Well, we’re coming up on the end of January, and it’s about time we took a temperature check on how everyone’s favorite DII and DIII programs are doing so far this season. With that being said, the Report Card series is being expanded. At the end of each month, a progress report will be given to determine which teams got a passing grade and which still have some kinks to work through before the postseason rolls around.
For the record, any team with fewer than seven full scholarships in 2023 will be considered for this rendition of the Report Card. This includes any team competing in USAG, NCGA and currently unaffiliated or independent teams. And don’t worry just yet if your favorite team isn’t getting good marks. DII and DIII teams are notorious for peaking just in time for the postseason, so things are just getting started.
The grading system has been adjusted from Brandis’ traditional Report Card to reflect typical score ranges for these programs. With that being said, let’s take it to the classroom.
Top of the Class
|Vault: B+||Bars: B||Beam: A||Floor: A|
Compliments: Considering the youth of this roster, the Falcons have been quite steady, especially on beam and floor. This team is capable of putting up big scores even without traveling the entire roster. Standout newcomers so far are Kylie Greene and Madison Carlisle.
Concerns: The biggest concern would be inconsistency on bars, as the team has counted mistakes at every meet so far this season. January jitters? Seems likely.
|Vault: A-||Bars: A-||Beam: B+||Floor: A|
Compliments: The Lions always know how to rise to the occasion. Super freshman Jaly Jones is already having a breakout season in the all-around, and Hannah Appleget is stepping up on more events, becoming one of the top scorers on floor after not competing the event in 2022. Don’t forget the Lions have already surpassed the 196 threshold this season as well.
Concerns: Beam can be shaky at the most unexpected times, and vault landings are a bit inconsistent. It’s January. That’s to be expected.
|Vault: B||Bars: C||Beam: C||Floor: B|
Compliments: The Titan’s are lights out on the leg events. Multiple Yurchenko fulls have come up stuck this season already, and floor is packed with difficulty. Bars is also full of single-bar releases, making it among the most difficult lineups in DIII gymnastics. Reanna McGibboney is a standout on multiple events. And did we mention that Oshkosh has already scored its second highest team total in history in 2023?
Concerns: Counting falls on bars and beam keep Oshkosh within an arm’s reach of the rest of Division III.
|Vault: A||Bars: B||Beam: B-||Floor: B-|
Compliments: Brown is killing the vault game so far this season with a full lineup of Yurchenko fulls already landing with chests up. Julia Bedell looks like she’s ready to have a breakout season, not that she wasn’t already great as a freshman. Plus, the Bears’ lines on bars are among the best in USAG.
Concerns: Brown’s average is getting weighed down by its first meet , where it looked unsure on floor landings and counted several uncharacteristic mistakes.
|Vault: B+||Bars: B+||Beam: B+||Floor: B+|
Compliments: Slow and steady wins the race. While SEMO doesn’t have a stand-out event currently, the Redhawks still get the job done. Steady competitors Lindsay Ockler, Jolie Miller and Lydia Webb are keeping the pressure off freshman Taylor Ingle. Not that that matters much since she’s made the majority of her 12 competitive routines thus far.
Concerns: Having depth is always a good sign, but the beam and bar lineups seem to be undecided until the very last moment. It’s hard to tell who will hit on what day; someone might have a mistake in the lineup spot while another hits in the exhibition, but then mistakes crop up when transitioning from exhibition to the top six.
|Vault: B+||Bars: B-||Beam: B+||Floor: A-|
Compliments: TWU knows how to sell a landing, and the Pioneers are hitting plenty of dismounts already this season. It has some stellar freshmen with Ruby Goad and Brooke Ferrari asserting themselves already.
Concerns: For the most part, TWU is getting tenth’d to death. A bent knee here, crunched arms there, a slide back. But on the bright side, the little things are those that are most easily fixed as the season goes on.
|Vault: C+||Bars: C+||Beam: D||Floor: C-|
Compliments: La Crosse has added some vault difficulty this year with a 10.0 start value from Hannah Hautala and more twisting Yurchenkos. The Eagles also have some unique skill combinations, including a layout step-out layout step-out series on beam and a full-twisting Tkatchev on bars.
Concerns: Short vault landings aren’t uncommon right now, and generally consistently hitting routines across the entire lineup could be a bit better.
Plenty of Potential
|Vault: B||Bars: D-||Beam: D+||Floor: B-|
Compliments: Brockport has the best vault team in NCGA, along with one of the few 10.0 start values in Division III. Floor is also coming along nicely, with Kyra Figurelli’s full-twisting double back leading the way. The baseline skill level is ready to contend for a top spot in the NCGA.
Concerns: While the beam rotations have not gone completely unscathed, bars is what’s holding this team back so far, which is surprising since the Golden Eagles have reigning bars co-champion Taylor Bushey in the top six.
|Vault: B-||Bars: D-||Beam: C||Floor: B-|
Compliments: Morgan Price has been killing the game, and other athletes have had flashes of beautiful gymnastics, too, including Aliyah Reed-Hammon’s 9.925 beam routine at the Tennessee Collegiate Classic.
Concerns: The bars hit percentage is dangerously low despite having adequate skills to get the job done. There’s also been a few short-term injuries that the Bulldogs have been dealing with already that leave some lineup spots a question mark.
|Vault: B-||Bars: C||Beam: B||Floor: B+|
Compliments: West Chester is getting it done across the board, improving bit by bit each meet. The Golden Rams are one of the few teams in the USAG to have four meets under their belts already in 2023, and it shows.
Concerns: Handstands and form on bars are hurting the Golden Rams a bit, but the skills are there to raise the scoring potential on the event as the season goes on.
Room for Improvement
|Vault: C+||Bars: D+||Beam: B||Floor: C+|
Compliments: Beam is stealing the show so far, scoring as high as 48.600. Considering the Ladies have started on beam every meet, keeping composure is impressive. Amy Foret has looked strong so far in her freshman campaign.
Concerns: Other than Taylor Ann Wilson and Sophie Schmitz, bars start values are sorely lacking this season.
|Vault: C-||Bars: D-||Beam: B-||Floor: C|
Compliments: After ending 2022 on such a high note, Ithaca is trying to pick up where it left off. Cameryn Nichols has been particularly impressive thus far, scoring a Bombers beam record of 9.850 in just the second competition of the year.
Concerns: Hitting bars can be the difference maker in any big meet, and the Bombers haven’t quite put together an entire rotation just yet.
|Vault: C-||Bars: D-||Beam: C-||Floor: B|
Compliments: Hannah Zebdi has been a consistent force on vault and floor while Hannah Stahlbrodt made her competitive debut back in the bar lineup after missing 2022 with an Achilles injury.
Concerns: Lack of consistency is killing the Owls’ scoring potential right now.
|Vault: D-||Bars: F||Beam: F||Floor: D-|
Compliments: The Pipers have added some difficulty on bars, including Julia Cheely and Elizabeth Schauer’s single-bar releases. Also, Hamline’s floor choreography is particularly fun this year. Boom Pipes!
Concerns: Hamline’s major damper is simply falls. The skills are there, it’s a matter of having the confidence to make routines every time and not allowing a single mistake to domino through the rest of the lineup.
READ THIS NEXT: The NCAA Report Card: January 20, 2023
Article by Tavia Smith
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