The Most Unique Skills in the WIAC

Many followers of the sport may not realize that Division III gymnasts compete a number of rare skills that viewers may not see in the other divisions. After tackling some unique skills in the NCGA-East, it was time to take a look at all the eye-catching skills being performed in the WIAC conference. Here are some gems currently competed in the WIAC that deserve time in the spotlight.

Higgins to Back One and a Half Dismount

This is an exciting combination since both these skills are unique. A Higgins is rarely done due to the shoulder flexibility needed to complete the skill, but this one is connected to a reverse backwards one-and-a-half twisting dismount by Britney Krumrei from Hamline University. This dismount is a fan favorite and definitely not something seen everyday. 

Double Arabian Bar Dismount 

A double arabian bar dismount is a beautiful skill. It’s extremely difficult because of the blind landing and the twisting technique needed off the bar to avoid getting stuck diagonal or pulling in to the bar. For these reasons, they are rarely seen. 2022 NCGA bar champion Emily Buffington from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh competes a beautiful one executed above the bar every time. 

Double-Twisting Bar Dismount

Despite their beauty, twisting bar dismounts have become a rarity in the world of NCAA gymnastics due to the need to stall rotation off the bar in order to be able to land standing up and avoid overotation. Twisting increases rotation speed. This is the reason gymnasts take off at such a low angle on double and triple twists on the floor in order to slow their rotation. This is difficult to mimic off the bar especially out of giants. Gustavus Adolphus’ Marley Michaud makes it look easy with this stunning bar dismount.

Higgins to Eagle-Grip Giant to Jaeger

Another Higgins on the list today. This time it’s connected to an eagle-grip giant into a jaeger, performed by University of Wisconsin-Stout gymnast Gabrielle Winstead. The giant in this combination increases its difficulty because of the rare wrist shift technique over the bar. This combination is also a fan favorite because it creates the floatiest jaegers off the bar.

Toe-Front Pike-Half Dismount 

After the recent upgrade of this element from a C-level skill to a D-level skill, the toe-front pike-half dismount has become the perfect upgrade for gymnasts who struggle with backwards dismounts. Only a few gymnasts have successfully made this upgrade due to the tremendous heel drive needed off the bar to rotate this skill enough to complete the half turn and get the chest up for the landing. Jessica Miley from Winona State University has been successfully competing this new dismount all season long.

Piked Front Toss

As the traditional front toss has grown in popularity, variations of this skill have begun to emerge. Similar to its root skill, the piked front toss requires a dynamic leg drive to rotate this skill around and great leg strength to absorb the landing. Here is a perfectly executed example demonstrated by University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire’s Madison Daly.

Tour Jete Quarter

Sideways landing jumps are always a challenge for NCAA gymnasts, but leaps landing sideways are a whole other challenge. Winona State University boasts a tour jete quarter in their lead off beam routine performed by Taryn Selner. 

Front-Gainer Full Off the Side of the Beam

The only gymnast making this list twice, Taryn Selner also finishes her beam set with a gainer front full off the side off the beam. This dismount is typically performed off the end off the beam, meanwhile the backwards gainer full is performed off the side. Selner switches it up to add to her already exciting routine.

Gainer Layout Step Out

This gainer layout step out performed by Chloe Hammond is exactly what the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater needed to make their beam rotation stand out. Most beam routines opt for a forward or sideways acro skill, but Hammond makes her routine even more interesting with this awesome backwards skill. Hammond performs a cartwheel later in the routine to complete the direction requirement. 

Whip to Double Pike

NCAA and NCGA floor has become a sea of double tucks, pikes, and one and a half to front layouts. Gillian Cummins from University of Wisconsin-Stout starts her floor routine with a bang: she opens with a whip to double pike. This pass is not performed by many because the punch out of the whip can be very hard on the ankles, but Cummins shows viewers it is worth it to see this beautiful pass.

Front Tuck Through to Two and a Half

The front tuck through to double tuck has become a staple pass in many floor lineups across the NCAA. A front tuck through to a two and a half twist is not as common, but worth the exact same despite the difficulty of the blind landing. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s Delaney Cienkus opens her floor routine with this very pass.

READ THIS NEXT: The Most Unique Skills in the NCGA-East

Article by Mary Collier


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.