landed on that family of networks. Perhaps we’ll see UCLA at Michigan show up on NBC in 2024. Who knows. The situation is murky at best across the board, and we will report on it as the situation develops and becomes more clear.

Jordan Chiles and Jade Carey Announce Bids for Paris 2024

While at the OOFOS Championships, the UCLA sophomore announced that she plans to train for the 2024 Olympics in Paris. It is unclear how or if elite training will impact her 2023 season with the Bruins. Reigning Olympic floor champion Jade Carey also announced in a fluff piece that aired during day one of the competition that she also hopes to try for Paris in 2024. Olympic all-around champion Sunisa Lee (Auburn) has previously said she plans to return to elite competition in 2023 while Simone Biles (pro) and Grace McCallum (Utah) have not announced their intentions. The final member of the 2020 team, MyKayla Skinner, a Utah alumna, is retired.

LSU Commit Konnor McClain Wins Elite National Title

Konnor McClain, who is in the class of 2023, won the U.S. senior elite national title Sunday in a come from behind victory after finishing day one in second place. The WOGA gymnast also won gold on beam. Shilese Jones, who is committed to Florida and intends to defer until after the 2024 Olympics, placed second, tied for first on bars and also won floor. UCLA sophomore Jordan Chiles rounded out the podium in third. Oregon State sophomore Jade Carey, claimed the vault title, and Florida sophomore Leanne Wong shared the bars title. Wong did not compete in the all-around after tweaking her ankle in floor touch warmups on day one.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Zaakira Muhammad was promoted to assistant head coach at West Virginia. Muhammad is in her fourth season on her alma mater’s coaching staff, graduating from the program in 2018. 
  • Iowa State’s Kelsey Boychuk announced she will be taking a fifth year. She joins fellow fifth-years Natalie Horowitz and Madelyn Langkamp for the Cyclones in 2023.
  • Several other collegiate athletes, not previously mentioned above, made an appearance at the OOFOS U.S. Championships this weekend including Florida incoming freshman Kayla Dicello and UCLA incoming freshman Ciena Alipio. Auburn incoming freshman Olivia Greaves made her return to elite competition for the first time since tearing her ACL last fall.

NIL Brand Deals

  • Kennedy Hambrick posted about her deal with Crocs recently on her Instagram, the latest featuring the beloved Jax. Jax also made an appearance in Bailey Lovett’s Liquid IV post this week. 

Training Updates

  • UW-Eau Claire’s Harriet Toth is training a side aerial to two-feet on beam, potentially adding an E upgrade. Teammate Tia Ravara is training a triple series on the same event. 
  • Incoming Eastern Michigan freshman Kyrie Lowe is training two single bar E releases, a piked Deltchev and a piked Jaeger.
  • UW-Stout rising sophomore Alia Wilson is training a standing layout step-out on beam. Classmate Effie Ferguson is working on upgrading her bar dismount to a front pike half. She is also upgrading to a Ray to overshoot connection. This will help increase her bonus and decrease deductions on the transition to the low bar. The bar upgrades don’t stop there for the Blue Devils. Incoming freshman Heidi Benningfield is also training a straddled Jaeger to overshoot connection.

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: August 17

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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