Aleah Finnegan and Ashleigh Gnat talk next to a beam

Last Week in College Gym: September 19

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

Clark Gives Update on LSU: “They’re Hungry and They’re Angry”

Head coach Jay Clark gave his first press conference of the 2022-23 season. He described the team as “really deep and talented on three events,” noting that bars—which gave the Tigers no shortage of problems during the 2022 postseason—remains a concern. However, he also noted that he feels the team as a whole is “in a much better starting point than we were last year,” and that he hopes to utilize more of the team’s available depth. Kiya Johnson, Haleigh Bryant and Alyona Shchennikova are expected to remain the team’s go-to all-arounders, though freshman Bryce Wilson may also factor in. Johnson, who has battled Achilles issues for the entirety of her collegiate career, is currently training on soft surfaces and plans on being ready for high stakes meets against Utah (Jan. 7) and Oklahoma (Jan. 16). 

Clark had strong words of praise for graduate transfer Cammy Hall, saying, “She has really just been a joy to be around.” He expects Hall, who previously competed for Utah, will similarly have a positive impact on the team’s vault lineup. 

On the injury front, Clark reported that senior Kai Rivers is recovering from rotator cuff surgery and is expected to resume training in October. He also said that he does not expect freshman and former four-star recruit Annie Beard to compete bars this season due to a shoulder issue, though she may contribute on the other three events.

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Nya Reed, who had declared her intent to return to the Gators for her fifth year in 2023, was removed from the roster. We will share more news if it becomes available.
  • Oregon State, one of four programs to win a share of the Pac-12 regular season title in 2022, received and (appropriately) flaunted new championship rings. The Utes, another one of the regular season champions, also showed-off their new ice.
  • Oklahoma showed off its 2022 national championship rings after a celebration with family, friends and Sooner supporters.
  • Michigan received its 2022 conference championship rings and was honored alongside men’s gymnastics at this past weekend’s home football game.
  • Rising Iowa State sophomore Marina Gonzalez announced her intentions to qualify for the Spanish National Team and compete in the upcoming world championships.
  • Fisk gymnastics will be featured on Monday’s episode of the Jennifer Hudson Show at 2 p.m. CT. The team will be discussing being a part of the first HBCU program and Fisk’s viral first day of practice video. 
  • Southern Utah volunteer assistant coach Adam AhQuin was arrested for assault, domestic violence in the presence of a child and child abuse injury/recklessness and subsequently suspended by SafeSport.
  • Canada’s worlds selection camp included athletes with past, present and future ties to collegiate gymnastics, including Denelle Pedrick (Central Michigan ‘20), Shallon Olsen (Alabama ‘23) and Sydney Turner (Iowa ‘27).

NIL Brand Deals

  • Utah sophomore and Olympic silver medalist Grace McCallum, as well as Florida junior transfer Victoria Nguyen have inked deals with Crocs.

Training Updates

  • New Hampshire shared training highlights from the team’s first week of official practice on Instagram stories. Upgrades featured included freshman Riley Himes working a layout step-out layout step-out series on beam, a gainer pike dismount off of the end of the beam from senior Alyssa Worthington, and both Himes and senior Kylie Gorgenyi working a Yurchenko one and a half on vault.
  • JerQuavia Henderson is working a realistic Nabieva. The senior all-arounder was in the bar lineup for about half of the 2022 season.
  • Ohio State sophomore Tory Vetter only competed once in January in 2022 and was presumed injured. She was featured conditioning on Ohio State’s Instagram Story with the text “Comeback Season Soon,” a good sign for the Buckeyes.
  • Florida sophomore Leanne Wong and Alabama fifth-year Shallon Olsen have both indicated they hope to be selected for the upcoming world championships. Wong is the reigning world all-around silver medalist and Canadian Olsen won a silver medal on vault in 2018. 
  • Oklahoma kicked off its official practices with lots of highlights on Instagram stories. Newly featured in the update was a front aerial to arabesque and a side aerial to backhandspring series from junior Audrey Davis and a triple series and switch leap to back handspring swing down from fifth-year Allie Stern. Stern has only ever performed on vault and floor for the Sooners.
  • Iowa State started official practices and shared training updates on Instagram stories. Shown in these updates was rising sophomore Marina Gonzalez training a front aerial to split leap combination on beam and a double layout dismount on bars. Her classmate, Hannah Loyim, was seen training double-twisting Yurchenkos into the pit while fellow sophomore Emma Ricks appeared training full twisting Yurchenkos on vault for the first time since an Achilles tear last season. 
  • West Virginia also started official practices this week and shared some updates on Instagram stories. Incoming freshman Emma Wehry was seen on bars working transitions, as was classmate Miranda Smith. 
  • During Lindenwood’s training on Instagram stories this week, rising senior Gayla Griswold was seen training a double layout on floor. Previously, Griswold trained and competed a tucked full-in. 
  • Southern Utah rising junior Emma Ingrassia is training a double layout on floor.
  • The Alaska started official practice with some fun beam upgrades. Rising juniors Silje Hildebrand and Emily Walker are training front gainer fulls off beam. 

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: September 12

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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