Tim Garrison Kentucky

Last Week in College Gym: September 26

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

Utica Adds Women’s Gymnastics

Utica University announced the addition of women’s gymnastics for the 2023-24 season. The school will also now be sponsoring men’s and women’s wrestling. The hunt for a coaching staff has already begun, with recruiting beginning as soon as a head coach is hired. 

What our editors are saying…

“The Collegiate Gymnastics Growth Initiative must be working around the clock! What a time to be a gymnastics fan with five new team announcements in the past 12 months. Utica’s location and Division III status makes it a perfect new addition to the NCGA. I’m ready for a coach hiring so Utica can get this show on the road for next season. I’m interested to see what this will mean for the marathon-long conference championship meets, though. Maybe adding more DIII teams will drive home the need for two sessions. I’m also hopeful for some moose-centered gear to pay homage to the Pioneers’ mascot.” – MIC & WIAC editor, Tavia Smith

Fisk Gains $25,000 Donation

Jordynn Cromartie, Zyia Coleman, Naimah Muhammad, Morgan Price, Kiara Richmon and head coach Corrinne Tarver made the trip to LA for the Jennifer Hudson show. Fisk returned to Nashville with a $25,000 donation from Aunt Jackie’s Curls & Coils. Aunt Jackie’s is a company that specializes in all-natural products for curly hair, encouraging consumers to embrace their natural hair.  

Other Newsworthy Items

  • Utah fifth-year transfer Abby Brenner signed with Narrow Pathway, a management company for NIL activity.
  • Illinois assistant Stephen Bruckner has been removed from the team’s roster.
  • Kentucky head coach Tim Garrison has signed a contract extension through 2026. Garrison, who has been in the role since 2012, is the winningest coach in program history. Also this week Western Michigan’s Penny Jernigan and Maryland’s Brett Nelligan signed extensions.
  • In addition to their contributions in the gym, Arkansas sophomores Leah Smith and Frankie Smith are founding members of the university’s new Black Leadership Athletic Committee. 

NIL Brand Deals

  • The University of Pittsburgh launched the Forged Here Exchange, which is a platform for all student athletes to use to better connect with local and national businesses.
  • Olivia Trautman released a practice leotard through Ozone Leos entitled the “Dream Big with O” leo. You can purchase it here.

Training Updates

  • Lots of Oklahoma balance beam updates were posted throughout the week on the team’s Instagram Story. Senior Ragan Smith is working multiple new combinations, including a front tuck + wolf jump. Junior Bell Johnson, who has not competed beam prior, was also spotted working a switch leap + beat jump mount. Junior Audrey Lynn, who hasn’t competed since her freshman season due to injury, is working a side aerial to back handspring series and a cat leap to side aerial. Sophomore Moorea Linker was spotted training after not competing her freshman season, while classmate Danielle Sievers looks to be adding beam to become a potential all-arounder. Sophomores Madison Snook, Amy Weir and Meilin Sullivan also made appearances in the beam footage, with Sullivan training a double twist dismount.
  • N.C. State senior Chloe Negrete is back training floor after not competing in 2022 due to an Achilles tear.
  • Nebraska freshman Csenge Bacskay showed a Yurchenko one and a half in Nebraska’s vault skills testing this week, making it seem likely that she intends to compete the 10.0 start value in college. 
  • Towson teased some vault upgrades for the sophomores on the team’s Instagram Story with Elise Tisler training a Yurchenko one and a half onto a mat and Felicia Poblete training a Yurchenko full-on back pike off.
  • Florida’s Ellie Lazzari is back training her signature event, beam, after a season-ending Achilles injury last January. Her fellow SEC juniors, Kentucky’s Bailey Bunn and Kaitlin DeGuzman, are also back in action after missing the majority of last season due to injury. 
  • NCGA national vault champion Kennedy O’Connor is training an upgraded Yurchenko full-on pike. The tucked version that she competed last season was downgraded to a 9.950 start value in the latest modification to the NCAA code of points. 
  • Bridgeport’s Hannah Barry was seen training a front Aerial back LOSO series. Teammate Tamyra Singletary is training not one, but two E passes on floor. She was seen on Instagram stories working on a triple full and a front double full. 

READ THIS NEXT: Last Week in College Gym: September 19

Article by the editors of College Gym News

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