The Dismount: Week 5

For full scores and results for every meet, check out Week 5 Results.  

With NQS rankings looming on the horizon, we’re seeing teams settle into the season: lineups are a little more predictable and scores are (for the most part) a little more consistent. What’s less consistent? When and how the judges are applying the new rule about holding the finishing position for at least a second. Complaints about scores and judging are nothing new, and shouldn’t detract from the exceptional gymnastics on display in Week Five.  

All Scores are Not Created Equal

We may not have seen 10-essee Classic levels of overscoring, but there were still far too many mathematically impossible scores for comfort. It’s bad enough when judges across all tiers and conferences disregard very obvious and wholly objective deductions—the kinds of leg-up checks on beam, crunched down blocks on vault, or uncontrolled landings that even the most casual fan can spot in real time—but now we can’t even trust that they’ll get the start values correct? Do better. 

Disrupting the Status Quo

You can question any number of the team scores produced this weekend, but you can’t deny that some major shake-ups are happening in college gymnastics as parity in the sport is at an all-time high. Upsets have always happened, but they usually were due to a scrappy underdog team capitalizing on their opponent’s mistakes. Now, the blue bloods are frequently just getting outperformed. 

Case in point, Michigan State took down in-state rival—and perennial Big Ten favorite—Michigan on the Wolverines’ home turf for the first time in nearly three and a half decades. The Spartans neutralized a program-best 49.750 floor rotation from the Wolverines with an ice-cold 49.600 beam rotation of their own. Similarly, Kentucky came back from a middling bars rotation to beat host Alabama in Tuscaloosa for the first time ever

Despite falling to Minnesota, Penn State’s stock continues to rise with a stellar 197.025 (just the second time the Nittany Lions have broken the 197 barrier). The Arizona Wildcats couldn’t match their 197.000 from last week, but retained their spot in the top half of the Pac-12 thanks in no small part to a scorching floor lineup that’s currently ranked eleventh nationally.

Clemson rebounded from a sub-48 beam rotation and eventual loss to a visiting N.C. State with a lights-out 49.525 on floor (even without former All-American Brie Clark and standout Lilly Lippeatt competing). Elsewhere in the ACC, Pitt bested their previous season high by almost two points to beat North Carolina.  

California led Oklahoma after two rotations in an inter-conference face-off at Arizona State. True to form, the Sooners responded by tying the highest bar score in NCAA history because some things never change. 


The aforementioned shake-ups aren’t limited to the Power Fives and mid-majors:

  • Rhode Island College is having another one of those seasons. The Anchorwomen have set program records on vault, bars, and floor and also the second-best scores in program history on beam and the team total so far in 2024.
  • Greenville got another program record too.
  • Division III gymnastics earned some new fans thanks to a clip of the exuberant, futbol style commentary at Rhode Island College @ Springfield, courtesy of the fine gentlemen of the Springfield men’s gymnastics team. 
  • Fisk followed up a terrifying fall from Alyssa Wiggins (she’s fine!) with one of its best scores in program history. 
  • Cornell completed an impressive upset of Penn in the Palestra, while William & Mary, a latecomer to the season, beat its old season high by more than two points at the same meet. 
  • Texas Woman’s killed it on floor at its home meet against Missouri, boasting 9.950s from both Daisy Woodring and Sophie Hernandez.

READ THIS NEXT: Questions, Comments, Concerns: Week 4

Article by Claire Billman and Rebecca Scalley 

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