The 2022 season saw a bit of a shake up in the top half of the rankings within the EAGL conference as well as a lot of close matchups. The 2023 season will be the last season before the conference splits with N.C. State, North Carolina, and Pittsburgh all set to form the ACC with Clemson. This final season with all eight teams looks to be a good one with new stars joining the conference, and the quality of gymnastics improving with every meet.
The preseason is starting and 2023 will be here before we know it. That means it’s time for our annual potential lineups analysis! As gymnasts get back into the gym with new goals for the new season, we’re breaking their prospects down and taking a look at what each team’s lineups may look like come January—from who’s expected to contribute, holes that need to be filled and exciting upgrades fans should look out for.
No. 31 N.C. State
It might not have been the same ending to the season that N.C. State had in 2021, but 2022 still had a lot of highlights that helped the team end with the highest ranking in the EAGL once again.
|Losses:||Brooke Conley, Kailin Foland (BB), Carina Jordan (UB, FX), Gabrielle Kistner (VT), Nicole Webb (BB, FX)|
|Gains:||Meg Adler, Kailee Adomaites, Katya Edwards, Sofia Obregon, Madeline Reid, Krista Zultevicz (transfer from Kentucky)|
|Returning From Injury:||Chloe Negrete (Achilles), Madison Benson (Achilles)|
Potential Contributors: Lauren Rutherford (9.810 NQS), Alexis Ortega (9.800), Gabrielle Diaz (9.800), Shruthi Anand (9.770), Madison Benson (9.755), Hailey Merchant (9.755), Emily Shepard, Lucy Lehman, Chloe Negrete, Meg Adler, Kailee Adomaites, Katya Edwards, Sofia Obregon, Madeline Reid, Krista Zultevicz
How It Looked Before: N.C. State did not have Emily Shepard vault until the end of last season. Her absence, as well as the injury to Chloe Negrete, hurt the scoring potential of the vault lineup in what was the Wolfpack’s weakest event last season.
How It Looks Now: Having Negrete back — as well as Shepard if she competes more consistently on the event this season — will be a big boost. Of the freshmen, Adler has competed a stickable Yurckenko full that will challenge for a spot in the lineup. Edwards competed a front pike vault this past season but has been working on upgrading to the pike half, which would be a welcomed 10.0 start value for the Pack. Obregon also has a nice Yurchenko full that could see lineup time.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Retaining most of the key vaults from last season, Negrete returning from injury and the newcomers coming in, the Wolfpack vault lineup is trending up.
Potential Contributors: Emily Shepard (9.855 NQS), Lauren Rutherford (9.855), Alexis Ortega (9.820), Meredith Robinson (9.810), Hailey Merchant (9.805), Peyton Childs, Madison Benson, Kailee Adomaites, Katya Edwards, Sofia Obregon, Madeline Reid, Krista Zultevicz
How It Looked Before: The bar lineup had some up and down moments last season with a low score of 47.675 but had a season high of 49.450. The duo of Shepard and Rutherford was key for the success of the uneven bars lineup last season.
How It Looks Now: Jordan was a key contributor last season but did not compete at the EAGL championship or regionals, so N.C. State isn’t technically losing any postseason routines. Of the freshmen that could make an impact, Obregon is sure to come into this lineup right away with her nice Ray and clean lines. Adomaites can also factor into the top six; she has good form and just needs to perfect some of her handstands.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Without losing any postseason routines and bringing in newcomers that will add depth, the N.C. State bars lineup will likely trend up slightly.
Potential Contributors: Emily Shepard (9.900 NQS), Alexis Ortega (9.880), Macy Jennings (9.850), Gabrielle Diaz (9.780), Chloe Negrete, Madison Benson, Meg Adler, Kailee Adomaites, Katya Edwards, Sofia Obregon, Madeline Reid, Krista Zultevicz
How It Looked Before: Beam was N.C. State’s best ranked event last season. The lineup was highlighted by Ortega’s back handspring Onodi acrobatic series and the ever so steady Shepard.
How It Looks Now: This is one event where N.C. State is losing a couple of key routines in Webb and Foland. Negrete will be welcomed back after being a staple in the lineup in 2021, and many of the freshmen have the potential to contribute, but Adler is the most likely with her clean and calm beam presence that is tailor-made for college.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Replacing two beam routines from seniors is not the easiest task, but Negrete coming back from injury and the addition of the freshman should allow the beam lineup to be on par with last season.
Potential Contributors: Emily Shepard (9.890 NQS), Lauren Rutherford (9.875), Gabrielle Diaz (9.865), Hailey Merchant (9.795), Madison Benson (9.765), Chloe Negrete, Macy Jennings, Meg Adler, Kailee Adomaites, Katya Edwards, Sofia Obregon, Madeline Reid, Krista Zultevicz
How It Looked Before: Floor was a consistent event for the Wolfpack last season, ending ranked 30th in the country.
How It Looks Now: N.C State only loses a couple of routines that should be easily replaced by the return of Negrete. Many of the freshman could contribute, too, including Adler, who has the clean tumbling that will score well in college, Adomaites, who has competed a front double full and front tuck through to double back, Reid, who has a back two and a half to front tuck, or Edwards, who upgraded her first pass to a double layout at the end of her last level 10 season.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? N.C. State is looking like it will have another strong season on floor and at least remain even to 2022 with the potential to trend up depending on how the freshmen’s E passes transition into college.
Three Big Questions
Will Emily Shepard regularly compete in the all-around?
Shepard only competed on all four events in the last three meets of the season where she scored above a 39 each time. In her senior year, N.C. State might want to pace her like last season, but adding in vault during the regular season would add a boost to that lineup.
How strong can Chloe Negrete come back?
Negrete was not able to compete at all in 2022 due to an Achilles injury, but she had high scores on her three events in 2021. Each of those lineups are going to need Negrete at full strength for her senior season. She’s already back training floor, so the outlook is promising.
Can N.C State reclaim the EAGL title?
The EAGL championship has been won in an upset the past couple of seasons thanks to all eight teams being relatively evenly matched, making it truly matter who is best on the day. N.C. State has gone into multiple championships as the favorite yet not come away with the title. It’ll be looking to peak at the right time in 2023 to win in the team’s final year in the conference before transitioning to the ACC in 2024.
No. 32 North Carolina
The first year under Danna Durante in Chapel Hill was a successful one. North Carolina made it back to regionals for the first time since 2017 and looks to improve upon the No. 32 ranking in 2023.
|Losses:||Drew Aldridge, Tina Ghashghaei, Julianna Love, Shailyn St. Brice (FX), Emery Summey (VT, BB)|
|Gains:||Gwen Fink, Kaya Forbes, Paige Prejean, Taylor Schulze (transfer from Brown), Amy Wozniak|
|Returning From Injury:||Lali Dekanoidze (dislocated patella), Allison La Nasa, Hallie Thompson (torn ACL)|
Potential Contributors: Lali Dekanoidze (9.855 NQS), Julia Knower (9.825), Cory Shinohara (9.815), Kate Greene (9.785), Jay Weil (9.760), Hallie Thompson, Isabelle Schaefer, Jamie Shearer, Gwen Fink, Kaya Forbes, Paige Prejean, Amy Wozniak
How It Looked Before: Vault had the potential to be a great event for the Tar Heels last season, but knee injuries from Dekanoidze and Thompson during the season made it so North Carolina was using a couple of 9.9 start values by the time the postseason rolled around.
How It Looks Now: Of the regionals vault lineup, only Julia Knower seems safe to keep her spot. The return of the Yurchenko one and a half from Dekanoidze, as well as the same from incoming freshmen Fink and Forbes, will create a big boost. The top contenders for the rest of the lineup will likely come in the return of Thompson, as well as the huge Yurchenko full (with potential to upgrade) from incoming freshman Prejean.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. Going from ending the season with 9.9 start values to having three strong 10.0s makes the outlook on this vault lineup very positive.
Potential Contributors: Elizabeth Culton (9.880 NQS), Isabelle Schaefer (9.865), Lali Dekanoidze (9.85), Julia Knower (9.815), Taylor Schulze (9.795), Jamie Shearer (9.755), Brianna Greenlow (9.750), Hallie Thompson, Sophie Silverstein, Kate Greene, Gwen Fink, Kaya Forbes, Amy Wozniak, Paige Prejean, Bella Miller
How It Looked Before: Bars was a solid event for the Tar Heels last season. The lineup was able to score above a 49 in the last four meets of the regular season.
How It Looks Now: The top four scoring returners should be able to keep their spots in the lineup in 2023 with the other two likely to be newcomers, with freshmen Wozniak and Fink likely to be featured in this lineup, as well as transfer Schulze, who will also be a contender.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? The Tar Heels had a good season on bars in 2022, but with the new additions North Carolina has, it should be able to replace some of the 9.7-range routines with 9.8-plus scores, which will help the event trend up.
Potential Contributors: Elizabeth Culton (9.910 NQS), Julia Knower (9.895), Hannah Nam (9.850), Taylor Schulze (9.820), Jamie Shearer (9.790), Lali Dekanoidze (9.650), Brianna Greenlow (9.330), Hallie Thompson, Isabelle Schaefer, Allison La Nasa, Gwen Fink, Kaya Forbes, Amy Wozniak
How It Looked Before: Beam was the Tar Heal’s best event last season. The lineup was filled with multiple natural beamers, but the team started to struggle with consistency the latter half of the season.
How It Looks Now: North Carolina is only losing one routine from its postseason lineup, but multiple gymnasts will contend for that spot and challenge the returners. Dekanoidze’s beam NQS from last season is not representative of her ability since she missed multiple away meets at the end of the season that would have allowed her to drop early season falls, so expect her to fit into the lineup once again. Schulze has a good shot at breaking into the top six, too, and of the freshmen, Fink is the most likely to make it with her confident set. Schaefer has also upgraded her acrobatic series to a side aerial to back handspring, and Forebes has a back handspring back pike that will push the current top six.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? North Carolina has the potential to trend up here with more consistency, but until that consistency is shown, the event will likely remain the same
Potential Contributors: Elizabeth Culton (9.880 NQS), Julia Knower (9.870), Brianna Greenlow (9.830), Hannah Nam (9.825), Lali Dekanoidze (9.815), Jay Weil (9.645), Jenna Cashman, Cory Shinohara, Gwen Fink, Kaya Forbes, Paige Prejean, Amy Wozniak
How It Looked Before: The floor lineup had the ability last season to be great, but the scoring potential was hampered by frequent uncontrolled landings.
How It Looks Now: The top three here are pretty solid in their lineup spots, and Dekanoidze can break back into the top group assuming she’s back to full health. Of the newcomers that will likely make their way into the lineup, Fink has a beautiful two and a half twist that would be a great addition, and both Forbes and Prejean have a full-twisting double tuck, which would be welcomed difficulty.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? North Carolina is adding more depth on this event and has a great opportunity to improve as long as the Tar Heels can control their landings.
Three Big Questions
How soon will Lali Dekanoidze be back to full strength?
Dekanoidze was a major contributor the first half of the 2022 season and won weekly EAGL awards on multiple occasions. Her vault and bars specifically bring the scoring potential that North Carolina needs to continue improving on the success from last season.
How well will Gwen Fink acclimate to college gymnastics?
Fink is the fourth-highest rated recruit in the class of 2022 and brings a high scoring potential across all four events. If she can jump right into college competition, she alone can raise North Carolina’s level of competitiveness from the start.
Can the Tar Heels better control their landings?
One of the biggest things that held the Tar Heels back last season was lack of landing control primarily on vault and floor but also on bar dismounts as well. To be a top program, the focus on sticking landings to add extra tenths to the team score will be an essential focus moving forward.
No. 34 Towson
Towson is coming off of back-to-back seasons of qualifying to regionals after 20 years of missing out. Towson is one of two teams in the EAGL (the other being LIU) to have not won an EAGL title and will be looking to do so in 2023 as a team on the rise.
|Losses:||Nikki Borkowski (VT, FX), Emerson Hurst (BB)|
|Gains:||Polina Belanovski, Carmella Calafati, Lauren Greene, Adriana Hoffman, Isabella Minervini, Celia Trotter|
|Returning From Injury:||Amanda Pedicelli|
Potential Contributors: Lauren Bolen (9.840 NQS), Camille Vitoff (9.835), Elise Tisler (9.820), Mia Davis (9.815), Jenna Weitz (9.770), Clara Hong, Felicia Poblete, Polina Belanovski, Carmella Calafati, Adriana Hoffman
How It Looked Before: After the first couple of meets, vault ended up being a strong event for the Tigers, improving to 32nd in the country and breaking the program record.
How It Looks Now: Most of the 2022 vault lineup remains intact for the 2023 season with one main hole to be filled from Borkowski. Belanovski is the most likely freshman to be a staple and has been training a Yurchenko one and a half onto mats, which would be a big boost if it can materialize in competition. Calafati and Hoffman also have a chance at breaking into the top six. Some of the returners have also been working on upgraded vaults during the preseason with Tisler training a Yurchenko one and a half and Poblete training a Yurchenko full-on back pike.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Tentatively trending up. Some of the upgraded vaults look likely to be competition ready by season, and if they are, the vault score will undoubtedly go up.
Potential Contributors: Steph Macasu (9.855 NQS), Clara Hong (9.840), Grace Vaillancourt (9.840), Lauren Keener (9.820), Camille Vitoff (9.815), Sarah Girot (9.780), Amanda Pedicelli, Cassidy Stuart, Polina Belanovski, Lauren Greene, Adriana Hoffman, Isabella Minervini, Celia Trotter
How It Looked Before: Bars was an event with a lot of potential for Towson that did not always materialize in meets, leading to a No. 35 ranking.
How It Looks Now: Much of the lineup will likely remain the same and continue to feature the trio of Macasu, Hong and Vaillancourt, but Minervini is going to challenge for a late lineup spot right away after scoring a perfect 10 during her level 10 career.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. Towson isn’t losing any routines and can only go up from 2022.
Potential Contributors: Jenna Weitz (9.865 NQS), Clara Hong (9.855), Lauren Keener (9.830), Grace Vaillancourt (9.810), Lauren Bolen (9.790), Cassidy Stuart, Steph Macasu, Polina Belanovski, Adriana Hoffman, Isabella Minervini, Celia Trotter.
How It Looked Before: Beam was Towson’s best event from last season, finishing at No. 21 and notching a season high of 49.400, which is a program record.
How It Looks Now: Hurst was a staple that will be missed, but Minervini should fill in right away with her strong beam set that includes a wolf jump three quarters. Stuart only competed in the beam lineup once last season, but had a strong showing that could be a boost to this lineup. Other freshmen could challenge for lineup spots throughout the season, too, including Belanovski, who competes a unique tour jete half.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The team is only losing one routine but brings in a plethora of options to replace it.
Potential Contributors: Amy Stewart (9.870 NQS), Clara Hong (9.850), Grace Vaillancourt (9.830), Jenna Weitz (9.810), Lauren Bolen (9.790), Paige Casper (9.695), Elise Tisler, Amanda Pedicelli, Polina Belanovski, Carmella Calafati, Adriana Hoffman, Isabella Minervini
How It Looked Before: Floor was the weakest event for the Tigers last season, but they ended the season on a strong note with five consecutive totals over 49.
How It Looks Now: Much of the lineup will likely stay the same in 2023, but there are some areas for improvement nevertheless that the freshmen should be able to help with. Belanovski competes a front double full, and Calafati is featured in the top 100 level 10 floor scores from 2022. Both will have a great shot at being regulars in 2023.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Floor looks like it will be an event that will remain on par with the success it had in 2022.
Three Big Questions
Will the returning experience help improve the beam lineup’s consistency?
Last season the beam lineup dealt with inconsistencies that ultimately ended the Tigers’ season at the regional play-in. An extra year of experience for key contributors like Hong and Keener should help to provide a boost of consistency to stabilize the team’s weekly performance on beam.
Can Towson replicate its home success on the road?
In 2022, the Tigers’ top four scores came at home, not a strong recipe for success under the NQS system. This season Towson will need to better mimic that home success away from its Maryland arena to not just make the postseason once again but avoid the play-in and earn a first-round bye.
Are the upgraded vaults seen in training going to make it to competition?
Towson has teased upgraded vaults in the past, and this offseason has been no different. But the question now is are those vaults simply playing around or realistic options that will materialize in competition and help boost the Tigers on the event to set them apart from their EAGL counterparts?
No. 39 George Washington
George Washington had a strong run in 2022 where it finished the regular season with the EAGL title at home. Unfortunately the team just missed out on qualifying to regionals for the second-consecutive year. With multiple routines lost from that championship-winning squad and a number of freshmen coming in, George Washington’s success in 2023 will come down to how well the newcomers acclimate to college.
|Losses:||Simone Banen (UB, BB), Olivia Raymond (UB, BB, FX), Katherine Shek (BB), Madison Steskal, Julia Peters, Olivia Zona (BB, FX)|
|Gains:||Kasey Burke, Jayda Freeman, Kylie Kazmierski, Nancy Kiner (transfer from Pittsburgh), Catherine O’Rourke, Deana Sheremeta|
Potential Contributors: Deja Chambliss (9.900 NQS), Rachel Katz (9.830), Kendall Whitman (9.820), Sarah Zois (9.815), Marlee York (9.780), Hannah Munnelly (9.755), Libby Garfoot, Kasey Burke, Jayda Freeman, Kylie Kazmierski, Nancy Kiner, Catherine O’Rourke
How It Looked Before: Vault was a great event for George Washington, finishing as its best of the four to come in at No. 27 in the country.
How It Looks Now: The Colonials aren’t losing any postseason vaults, the only event without turnover in 2023. Katz was a staple in the lineup in 2022 and has posted videos of an upgraded Yurchenko one and a half that looks like it could be competition ready by January. Of the freshmen that could break into the top six, Burke is coming back from an Achilles tear, but in 2021 she competed a front pike half that would be a great 10.0 start value vault when she’s ultimately healthy.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The lineup loses no vaulters and has shown promising upgrades in training so far this preseason.
Potential Contributors: Deja Chambliss (9.810 NQS), Rachel Katz (9.795), Libby Garfoot (9.730), Anneliese Silverman (9.435), Hannah Munnelly, Kasey Burke, Sarah Girot, Kylie Kazmierski, Nancy Kiner, Deana Sheremeta
How It Looked Before: George Washington had some struggles on bars last season and didn’t have a high scoring ceiling, which ended up holding the team back.
How It Looks Now: Bars is an event where the seniors were major contributors, and there are now crucial holes that need to be filled. The even also isn’t a standout for many of the newcomers, but with the lack of depth, many will have the chance to see how they fair in competition. The most likely of the freshmen to see competition time are Burke, who has a dynamic Hindorff, Kazmierski, who has a stickable double layout dismount, and Deana Sheremeta, who has a strong Deltchev — but who will need to upgrade her dismount to be up to the level.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. Losing so manys trong seniors and the fact that the event isn’t a strength for the freshmen means there will likely be a dip in performance in 2023.
Potential Contributors: Anneliese Silverman (9.830 NQS), Sarah Zois (9.815), Deja Chambliss (9.810), Kendall Whitman (9.805), Kasey Burke, Jayda Freeman, Kylie Kazmierski, Nancy Kiner, Catherine O’Rourke, Deana Sheremeta
How It Looked Before: Beam was the lowest-ranked event for George Washington last season after dealing with inconsistencies throughout.
How It Looks Now: A couple key routines on this event are gone, but luckily there are multiple freshmen who should be able to step in. Sheremeta is a 2021 level 10 national beam champion and will challenge for a late lineup spot. Of the other freshmen, Kazmierski is an aggressive beam worker, and Burke competed a roundoff back tuck series in 2021 that would be a unique addition.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. It’s hard losing multiple strong contributors on any event, and relying on freshmen to fill the holes is especially nerve-wracking.
Potential Contributors: Deja Chambliss (9.910 NQS), Kendall Whitman (9.890), Payton Lynch (9.825), Marlee York (9.780), Anneliese Silverman, Sarah Zois, Kasey Burke, Jayda Freeman, Kylie Kazmierski, Catherine O’Rourke, Deana Sheremeta
How It Looked Before: Floor had a lot of great moments for George Washington in 2022, scoring as high as 49.375. Unfortunately, inconsistencies kept the ranking at No. 39.
How It Looks Now: The team is losing two routines from 2022, but luckily those holes should easily be filled by the freshmen. Two bring E-value front tumbling: Burke competed a double front in 2021, and Sheremeta competed a front double full this past season. Freeman has the power in her tumbling but lacks control at times, which is crucial for big scores in college. But she could still challenge for a lineup spot with the rest of the freshmen class.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. The freshmen might not be able to bring in the high scores right away, but floor will eventually at least be on par with 2022 if not slightly better.
Three Big Questions
Can George Washington grow depth on uneven bars?
Two of the best bar workers from 2022 are not returning, opening many holes in the lineup that need to be filled so the team doesn’t take a dip in 2023. The depth on the event is not there the way it is on the leg events, so George Washington will have to look to find a way to improve the available routines to stay competitive.
How well will the freshmen acclimate to college beam?
Like bars, the beam team has some holes to fill, and while the freshmen have great potential, they likely won’t all factor into the top six in 2023. If the freshmen are able to embrace the pressure that comes from college beam early on and ultimately thrive, this can be an asset for the Colonials.
Can George Washington repeat as EAGL champion?
The EAGL conference is a very tight conference where the winner of the title truly comes down to that day. The prospect of repeating will be an uphill battle for the team with many other teams on the rise and George Washington having to rely more on the freshmen class.
READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: SEC Part II
Article by Alyssa Van Auker
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