This half of the conference is split into two groups. Ohio State and Maryland are looking to grow and build with exciting newcomers while Penn State, Nebraska and Rutgers will be hoping to revitalize lineups and make a push for regionals qualification in 2023.
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. 20 Ohio State
Unlike most of the rest of the conference, the Buckeyes’ roster is staying remarkably stable in 2023, with three seniors returning for fifth years. Former five-star recruit Payton Harris could be a difference-maker that pushes this squad back into the Sweet 16.
|Losses:||Miriam Perez (FX)|
|Gains:||Mallory Gregory, Payton Harris, Kaylyn Mintz|
|Returning From Injury:||Zoe Schweitzer (fractured foot)|
Potential Contributors: Elexis Edwards (9.870 NQS), Sydney Jennings (9.860), Jenna Hlavach (9.845), Raina Malas (9.830), Nicole Riccardi (9.815), Kaitlyn Grimes (9.790), Colby Miller, Maddy Pike, Emma Pritchard, Tory Vetter, Mallory Gregory, Payton Harris
How It Looked Before: This was a fine event for the Buckeyes, holding steady most of the season right around or a few tenths above a 49.000. Hlavach was a breakout performer with her Yurchenko full-on pike.
How It Looks Now: Vault is in for a bit of a makeover with two Yurchenko one and a halves walking in the door from Gregory and Harris. If she’s at top form, Vetter could add a clean full.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? The Buckeyes are trending up on vault, with the entire lineup returning and two new 10.0s added to the ranks.
Potential Contributors: Colby Miller (9.925), Nicole Riccardi (9.895), Elexis Edwards (9.865), Stephanie Berger (9.840), Alexis Hankins (9.805), Jenna Hlavach (9.795), Zoe Schweitzer (9.770), Tory Vetter, Kaylyn Mintz, Payton Harris
How It Looked Before: After a rough first outing on the event, bars became a great piece for the Buckeyes, coming in at No. 14 nationally and featuring top-20 work from Miller. Five lineup regulars hit 9.9-plus.
How It Looks Now: Harris performs a big Ray and has the clean, efficient bar work you’d expect from someone trained by the Memmels. Mintz could also factor in here, with a good Jaeger and full-twisting double back. With the entire lineup returning, hopefully including a healthy Vetter and Schweitzer, head coach Meredith Paulicivic will have a lot of options here.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Bars should get even better. With increased depth and injury returners, plus the core 2022 lineup coming back, this should remain a strong event.
Potential Contributors: Stephanie Berger (9.885), Sydney Jennings (9.850), Alexis Hankins (9.845), Emma Pritchard (9.840), Hannah Oliveros (9.810), Zoe Schweitzer (9.750), Jojo Warga (9.650), Ella Hodges, Tory Vetter, Kaylyn Mintz
How It Looked Before: When the Buckeyes hit beam, they could hit to the tune of 49.500. There were some consistency issues here, something that has haunted Ohio State’s beamers for a few years now, but the young lineup showed moments of brilliance.
How It Looks Now: In her one time out, Vetter put up a 9.900; not bad for a college beam debut. If she’s an option, she should slot into this lineup. Harris is a calm, steady beamer with good carriage and a fun front aerial to front aerial to two feet series. Mintz has good presence and execution but was inconsistent in level 10; with careful construction she is an option.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. Every gymnast on this list has the potential to be a great beamer; it all comes down to consistently hitting.
Potential Contributors: Elexis Edwards (9.920), Alexis Hankins (9.910), Jenna Hlavach (9.895), Claire Gagliardi (9.885), Jojo Warga (9.820), Savannah Gonzalez (9.810), Tory Vetter, Payton Harris, Kaylyn Mintz
How It Looked Before: Floor is Ohio State’s headline event, with big tumbling and fun choreography. Gagliardi is always a highlight, and Hlavach broke out here as well, notching a 9.950 in February. This was the Buckeyes’ most consistent event.
How It Looks Now: Vetter is a great performer and should do well with a college routine if she’s healthy. Harris was clean in level 10, with good landings and a tidy front double full to stag jump. Mintz has a well-landed full-in and will be an option as well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Floor should improve in 2023. With the core of the lineup returning and three strong new options, this event should help propel Ohio State back to the regional final.
Three Big Questions
Where is Tory Vetter?
Absent for most of 2022 and presumed injured, we saw lauded freshman Vetter only once in January, for a 9.800 on bars and a 9.900 on beam. She was featured on the team Instagram Story recently with text reading “comeback season soon,” so all signs point to her being a contributor this season, which would be a huge boost.
How will the new Yurchenko one and a halves score?
The new 10.0 vaults from Gregory and Harris were consistent but not always extremely clean. In level 10, judges often forgive some form issues in favor of difficulty more readily than in college, plus there’s a one-tenth stick bonus for one and a halves. Both need to clean up their knee form a little bit if they’re going to score big in college.
Will anyone break out on beam?
Most of the beam lineup in 2022, despite some inconsistency, was good, but no one broke through as a superstar. Perhaps what this lineup needs to take the next step is for someone to emerge as that star. Most of the roster is capable of it, but it remains to be seen if anyone will take that leadership role on the event.
No. 29 Maryland
The Terps are losing all-arounder and leader Audrey Barber but keeping most of the remainder of their postseason routines. Lindsay Bacheler only competed a few exhibitions last season, but assuming she’s healthy, Maryland should be more than capable of filling holes and seeing a successful 2023.
|Losses:||Leksana Andrews, Audrey Barber (AA), Sanya Glauber (UB, FX)|
|Gains:||Victoria Gatzendorfer (SO transfer from Missouri), Maddie Komoroski, Maia Lee, Taylor Rech, Shani Sirota|
|Returning From Injury:||Lindsay Bacheler (unknown), Sophia LeBlanc (Achilles), Athlyn Drage (broken foot)|
Potential Contributors: Alexsis Rubio (9.885 NQS), Emma Silberman (9.850), Josephine Kogler (9.835), Olivia Weir (9.820), Elizabeth DeBarberie (9.810), Samantha Gilbert, Lindsay Bacheler, Victoria Gatzendorfer
How It Looked Before: Rubio’s near-perfect Yurchenko full led the way for this strong lineup, which was largely consistent throughout the season.
How It Looks Now: If she’s healthy, Bacheler has an impeccable handspring pike half to offer. This could be an event where transfer Gatzendorfer contributes. The freshmen are not particularly strong here, and given the level of vaulting talent Maryland returns, it would be a challenging lineup to break into.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. The Terps only need to replace Barber’s number, but it was regularly very good. It remains to be seen who can fill her shoes. If Bacheler is healthy, she is more than up to the task.
Potential Contributors: Aleka Tsiknias (9.890), Emma Silberman (9.860), Sierra Kondo (9.850), Elizabeth DeBarberie (9.835), Athlyn Drage (9.440), Rhea LeBlanc, Victoria Gatzendorfer, Lindsay Bacheler, Maddie Komoroski, Maia Lee
How It Looked Before: Bars was Maryland’s best event by both national ranking and high score, led by big numbers from underclassmen. The Terps topped out at a 49.475 in March.
How It Looks Now: Maryland should expect Gatzendorfer to contribute. She put up two solid routines at Missouri. Bacheler should be a factor, as should Komoroski. She has been inconsistent but has gorgeous extension and toe point. With the right construction, Lee could also be an option.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Bars might suffer a little; losing Barber is a particular sting here due to her consistency.
Potential Contributors: Emma Silberman (9.830), Elizabeth DeBarberie (9.830), Josephine Kogler (9.830), Reese McClure (9.795), Olivia Weir (9.790), Alexsis Rubio, Victoria Gatzendorfer, Maddie Komoroski, Taylor Rech,
How It Looked Before: Beam was a problem for the first half of the season, but after a particularly rough outing in late February, the Terps got back on track and finished the year steady on the event. Barber led the way, and the lineup members remained entirely consistent for the last two-thirds of the season.
How It Looks Now: Komoroski’s beautiful toe point features on beam as well, and she has precise lines; she was inconsistent in level 10 but has the pieces to be a great beamer. Rech has also struggled with consistency but has good presence and an exciting lateral split half to back full dismount. Gatzendorfer competed beam four times at Missouri, topping out at a 9.875.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Beam will likely dip a little, due entirely to Barber’s loss. This group has all of the pieces to rebound, though, if it can find consistency.
Potential Contributors: Alexa Rothenbuescher (9.865), Reese McClure (9.805), Tayler Osterhout (9.795), Alexsis Rubio (9.785), Rhea LeBlanc (9.695), Josephine Kogler, Sophia LeBlanc, Emma Silberman, Aleka Tsiknias, Lindsay Bacheler, Taylor Rech, Victoria Gatzendorfer
How It Looked Before: Floor was by far Maryland’s weakest event by ranking, hovering right around the 49 mark. Head coach Brett Nelligan tried out nearly his entire roster in this lineup, never quite settling on a top six. Barber, again, led the way.
How It Looks Now: Bacheler performed an exhibition here last year, and it didn’t seem quite ready. If healthy, she should factor in. Rech has a good front double full and should also be an option. Though she never broke into the floor lineup at Missouri, Gatzendorfer has good performance quality and sky high tumbling.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. Losing Barber is yet again a game changer, and it remains to be seen who will fill her hole.
Three Big Questions
Is Lindsay Bacheler healthy?
We only saw the highly touted former four-star recruit exhibition in her freshman campaign. If she’s back to her level 10 form, she could be a huge factor on vault, bars and floor.
Who will step up on beam?
With Barber out the door, the Terps need a new leader on beam. Perhaps McClure will find her consistency, or Debarberie will settle in. Maybe a change of scenery is all Gatzendorfer needed to become a star.
Will Victoria Gatzendorfer add events?
Speaking of Gatzendorfer, she is capable of college-worthy routines on vault and floor to add to her bars and beam contributions at Missouri. If she emerges as an all-arounder in College Park, she could be a new leader for this squad.
No. 38 Nebraska
The Huskers had some bright spots in an otherwise disappointing 2022 season, and they’re losing many of their reliable routines and leaders. Still, Csenge Bácskay brings immense talent and big-stage experience to Lincoln, and adding proven beamer Sophia McClelland from BYU takes some pressure off of that lineup. The Huskers will have their sights set on returning to regionals this year.
|Losses:||Makayla Curtis (VT, BB, FX), Joanna De Jesus-Cortes (left team), Anika Dujakovich, Kaitlyn Higgins (VT, BB, FX), Kynsee Roby (UB, BB), Caroline Williams (left team)|
|Gains:||Csenge Bácskay, Katelyn Barth, Emalee Frost, Lauren Homecillo, Sophia McClelland (JR transfer from BYU), Annie Worley|
Potential Contributors: Kinsey Davis (9.865 NQS), Ayzhia Hall (9.800), Kylie Piringer (9.795), Emma Spence (9.790), Martina Comin, Katie Kuenemann, Csenge Bácskay, Katelyn Barth
How It Looked Before: In the first month and a half of the season, vault was very up and down, but the lineup hit its stride by mid-February and closed out strong, led by Kinsey Davis’ consistency.
How It Looks Now: Bácskay adds a Yurchenko one and a half to the mix and should anchor this lineup from day one. She was first reserve for the vault event finals at the 2021 world championships. Barth’s full is also an option.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Vault should improve in 2023. While both Curtis and Higgins exit this lineup, Bácskay should slot right in and provide a boost from her higher start value.
Potential Contributors: Kinsey Davis (9.895), Clara Colombo (9.885), Emma Spence (9.840), Genesis Gibson (9.775), Kathryn Thaler (9.770), Emma Simpton (9.715), Csenge Bácskay, Emalee Frost
How It Looked Before: The Huskers put up some beautiful work on bars, led by Davis’ clean work and Colombo’s unique routine featuring eagle grip work. With the exception of one tough day in March, the second half of the season was particularly good here.
How It Looks Now: Bácskay will also be featured on bars; she performed a Shang to immediate Pak in her elite set. She had ankle surgery in March, but if she’s healthy, Frost is also a good option here.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. This lineup loses only Roby, and Bácskay should be more than able to replicate her scores—if her college execution is better than it was in her jam-packed elite set.
Potential Contributors: Kinsey Davis (9.865), Kathryn Thaler (9.850), Emma Spence (9.815), Ayzhia Hall (9.580), Clara Colombo, Csenge Bácskay, Lauren Homecillo, Sophia McClelland
How It Looked Before: Beam was the Huskers’ best event by a good margin; the lineup had a few off outings but often scored well over 49, with a run of consistent performances during the end of the regular season.
How It Looks Now: All of Nebraska’s top scoring routines return, but half of the regular contributors are departing. Bácskay has qualified to international event finals here and should fill one of those vacated spots with her calm work and good form. Homecillo has the pieces, including a triple series, but has suffered from inconsistency. Beam is also McClelland’s event; she didn’t have a fall in her two season at BYU.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Beam might dip at the beginning of the season. Bácskay, Homecillo and McClelland should slot into the open spots, but it may just take an adjustment period to get this group up to the standard of the departing sets.
Potential Contributors: Emma Spence (9.830), Kylie Piringer (9.820), Ayzhia Hall (9.810), Katie Kuenemann (9.695), Martina Comin, Halle Rourke, Csenge Bácskay, Emalee Frost, Lauren Homecillo
How It Looked Before: Floor started out rocky for the Huskers, who relied on a lot of freshmen in this lineup. Once head coach Heather Brink found her top six and the young group settled in, things largely improved.
How It Looks Now: Bácskay’s set is led by a nice two and a half to punch front; she’ll need to finesse her leaps for college, but she should immediately join this lineup. If her ankle is up to it, Frost is an option. Her front double full is clean, and she also performs a front through to a two and a half. Homecillo should absolutely see time here; her double pike-led set just needs a little tidying on landings to be ready to go. If Comin is fully recovered from her Achilles injury in 2021, which limited her in 2022, she will be an important piece here as well.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Floor should look better in 2023. The Huskers gain a lot in Bácskay and Homecillo, who should hit the ground running. With Comin as an option and with more experience and maturity from the underclassmen, there should be a shorter adjustment period this season.
Three Big Questions
Is Csenge Bácskay ready to be a week-in-week-out all-arounder?
She has the big stage experience and is certainly in the top six on all four pieces, but asking an international freshman to immediately step in as the reliable all-around rock is a big task. If she can do that from day one, the Huskers will be in good shape.
Will Emma Simpton add events?
Sophomore Simpton only competed bars last year, but she was a capable beam and floor worker in level 10. She could be a valuable depth option for Brink.
Will Nebraska return to regionals?
All signs point to yes. This group has had two very down seasons, but the huge sophomore class has a year under its belt, and Bácskay is a great recruit. It doesn’t seem likely that the Huskers will immediately rebound to its perennial nationals threat days just yet, but they should certainly make a push to return to the postseason.
No. 40 Penn State
Penn State just couldn’t quite figure it out in 2022, largely due to regularly substandard beam performances. Gabrielle Gallentine’s transfer is worthy of the buzz it received, and this Nittany Lion recruiting class is massive. Former five-star Ava Piedrahita and former four-star Amani Herring could be just what the team needs to turn things around.
|Losses:||Melissa Astarita (BB, FX), Jessie Bastardi, Alissa Bonsall (VT, UB, FX), Lauren Bridgens (AA), Kourtney Chinnery (VT), Natalie Cross (left team), Dymiana Cox (BB), Anastasia Frank (left team), Donna Howell|
|Gains:||Gabrielle Gallentine (JR transfer from Florida), Haleigh Gibble, Amani Herring, Katie Leary, Ava Piedrahita|
|Returning From Injury:||Olivia Yarussi (boot), Sarah Duhe (boot)|
Potential Contributors: Jessica Johanson (9.840 NQS), Bella Salcedo (9.810), Cassidy Rushlow (9.800), Elina Vihrova, Amani Herring, Ava Piedrahita, Gabrielle Gallentine
How It Looked Before: Vault was consistently solid for the Nittany Lions, who relied on a core group of Yurchenko fulls and Salcedo’s crowd-pleasing Omelianchik.
How It Looks Now: Unfortunately, Penn State relied on a lot of vaults last year that departed, and it is not the strongest event for the newcomers. Piedrahita competed an Omelianchik in level 10 that had some form issues, and Herring has a decent yet piked-down full. Gallentine competed a nice full before her Florida days and could also be an option.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Down, a bit. If Piedrahita can clean up her vault and a little college coaching finnesses Herring’s, the Nittany Lions will be in business—but those corrections take time.
Potential Contributors: Cassidy Rushlow (9.865), Maddie Johnston (9.820), Jessica Johanson (9.812), Nikki Beckwith (9.800), Maggie Mace, Bella Romagnano, Elina Vihrova, Gabrielle Gallentine, Ava Piedrahita, Amani Herring
How It Looked Before: Penn State was steadily good but not spectacular on bars as a whole. The squad had some individually excellent performances, especially from Bridgens and Bonsall.
How It Looks Now: Bars is the event where Gallentine contributed for the Gators. She had back-to-back 9.950s in the 2021 Athens regional meets and should be an immediate contributor. Piedrahita has some execution issues that college coaching and creative construction could clean up. Herring has been inconsistent but brings a high Gienger; she’ll need some reworked routine construction to join the lineup.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Down. This was Bridgens’ and Bonsall’s best event, and losing both stings. Gallentine should immediately make up some of that difference, but the other newcomers have some work to do.
Potential Contributors: Maddie Johnston (9.830), Bella Salcedo (9.790), Bella Romagnano (9.675), Amy Bladon (9.430), Maggie Ayers, Elina Vihrova, Haleigh Gibble, Amani Herring, Ava Piedrahita, Gabrielle Gallentine
How It Looked Before: Beam was a serious problem for the Nittany Lions. They broke 49.000 just once and had some true meltdown performances. Clocking in at No. 55, this beam squad in no way performed up to its potential. Johnston was a bright spot.
How It Looks Now: Beam is Gibble’s event; she began her career at Stallone—think Natalie Wojcik—and it shows in her lines and finish. She was inconsistent at times in level 10 but had a good 2022. This is also a good event for Herring, who has excellent split positions. Piedrahita’s set is unique, featuring a switch-leg side aerial and double tuck dismount. She can be inconsistent but should nevertheless join the top six.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Beam should improve. There’s no reason to think this roster can’t put together six solid beam sets each week. It will take work from returning athletes and newcomers to find consistency, but last season seems like a worst-case scenario that the Nittany Lions are unlikely to repeat.
Potential Contributors: Bella Salcedo (9.915), Elina Vihrova (9.870), Cassidy Rushlow (9.740), Jessica Johanson (9.690), Ava Piedrahita, Amani Herring, Gabrielle Gallentine
How It Looked Before: Floor was Penn State’s best event, with the top six locked in for nearly the entire season. Salcedo’s double front was a fan favorite.
How It Looks Now: The Nittany Lions have half of this lineup to replace. Piedrahita has a stickable full-in, and Herring is a strong performer with a double Arabian and very good leaps. This is another event where Gallentine could contribute; as an elite she performed a full-twisting double back and a triple full, and she trained the former, as well as a whip to double full, at Florida last year.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. A lot hinges on Gallentine’s status; if she isn’t in the floor picture, it will be on a returning gymnast to get up to speed for this lineup.
Three Big Questions
Where will we see Gabrielle Gallentine?
The Florida lineups have been stacked the past two years, so we only ever saw Gallentine occasionally on bars. She trained vault and floor as well and has potential on both. She could easily be a three-event contributor for Penn State.
Can the Nittany Lions stay on the beam?
Overall improvement for this team hinges on some no-fall beam outings. The event should be better, but how much better? Can Penn State have six hits at enough meets to make it to regionals? We won’t have an idea until we’re a few meets into the season, but this is the biggest question to keep in mind for this squad.
How will former five-star recruit Ava Piedrahita score in college?
Piedrahita has the makings of a great college gymnast, but her execution could hold her back. If she can tidy up some of her work, she should be a breakout star.
No. 46 Rutgers
Big classes and big roster turnover has become a signature at Rutgers, and this year is no different. The incoming group is talented and will need to hit the ground running if the Scarlet Knights are going to make a push to qualify for regionals.
|Losses:||Mia Betancourt (VT), Kylie Haffner (retired), Jordan Halcom (transfer to UW-La Crosse), Belle Huang (VT, BB, FX), Abigail Karolewski (UB), Sage Littlejohn, Kieran Ross (transfer to Bridgeport), Anna Yeakel (left team)|
|Gains:||Nailah Adams, Emma David (SO transfer from Yale), Gabrielle Dildy, Renee Figueroa, Lainey Link, Valentina Lorente-Garcia, Innocent Mensah, Rachael Riley, Harmony Webster|
|Returning From Injury:||Gianna Ortiz (ankle)|
Potential Contributors: Emily Leese (9.855 NQS), Hannah Joyner (9.830), Isabella Hughes (9.775), Calah Newman (9.750), Anna Pagliaro (9.710), Nailah Adams, Valentine Lorente Garcia, Harmony Webster
How It Looked Before: This was Rutgers’ best piece by national ranking by a fair margin at No. 28. Leese led the group with a Yurchenko one and a half, complemented by Joyner’s big full.
How It Looks Now: Adams scored a 10.0 on vault in level 10 for her powerful and stickable one and a half. If she’s healthy, she’ll immediately join this lineup, possibly as anchor. She had ACL surgery in May, though. Lorente Garcia’s full is also an option, as is Webster’s tucked Tsuk full.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Vault should improve in 2023; the Scarlet Knights are losing a handful of options, including Huang’s excellent full, but Adams and Weber bring higher start values that put this group ahead.
Potential Contributors: Avery Balser (9.830), Hannah Joyner (9.810), Mya Pringle (9.790), Calah Newman (9.730), Jordyn Zieden-Weber (9.725), Kaitlyn Bertola (9.645), Elia Aird, Brayden Battavio, Myra Daniels, Maya Jones, Nailah Adams, Innocent Mensah, Gabrielle Dildy, Valentine Lorente-Garcia, Emma David
How It Looked Before: Umme Salim-Beasley tried out just about half of her huge roster on bars at some point in 2022. It took a few weeks to get the event on track, and this group never broke 49. With no gymnast averaging a 9.800, it was an event without a leader.
How It Looks Now: Thankfully for Rutgers, Adams brings a Ray, clean handstands and a full-in dismount that will be welcome in the lineup if she’s healthy. Mensah has been very inconsistent, but she has beautiful lines and a piked Jaeger and double layout set that could score very well in college. Lorente-Garcia has shown immense improvement on bars in the last year; if that trend continues, she’s also in play to join the bar squad.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too soon to tell. There are so many unknowns here; a lot depends on Adams’ health and Lorente-Garcia’s continued refining.
Potential Contributors: Hannah Joyner (9.905), Calah Newman (9.825), Stephanie Zannella (9.815), Brayden Battavio (9.74), Jackie Manifold (9.715), Emily Leese, Gianna Ortiz, Mya Pringle, Nailah Adams, Valentine Lorente-Garcia, Harmony Webster
How It Looked Before: Beam was a good event for Rutgers, especially in the second half of the season. Joyner notched a 9.950 on her best piece, as she and Huang led this group.
How It Looks Now: Huang’s loss will be felt perhaps most of all on beam. Outside of Joyner, no one returning had a 2022 average of a 9.700 or better. That said, the lineup was young and has an extra year of experience under its belt now. Ortiz should return here if she’s healthy. Adams is solid, with just some form issues to correct. Lorente-Garcia can be wobbly, but she has all the pieces of a solid college set. Webster is also a little wobbly but has good poise and nice splits.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Beam should trend down a bit; Huang is a big loss, and the freshmen will at the very least take some time to get up to speed.
Potential Contributors: Hannah Joyner (9.910), Emily Wood (9.860), Calah Newman (9.765), Anna Pagliaro (9.755), Avery Balser (9.750), Emily Leese (9.735), Gianna Ortiz, Stephanie Zannella, Valentina Lorente-Garcia, Innocent Mensah, Harmony Webster
How It Looked Before: Floor was consistently the best rotation score for Rutgers, hitting 49.200 or higher in five meets. Huang was almost perfect here, and she and Joyner led the way. Wood and Pagliaro had breakout seasons for the Scarlet Knights.
How It Looks Now: Lorente-Garcia—who is studying dance at Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts—is sure to become a fan favorite on floor. Adams is also excellent, with a high front double full. Mensah is a good performer and will do well with college choreography; she spent only two seasons at level 10 and seems to have a lot of room to continue growing into her full potential. Webster shines on floor, with excellent performance quality and a very clean full-in. She will make an immediate difference.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? This lineup is on its way up. Webster should slot into Huang’s spot, and Salim-Beasley has excellent options from the rest of the class.
Three Big Questions
Who can fill Belle Huang’s shoes?
The answer, likely, is no one. She was the rare gymnast who gave her team great routines, leadership and emanated a calm presence. We can’t expect anyone to immediately jump into that role, and Huang’s absence will absolutely be felt.
How is Nailah Adams’ ACL recovery progressing?
Adams is the Scarlet Knights’ headline recruit. She has the potential to be an all-arounder and could join Joyner in the Rutgers record books. Rutgers’ season depends at least in significant part on her health. May to January—seven months—is theoretically enough time to fully recover from ACL surgery, but is it enough time to recover, adjust to NCAA gymnastics and compete from week one? We’ll have to wait and see.
Can this group put together a solid bar lineup?
The one single thing that could propel Rutgers into the regional conversation is improvement on bars. It’s what held this group back in 2022 and could be the ticket to a play-in berth. Unfortunately, so much of improving here depends on unknowns, and we won’t have a good idea of where the Scarlet Knights stand until January.
READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: Big Ten Part I
Article by Emily Minehart and Emily Lockard
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You’ve listed Rachael Riley in your Most Anticipated Elite Freshmen in the All-Around and now you don’t think she’s in any potential lineup for Rutgers – did something happen to her? Is she injured?