The NCGA-East is growing more and more competitive with each passing season. Although Brockport continues to lead the pack, not all meets are a runaway with scores and while not all programs are able to knock the Golden Eagles off the podium, you can be certain that any individual titles and records are always up for grabs. And with Utica joining the conference, things are only getting to get tougher in the East. You should be excited!
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. 66 Brockport
Brockport has flirted with the NCGA national title for two years in a row following dominating seasons, failing to come out on top in only three meets out of 30 during the regular season the past two years.
|Losses:||Nikky Aiello (Left team), Lauren Blair (VT, FX), Kyra Figurelli, Gabbi Gare, Emmie White, Lilly Blowers (Left team), Emily Justa (Left team), Sydney Schumaker (transfer to Auburn)|
|Gains:||Grace Briles, Kiara Hockman, Maddalyn Mattis, Lienna Kay, Julia Klucinec, Taylor Pawlenko, Eliana Wannall, Claire Wood, Phenix Wyche, Sarah Zupanek|
Potential Contributors: Maren Eramo (NQS 9.725), Emma Grace Sargent (NQS 9.665), Kirsten Paultre (9.650), Natalie Galioto (9.510), Laken Sooy (9.355), Maddalyn Mattis, Lienna Kay, Claire Wood, Phenix Wyche, Sarah Zupanek
How It Looked Before: Sydney Schumaker, Lauren Blair, and Kyra Figurelli were rockstars for Brockport’s vault lineup, leading Brockport to consistently hit above a 48.000 for most of the season.
How It Looks Now: With three key vaulters no longer with the team, the Golden Eagles may be playing around with a few different lineups to recreate the magic. Both Maren Eramo and Emma Grace Sargent are able to go 9.750 or better, but two vaulters do not make a lineup. The Golden Eagles will be looking toward freshmen Maddalyn Mattis, Lienna Kay, and Claire Wood as reinforcements.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. To avoid a massive drop, Brockport will have to finesse landings and keep the form deductions to a minimum.
Potential Contributors: Emma Grace Sargent (NQS 9.740), Rachel Swick (NQS 9.665) Taylor Bushey (NQS 9.615), Maren Eramo (NQS 9.080), Maddalyn Mattis, Lienna Kay, Julia Klucinec, Taylor Pawlenko,
How It Looked Before: It took a little bit for Brockport to get into the swing of things on bars last season, but the Golden Eagles weren’t able to hold onto that rhythm as the season drew to a close. Gabbi Gare and Rachel Swick were staples with Gare rarely dropping below a 9.400.
How It Looks Now: There are two schools of thought here: on the one hand, with so many of the bar workers graduating, it’s a chance for the team to start from scratch (hello, Taylor Pawlenko’s Maloney to bail and Mattis’s Jaeger to bail) but without the leaders to keep things cool and calm, it could get a little dicey before it gets better.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. It is yet to be seen whether the days of Brockport’s bar troubles are a distant memory or if history will repeat itself.
Potential Contributors: Natalie Galioto (NWS 9.685), Maya Pecoraro (NQS 9.440), Olivia Stinnette (NQS 9.370), Cali Czarcinski (NQS 9.215), Grace Briles, Kiara Hockman, Maddie Mattis, Lienna Kay
How It Looked Before: In 2023, Brockport’s beam swung from great to rocky, over and over. After hitting a 45.075, two meets later the Golden Eagles notched a 48.250 but most of the season hovered in the high-46s.
How It Looks Now: Brockport is returning four of its five top beamers, so there isn’t much work to do when it comes to filling out that lineup. Consistency will be the name of the game but with so much depth, the Golden Eagles have room to play, although it would be lovely to see Kay’s cat leap to side aerial to switch side on beam this season.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. With a mix of returners and incoming freshmen, the Golden Eagles should find themselves in a good place on beam this season.
Potential Contributors: Kirsten Paultre (NQS 9.695), Natalie Galioto (NQS 9.680), Maya Pecoraro (NQS 9.310), Rachel Swick (NQS 9.665) Laken Sooy (9.337) Grace Briles, Maddalyn Mattis, Lienna Kay, Julia Klucinec
How It Looked Before: Floor was never an issue for Brockport last season. The Golden Eagles hit a 49.000 near the end of the season, and had a steady lineup that could go 9.800 or better fairly consistently.
How It Looks Now: With Kyra Figurelli and Lauren Blair and their 9.900s no longer a guarantee, Brockport still doesn’t need to worry much about floor. Whatever it is that’s in the water at Tuttle and in those springs in the Dungeon, for some reason, the Golden Eagles never fail to deliver on floor. Mattis has been working a front full to Rudi on floor that certainly would fit right in.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending Up. If there’s one place you can put all your eggs, it’s in the Brockport floor basket.
Three Big Questions
What is Brockport’s biggest obstacle?
Putting all the pieces together at the right time is holding Brockport back from taking home the national title at the end of the season. As cliche as it sounds, the Golden Eagles need to go four for four, and do it well, and all at once. But timing is tricky.
Could this be the year Brockport takes home a national title?
Brockport has yet to win a national title with its new coaching staff and had one of its worst meets of the season at the NCGA championship in 2023. The talent is there for the Golden Eagles to take the title home, but it will come down to who hits on the day.
Will Brockport go undefeated in the regular season?
A Division III school going against Division I is typically not a matchup where the Division III team comes out on top, and that is how it played out last season. Those losses, however, were close. A team goal to beat a team like Cornell would not be easy, but it would be possible.
No. 72 Ithaca
After a strong 2023 season, Ithaca closed out nationals in sixth place following a rough competition. With not one gymnast from their star-studded senior class returning to take a fifth year, Ithaca will have to figure out lineups without some of their main contributors. The return of three-eventer Jillian Freyman will be huge for the Bombers as will the addition of some freshmen with huge potential.
|Losses:||Zoe Kyriakopoulos (UB, BB), Cameryn Nichols (AA), Samantha Nothnagel (VT, UB), Julia O’Sullivan (UB, BB), Nya Pauldon (VT, BB), Violet Fanara, Jaida Menteer, Grace Montague, Mary Collier|
|Gains:||Taylor Arias, Lauren Babineaux, Rylie Benner, Anya Kraenzel, Emily Provost, Natalie Steed, Trinity Bellamy, Hana Miller, Hali Seligman|
|Returning From Injury:||Jillian Freyman (VT, BB, FX), Corey Foster (BB, FX)|
Potential Contributors: Nicole Lonski (NQS 9.640), Kaylie Goodwin (NQS 9.505), Skye Cohen (NQS 9.455), Meghan Bell (NQS 9.275), Cassidy Gallivan (9.369), Grace Murray (9.225), Jillian Freyman, Natalie Steed, Lauren Babineaux, Hana Miller, Caitlin Pellegrino
How It Looked Before: Ithaca College always had a few very strong vaulters, but it struggled to keep a consistent lineup with competitive difficulty.
How It Looks Now: Graduating their most difficult vault from Nya Pauldon and losing additional depth from Samantha Nothnagel and Cameryn Nichols, will put a dent in the Bomber’s vault squad, we can expect promising things from freshmen Natalie Steed with a beautiful twisting vault and Lauren Babineaux with a solid Tsuk Arabian.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Too early to tell. We will have to see which vaults make it to competition landing and who stays healthy.
Potential Contributors: Kaylie Goodwin (NQS 9.480), Marlena Bailey (NQS 9.340), Skye Cohen (NQS 9.320), Nicole Lonski (NQS 8.630), Lauren Babineaux, Coral Cotteleer, Natalie Steed, Emily Kobusky,
How It Looked Before: Bars was a hit or miss for the Bombers last year. When they hit, it was a strength, but hitting six for six on bars was unfortunately a rare occurrence.
How It Looks Now: With only four out of 10 of last year’s bar competitors returning this year, the Bombers will have a lot of ground to make up this year. With strong basics from freshmen and last year’s non-competitors, the Bombers will hopefully be able to pull together a lineup for this season.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. The Bombers will need at least two more solid routines to fill out their lineup.
Potential Contributors: Emily Kobusky (NQS 9.695), Caitlin Pellegrino (NQS 9.555), Kaylie Goodwin (NQS 9.350), Skye Cohen (NQS 9.235), Corey Foster (9.300), Jillian Freyman, Coral Cotteleer, Hana Miller, Rylie Benner, Natalie Steed, Abby Chesshire
How It Looked Before: Ranked No. 1 in the NCGA-East, beam was a strength for the Bombers all season long led by strong routines from Emily Kobusky and Cameryn Nichols.
How It Looks Now: Although they are losing multiple contributors from last year, the Bombers will still have plenty of depth to play with. It will be a joy to see this freshman class finally hit the competition floor, with a beautiful front aerial to standing layout step out from Hana Miller and a possible triple series from Rylie Benner.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. If there’s one thing you can count on the Bombers for, it’s a beam team.
Potential Contributors: Grace Murray (NQS 9.700), Nicole Lonski (NQS 9.634), Caitlin Pellegrino (NQS 9.559), Skye Cohen (NQS 9.552), Abby Chesshire (NQS 9.529), Corey Foster (NQS 9.431), Meghan Bell (NQS 9.430), Kaylie Goodwin (NQS 9.258), Taylor Arias, Jillian Freyman, Natalie Steed, Rylie Benner, Trinity Bellamy, Cassidy Gallivan, Hana Miller
How It Looked Before: Floor was another strong event for the Bombers with plenty of depth, big difficulty, and high scores.
How It Looks Now: Floor will continue to be a strength for the Bombers as they only lost one routine from last year and are gaining significant added depth, allowing room for rest between weekends. All-American Grace Murray will continue to lead the floor lineup, teasing a possible new E pass.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. The real battle here will be determining the lineup.
Three Big Questions
Could Ithaca be the top team in the East in 2024?
Competing with the NCGA-East dynasty that is Brockport would be a reach, but top 3 is doable.
What is Ithaca’s biggest hurdle?
Ithaca’s biggest hurdle will be filling the shoes of last year’s senior class in terms of both leadership and competitive scores after losing nearly half their team from last year. This will be especially difficult on events like vault and bars.
What is Ithaca’s biggest strength coming into this season?
Ithaca’s biggest strength is its depth on beam and floor and the ability to rely on multiple event stars like Nicole Lonski, Kaylie Goodwin, and Skye Cohen.
No. 75 Springfield
Springfield had an upperclassmen-heavy roster last year which led to two of the top five team scores, but also means that there will be a lot of lineup turnover in 2024.
|Losses:||Dominique Chaves, MacKenzie MacLeod (BB, FX), Callie Morris (UB, BB), Winter Osborne (UB, BB), Devon Rosier (BB, FX), Tori Sipes (UB, BB), Christina Wygonik (UB, FX)|
|Gains:||Cecilia Athie, Elsie Gardiner, Ava Kelley, Emma Skowronek, Sophia LeBlanc|
Potential Contributors: Annie Kiley (NQS 9.655), Stacy Taylor (NQS 9.550), Maya Belog (NQS 9.475), Sage Kaplan (NQS 9.475), Rae Anna Schutz (NQS 9.430), Jenna DiPalo (NQS 9.39), Julia Reer (9.456), Delaney LaViolette (9.337), Cecilia Athie, Elsie Gardiner, Ava Kelley
How It Looked Before: This was a consistent event filled with underclassmen for the Pride highlighted by Annie Kiley’s Yurchenko layout.
How It Looks Now: Springfield isn’t losing a single vaulter, not a one. So not only does that mean that the Pride can rely on experience as they go through the season, but with so much depth from last year plus incoming members, they can easily rest gymnasts throughout the season as needed without any added pressure. And isn’t that the dream?
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up, no questions asked.
Potential Contributors: Annie Kiley (NQS 9.130), Ayako Maeda (NQS 8.860), Claire Geiger (NQS 8.705), Sophia LeBlanc, Cecilia Athie, Ava Kelley, Emma Skowronek
How It Looked Before: Unlike vault, bars was a senior-heavy lineup, that even with the experienced competitors, was not able to find a consistent groove.
How It Looks Now: Losing four of the top scorers is tough for any team. With all of the lineup turnover, this event is likely to continue to be shaky. Sophia LeBlanc should step right into the end of the lineup as the veteran with high scoring potential as she has a career-high of 9.825 from Maryland. The freshmen aren’t particularly strong on bars either, but Kelley will also likely make the lineup with her clear hip shaposh, and Cecilia Athie has worked a Tkatchev.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. There is just too much turnover to improve on 2023.
Potential Contributors: Maya Belog (NQS 9.705), Rae Anna Schutz (NQS 9.410), Jenna DiPalo (8.150), Naya Robinson, Sophia LeBlanc, Cecilia Athie, Elsie Gardiner, Ava Kelley, Emma Skowronek
How It Looked Before: The upperclassmen-heavy beam lineup was fairly consistent for the Pride, and the strong meets started to pile in at the end of the season culminating with a 48.275 score, which is one of the highest in program history.
How It Looks Now: Like on bars, beam will feature a fresh start of faces with most of the lineup not returning. Even though LeBlanc did not compete last season, she should again slate in here with her 9.8 scoring potential. To fill in the rest of the lineup, Kelley is an aggressive beam worker with a Rudi dismount who will likely slide in,
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. The turnover will make it hard to live up to 2023.
Potential Contributors: Maya Belog (NQS 9.665), Rae Anna Schutz (NQS 9.575), Sage Kaplan (NQS 9.375), Delaney LaViolette (9.325), Stacy Taylor (NQS 9.265), Sophia LeBlanc, Elsie Gardiner, Ava Kelley
How It Looked Before: Floor was by far the best event for Springfield ranking almost 10 places higher nationally than any other event. The lineup hit its stride by mid-season where there was little variability in team score.
How It Looks Now: Much of the lineup can remain in place from last year, but the newcomers add some great options and quality depth. A healthy LeBlanc and Kelley will be great additions to the lineup with Kelley having a front tuck through to double tuck.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Tending down. While many routines are coming back, it is not the highest scorers, which hurts Springfield’s chances of repeating the floor success.
Three Big Questions
How can Springfield fill the gaps left by the graduating class?
The real answer is it can’t. While newcomers and current gymnasts on the roster can fill in the routines, filling in the leadership and scoring potential that seniors brought isn’t possible in one season.
How much can Sophia LeBlanc contribute?
LeBlanc did not compete for Maryland in 2023 but contributed earlier in her career. A healthy LeBlanc would be a very helpful addition on multiple events with her strong competition experience and scoring potential.
Can Springfield repeat the floor success?
The success on floor was a large contributor to the high team scores at later parts of the year. While there are more returners on floor than bars and beam, the highest scorers are the ones leaving, which will likely cause the floor ranking to drop off.
No. 76 Cortland
Cortland was less than a point out of making NCGAs in 2023, and with the surplus of depth, the Red Dragons will be looking to make that push.
|Losses:||Abby Bang (VT, FX), Bianca Carr (UB, FX), Glynis Curcione (VT, UB, BB), Kayla Guillen (Left team)|
|Gains:||Autumn Adkins, Cloe Block, Victoria Cave, Nina English, Taylor Goldstein, Melanie Richter, Alexa Weber, Kiana Wong|
Potential Contributors: Gianna Mirigliano (NQS 9.640), Marisa Frascatore (NQS 9.565), Delaney Brown (NQS 9.500), Victoria Justincic (NQS 9.340), Rianna Adams (9.320), Paige White (9.275), Ava Miranov (9.260), Autumn Adkins, Cloe Block, Victoria Cave, Nina English, Taylor Goldstein, Melanie Richter, Alexa Weber, Kiana Wong
How It Looked Before: Vault was the strongest event for Cortland in 2023. The consistency helped that success.
How It Looks Now: The Red Dragons are only losing a couple of vaults, but still have the depth to play around with this lineup. There is not much differentiation of vault scoring potential amongst the freshmen, so expect to see some rotating in the top six, especially at the beginning of the season.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. With few lost routines and the surplus of additions, the depth should help improve on 2023.
Potential Contributors: Rianna Adams (NQS 9.350), Ava Miranov (NQS 8.970), Christelle Louis (NQS 8.925, Gianna Mirigliano (NQS 8.870), Victoria Justincic (8.675), Autumn Adkins, Cloe Block, Nina English, Taylor Goldstein, Melanie Richter, Kiana Wong
How It Looked Before: While there were low moments on bars in 2023, the highs were very high with the Red Dragons eclipsing 46 on bars on three occasions including the highest bars score of the year at the last meet of the year.
How It Looks Now: The losses of Glynis Curcione and Bianca Carr will hit hard. That one-two punch produced the consistent high scores for the lineup. None of the freshmen are particularly strong here, but they do provide depth. Taylor Goldstein is the most likely to break into the top six.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. You just can’t replace Curcione and Carr.
Potential Contributors: Gianna Mirigliano (NQS 9.535), Victoria Justincic (NQS 9.310), Christelle Louis (NQS 9.300), Gabrielle Nadler (NQS 9.135), Marisa Frascatore (NQS 9.070), Ava Miranov (NQS 8.815), Zoe Potamianos (8.000), Autumn Adkins, Cloe Block, Victoria Cave, Melanie Richter, Alexa Weber, Kiana Wong
How It Looked Before: The Red Dragons started the year hot, and then fell off the pace the second half of the year due to inconsistencies.
How It Looks Now: While bars is losing the stars, the stars are back for 2023 on beam. Most of the lineup returns and there are a plethora of options from the freshmen to fill in for Curcione and improve upon the existing top six. The most likely to claim a spot are Autumn Adkins, Victoria Cave, Melanie Richter, and/or Kiana Wong.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending up. With only one lost routine and a strong group of beamers coming in, the Red Dragons are bound to improve in 2024.
Potential Contributors: Gianna Mirigliano (NQS 9.660), Gabrielle Nadler (NQS 9.550), Zoe Potamianos (NQS 9.505), Delaney Brown (NQS 9.495), Rylee Fishkin (9.431), Victoria Justincic (9.150), Autumn Adkins, Cloe Block, Victoria Cave, Nina English, Taylor Goldstein, Melanie Richter, Alexa Weber, Kiana Wong
How It Looked Before: Cortland continued to improve on floor the entire year by setting a new season high almost every week. Five different gymnasts hit the 9.700 mark in 2023.
How It Looks Now: Three of the five that hit the 9.700 mark are returning for 2024. Richter and Alexa Weber are the most likely of the freshmen to jump into the lineup, but all of the freshmen could contribute.
Trending up, down or too early to tell? Trending down. Not trending down by much, but the departing routines aren’t being replaced by the same quality of routines which will likely hurt Cortland’s scoring potential at first.
Three Big Questions
How will Cortland try to mitigate the loss of the seniors?
As much as you would like to point right to the freshmen, it likely will come from those already on the roster stepping up, especially on an event like bars where Curcione and Carr led so well.
Can the Red Dragons improve on beam consistency?
Cortland had four consecutive weeks of beam scores eclipsing 46, but then did not reach that number again until the last week of the season. The lineup remains mostly intact and there are many beamers in the freshmen class so Sulekha Modi Zaug will have many options in choosing the most consistent group.
Can Cortland qualify for NCGAs?
Cortland was less than a point away from qualifying over Ithaca. The hardest part for Cortland will be trying to keep pace with its competitors on bars with the major losses.
READ THIS NEXT: Potential Lineups: WIAC Part 1
Article by Allison Freeman, Mary Collier, and Alyssa Van Auker