USAG TWU Kyla Podges

USAG Nationals Preview

It’s about to go down! This has been an extremely competitive year within the USAG, with scores both breaking record heights and grazing down with days of inconsistency. Needless to say, qualifying to the team final will depend on who has the best meet on semifinal day, so pay close attention to Thursday’s competitions. A higher ranking isn’t necessarily a guarantee of advancing this year, so everyone will need to be on their P’s and Q’s. 

This is the first postseason meet in Fisk gymnastics history, so keep an eye out for its individual qualifiers across all events. Morgan Price, Aliyah Reed-Hammon, Kiara Richmon, Liberty Mora, and Ziya Coleman will all be in the building making their nationals debuts. 

If you want all the details on what to expect this weekend, keep scrolling because we have info on all the top contenders as USAG national champions will be crowned. 

Semifinal One

Date: Thursday, April 6 at 3 p.m. ET

How to Watch: BlueFrame

Teams: No. 1 Lindenwood, No. 4 Air Force, No. 5 Brown and No. 8 Southern Connecticut

TeamNQSAverageHigh Score
No. 1 Lindenwood195.275194.430196.275
No. 4 Air Force194.615194.141195.650
No. 5 Brown194.315193.900195.200
No. 8 Southern Connecticut193.000191.317193.925


Lindenwood and Air Force find themselves in a familiar place, both in the afternoon session again this year, but the Lions are the top-ranked team and Air Force has fallen into fourth. For Southern Connecticut, the team will be cutting its teeth on the nationals experience, as this is the first team appearance for the Owls since 2004, having just edged out Cornell to make this year’s edition. Air Force is coming into this session riding the high of three recent 195s, but Brown hasn’t yet been able to repeat a 195-plus after the season high in February. As long as Air Force puts vaults to its feet and doesn’t  give much away for landings, it should push past Brown. 

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance 

The top two teams in this session advance, and while the Owls don’t quite have the guaranteed ability to take flight over at least Brown, the Bears will need to do some roaring to get past the soaring Falcons. This is Lindenwood’s session to lose today. Air Force should go onto the team final, but if this is the day it brings a 193.000 to the table, Brown can head right to the final instead. 

Routines You Shouldn’t Miss

This one’s a piece of cake. Julia Bedell is coming off a program record-setting performance at GECs, and her high-flying tumbling should not be ignored. Also, Gayla Griswold’s vault will be featured in this meet, which has scored as high as 9.975. She hasn’t quite gotten the landing this year, but the potential is there for the former NCAA national qualifiert. Also keep an eye out for Angel Lee on beam for SCSU and Amber Boll for Air Force on bars. Lines for days.

Semifinal Two

Date: Thursday, April 6 at 8 p.m. ET

How to Watch: BlueFrame 

Teams: No. 2 Texas Woman’s, No. 3 SEMO, No. 6 West Chester and No. 7 Yale

TeamNQSAverageHigh Score
No. 2 Texas Woman’s195.055194.096195.650
No. 3 SEMO195.050194.266196.175
No. 6 West Chester193.925193.069194.650
No. 7 Yale193.920193.118194.250


In case no one else has noticed, TWU edged out SEMO for the No. 2 seed by literally 0.005. If that doesn’t tell you how close this competition will be, we don’t know what else does. TWU enters as the reigning USAG national champion, and this is a home meet for the Pioneers. Needless to say it’ll be utterly shocking if Texas Woman’s doesn’t walk away with a team final-qualifying spot. SEMO has battled injuries to continue to shine this season. The last time the Redhawks were at nationals they set a program beam record. It’d likely take that level of energy to overcome the Pioneers in Kitty Magee Arena. 

So You’re Saying There’s a Chance

TWU might be the No. 2 seed, but its average of a low 194 does not scream “unbeatable.” Bars has been a bit hit or miss this season, and if it’s a miss during the semifinals, either West Chester or Yale could slide into the team final with a hit meet. SEMO has also had some down meets on beam, so there’s wiggle room there for an upset. West Chester is peaking at just the right time, and Yale will need to avoid a beam meltdown to stay in this competition. 

Routines You Shouldn’t Miss

If you can see nothing else, check out Raegan Walker. She makes bars and beam look like the most casual walk in the park. Daisy Woodring is a show stopper on vault, and Alix Pierce has really become a staple on beam for the Pioneers. West Chester’s beam queen Lily McFarland is as steady as they come. Keep an eye out for reigning uneven bars national champion Lindsay Ockler, as well. Her sky-high full-twisting double tuck dismount will leave you speechless. 

Individuals to Keep an Eye On


While all-arounder Morgan Price is an obvious contender for this event title considering the number of stuck vaults we’ve seen from her this season, don’t forget to keep an eye on Joanna Chambers. She does a unique front handspring front tuck with a half that will keep you on your toes. The extra difficulty is also an ideal way to sneak into a vault final, as well.


Keeping the Bridgeport trend going, Catherine Aucoin has been seen training a full-twisting double layout off bars that has both height and dynamics. Will we see this competed on the big stage to compliment her Gienger?


Cornell’s Mikayla Burton should’ve gone viral by now for her amazing beam lines as well as her series, which is both extremely difficult and one of the most stunning pieces of gymnastics we’ve seen. There’s a reason very few people connect front and side aerials, but Burton performs it with elegant simplicity. 


Floor will be the battle of the front through to double backs. Sydney Beers and Leilani Johnson have both scored as high as 9.900 this season and have shown consistency to boot. While Beers’ routine is more intense and Johnson’s features fun drumline music, both routines will draw you in. 


Morgan Price (Fisk) has the chance to put Fisk on the USAG podium and make history in the process. She’s gone 9.825 or better on every single event this season, and out of her 32 routines, only three have dipped below a 9.675. She is a force to be reckoned with. 

Team Final

Date: Friday, April 7 at 8 p.m. ET

How to Watch: BlueFrame

Teams: Four teams will vie for the national title, with the top two teams from each Friday session.

First Place Team Seminal One
Second Place Team Seminal One
First Place Team Seminal Two
Second Place Team Seminal Two

The Bottom Line

Lindenwood is roaring its way into USAG nationals this year, just holding off host Texas Woman’s. Three of the four Pioneers’ top scores have come at home this season, but Lindenwood’s highest score was on the road. However, we can’t forget that the last time TWU competed at nationals at home, it was a national title-winning, program record-setting performance.

Event Finals

Date: Saturday, April 8 at 2 p.m. ET

How to Watch: BlueFrame 

Individuals: The top five individuals from each event in both sessions will qualify for the event finals for a total of 10 gymnasts on each event—with at least one gymnast from every team competing. 

The Contenders

You don’t want to miss the vaults that Price and Woodring bring to the proverbial table; nor Griswold, who was the first Lindenwood individual to make their way to nationals last season. Bedell and Madison Greene are close on their heels.

A good day could lock Raegan Walker, the reigning GEC bar champ, into a national bar title, although Price, Boll, and Ockler will be ready to swing into that gold medal position.

SEMO’s odds of claiming a beam title are strong, with Nyah Reader and Taylor Ingle at the top of the pack. But Pierce and Briona Carswell aren’t far behind. Beam will be a matter of who hits under pressure.

There’s no shortage of floor excellence this season, with nine gymnasts going 9.900 or better. Bedell, Griswold, Pierce, and Greene could see themselves rightfully atop the podium.      

The Dark Horses

Keep a close eye on Texas Woman’s Steelie King to most likely make an appearance in the vault final along with Cornell’s Sydney Beers. 

Lindenwood’s Hannah Appleget is flying just under the radar on bars and could sneak right into medal position. While not atop the NQS rankings, Nicole Javinett carries the highest beam score in the USAG this season with a 9.950. Should she qualify for final, she’s a real threat to the title.

Along with Brochi, Appleget, and Mikayla Burton, beam will be a stunning final of calm nerves among those who qualify.

Beers could sneak her way onto the floor podium and McKenna Kissinger can certainly put some pressure on the top three.      

READ THIS NEXT: The Dismount: Regionals

Article by Allison Freeman and Tavia Smith

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