UCLA, LSU and Nebraska qualify to Super Six!

UCLA, LSU, and Nebraska are the first three teams to achieve their spots in the Super Six finals after the first semifinal at the 2018 NCAA Championships. Coming into the competition, LSU, UCLA, and Alabama were the top-ranked teams, but Nebraska was able to slide past Alabama with a great showing on every event.

The Bruins
The Bruins, who were entering the competition as the No. 3 team in the country, proved that they deserved a spot in the Super Six.

With the Olympic order rotation, UCLA started on vault where they scored a total of 49.1875. Some of their line up included two Yurchenko one and a halfs by Felicia Hano and Pua Hall. All vaults scored above a 9.8 with three 9.85s from Anna Glenn, Pauline Tratz, and Kyla Ross.

Moving on to bars, the team scored a  big 49.375. Within the bar line up, there was an amazing set from from Ross, who scored a 9.95. Unfortunately, Madison Kocian, had a small slip up, but was able to still pull off a 9.775, which ended up getting dropped.

The Bruins continued to show their talent when they went over to beam. The team scored a total of 49.5375. The final three routines of the line-up were amazing, with Katelyn Ohashi scoring a  9.925, Kyla Ross scoring a 9.95, and Peng Peng Lee scoring a 9.9875.

The Bruins finished the meet on floor. They scored a total of a 49.4625. Ohashi anchored with her amazing Michael Jackson routine and scored a 9.9625.
The Tigers
The No. 2-ranked LSU Tigers were also another team that proved why they deserved they deserved a spot in the Super Six. Even though they didn’t have their best performance, they still earned a total score of 197.475 to make it to the finals.

The team first started on beam, where they had some mishaps. Following three hit routines from Erin Macadaeg, Myia Hambrick, and Kennedi Edney, fourth-up freshman Christina Desiderio fell on her series. Fortunately, the Tigers were able to get it back and finish with two more excellent routines and therefor they were able to drop Desiderio’s score. The team finished with a total score of 49.225.

Next for the Tigers was floor. They scored a 49.4. On this event, the team was led by Kennedi Edney’s 9.9, then Myia Hambrick’s 9.95. Unfortunately, Lexie Priessman had a short landing on her double pike but managed to still finish her routine the best she could.

Next the team went to vault. Unfortunately, there was some technical difficulties with the lights as Sarah Finnegan vaulted (they flickered). The NCAA officials allowed her to redo her vault at the end of the line-up, she stuck her landing and earned a 9.85. The rest of the team looked amazing, and they were able to score a 49.35.

LSU finished on bars with a score of 49.5. The top three scores included Edney, who had a 9.9375, Priessman, who had a 9.9125, and Harold, who had a 9.9.

The Cornhuskers
The Huskers were strong throughout the entire meet, proving they belonged in the Super Six more than Alabama.

The team started on bars and earned a 49.0625. Even though they had a solid bar performance, it was their beam rotation that allowed them to get past Alabama. The beam lineup earned a 49.375, where all gymnasts scored above a 9.8. The top two scores in the lineup were by Taylor Houchin and Grace Williams, whom both earned 9.8875s.

They team continued to do great as they moved on to floor, scoring a 49.3375. The teams high score came from Sienna Crouse with a 9.9.

The Huskers went to vault, scoring a 49.2375, and they finished third in the session.

All in all, the competition was great. There was a lot of head to toe routines, that tested everyone in the competition. It was a great competition to watch. Who was your favorite team to watch compete?


Six top seeded teams are off to NCAA Nationals!

All six of the top-seeded teams moved on to NCAA Nationals, which is located in Saint Louis Missouri, during the weekend of April 20-22.

Oklahoma hit the 198.00 total score for the eighth time this season, and Maggie Nichols scored the only 10.0 of the weekend in front of her hometown crowd in Minneapolis.  This is her fourth 10.00 score this year on balance beam.

LSU had a solid day in Raleigh with a 197.675 total. The team was led by junior, Sarah Finnegan, and senior, Myia Hambrick, both earning 39.625s in the all-around. The best event of the day came on balance beam, where the Tigers didn’t score below a 9.850. Hambrick led LSU with a 9.925 while freshman, Christina Desiderio, Edney, and Finnegan all scored 9.900s.

UCLA also had a solid day, especially on uneven bars where the Bruins struggled a bit at the Pac-12 championships. Sophomore, Madison Kocian, made her return on uneven bars after having offseason shoulder surgery and scored a 9.875. The Bruins scored a 49.500 event total and did not count a score lower than a 9.875. UCLA was the only team in the top six that did not rely on a single all-around competitor during regionals and finished with a 197.650.

Utah had a huge floor rotation to open the competition with a 49.600. They earned five straight scores of 9.900 or better with Kari Lee, Sydney Soloski, and Missy Reinstadtler earning 9.900s and MyKayla Skinner and MaKenna Merrell-Giles earning 9.950s. Reinstadtler’s biggest moment of the day came on balance beam. The sophomore was up fifth and came after a fall from Lee. Reinstadtler hit a flawless routine to earn a 9.925, which tied for the regional title on beam.

Florida finished with a total score of a 197.725. On floor, all six gymnasts posted a 9.825 or better with Rachel Slocum and Alicia Boren hitting the 9.900 mark. Alex McMurtry won the all-around with a 39.725. The Gators were not as perfect as they could’ve been, they had a fall on both bars and beam, but luckily they didn’t have to count lower than a 9.850 on either event.

After a tight battle in which the Wildcats landed on the outside looking in a year ago, Kentucky came up big in the final rotation to clinch their spot at the NCAA championships for the first time in program history. The Wildcats were in the exact same 12/13 matchup as last season and entering the final rotation were trailing Denver by 0.150. Ella Warren, Mollie Korth, and Katrina Coca earned Kentuck  9.900s on bars while Alex Hyland (9.875), Katie Stuart (9.825), and Katie Carlisle (9.800) rounded out the scoring.

Overall, each of these six teams are very talented and each team has a diverse amount of gymnastics. This years nationals competition should be just as nail biting as previous years since there’s always only a couple tenths of a point that separate the teams final scores. Which team do you believe will win the NCAA National Championships this year?





Pacific Rim teams announced!

After the two-day verification competition in Spring, Texas, USA Gymnastics has finally announced the team that will travel to Medellin, Colombia, and compete in the 2018 Pacific Rims Championships April 27-29

The seniors that will represent team USA, are: Grace McCallum, Isanti, Minn./Twin City Twister, Morgan Hurd, Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics, Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics, and Margzetta Frazier, Erial, N.J./Parkettes(who is an alternate).

The juniors that will represent team USA are: Sunisa Lee, St. Paul, Minn./Midwest Gym Center. Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, Jordan Bowers, Lincoln, Nebraska/Solid Rock Gymnastics, and JaFree Scott, Independence, Mo./GAGE (who is an alternate).

In the team final, all six gymnasts can compete, only taking the top five scores to count towards the final team score. Additionally, the top four scores will be added together as the team total. There will also be awards for individual all-around and event finals for both the junior and senior groups.

I think this competition will be great to watch. There are a lot of talented gymnasts that made the senior and junior teams. There should be a lot of good international competition as well, therefor it will be interesting to see how team USA does against the other international teams.



Pacific Rim Team to be announced soon!!

  SA Gymnastics announced that they will host a two-day verification event on April 7-8 to name the team that will travel to Medellin, Colombia, and compete in the 2018 Pacific Rims Championships April 27-29.

The event will happen at the World Champions Centre in Spring, Texas. Additionally, there will be live streaming and it will be provided by USAG on April 7 at 6:30 PM ET and April 8 at 11 AM ET. The team will be announced to the public around 2 PM ET after the competition is completed.

  For this competition, there are a lot of competitors from around the nation. Some of these gymnasts include Shania Adams, Plain City, Ohio/Buckeye Gymnastics, senior, Sydney Barros, Woodstock, Ga./Texas Dreams, junior, Jordan Bowers, Lincoln, Nev./Solid Rock Gymnastics, junior, Jordan Chiles, Vancouver, Wash./Naydenov Gymnastics, senior, Kayla DiCello, Boyds, Md./Hill’s Gymnastics, junior, Olivia Dunne, Hillsdale, N.J./ENA Paramus, senior, Kara Eaker, Grain Valley, Mo./GAGE, senior, Margzetta Frazier, Erial, N.J./Parkettes, senior, Morgan Hurd, Middletown, Del./First State Gymnastics, senior, Maile O’Keefe, Las Vegas, Nev./Salcianu Elite Academy, senior, and Tori Tatum, Chanhassen, Minn./Twin City Twisters, junior.

The final team will consist of six athletes (no more than three seniors). In the team final, all six gymnasts can compete with five designated to count toward the team score, and the top four scores will be added together as the team total. There will also be awards for individual all-around and event finals for both juniors and seniors.



Oklahoma Sooners Win D1 Regionals!

The No. 1 women’s gymnastics team, the Oklahoma sooners, claimed its ninth straight regional title on Saturday. The Sooners finished in first place at the NCAA Minneapolis Regional with a score of 198.000 inside the Maturi Pavilion.

The Sooners posted the highest team total on each event and earned a share of for individual titles. On bars Nicole Lehrman claimed the top spot with a 9.950. Nichols claimed the beam title with a perfect 10, the floor title with a 9.975, and the all-around title with a 39.775. Additionally, Nichols was named the South-Central Region Gymnast of the Year for the second consecutive season.

The Sooners began on floor for the second straight competition. Freshman, Anastasia Webb, tied her career high score with a 9.950 on one of her best routines of the season. AJ Jackson, senior, also was a strong competitor in the floor line up, earning a 9.925.  Nichols anchored with a huge 9.975.

The Sooners carried their strong start over to vault. Nichols and Jackson both earned 9.9s. Brenna Dowell, junior, and Webb added to the team’s performance, earning 9.875s. The team scored a total of a 49.400 as a final score on the event.

Next, onto the bar rotation, the Sooners continued their strong performances. Nicole Lehrman, a junior, score a 9.950. Stephanie Catour, a senior, and Nichols, both put up 9.9s, and Bre Showers, a sophomore put up a 9.875. They ended bars with a total score of a 49.475.

Finally, onto the beam rotation, the Sooners hit six for six in routines. Nichols anchored with a perfect 10.0. The total score for the Sooners on beam was a 49.525, which allowed them to earn their eighth score of a 198 or higher this season.

Overall, since I was present at this meet, it was great to watch the Sooners compete. They truly are a very talented and diverse team. It was awesome to see them live and see how they operate. Additionally, I thought DI regionals was a wonderful experience because you got to see a lot of different gymnastics from across the nation. There was a lot of talent in the arena and it was great to see everyone go head to head and not hold back. Were any of you guys at the meet? If so, who was your favorite team to watch and why?


Lindenwood setting records, Standford hitting perfection, and Florida honors!

  Lindenwood edged Eastern Michigan, Rutgers, and Temple in a quad meet in Philadelphia that set a new school record. The Lions scored a 196.400. They set new program records with totals on bars (49.100) and on beam (49.425).

The huge performance on balance beam helped the meet for the Lions as all six gymnasts scored a 9.750 or better. Kierstin Sokolowski tied her program record 9.950 in the anchor spot, while both Emily Milliet and Ryan Henry posted 9.900s. Sokolowski also led the way on vault with a 9.875 and tied Henry for the top Lions score on bars with a 9.850.

Florida topped Nebraska 197.925 to 196.700 on senior night while celebrating its four seniors — Rachel Slocum, Grace McLaughlin, Alex McMurtry, and Kennedy Baker. McMurtry posted a 9.925 or better on all four events — including 9.975s on bars and beam to have a 39.825 all-around score. Additionally, freshman Megan Skaggs competed in the all-around for the first time this season and went 9.825 or better on all four routines.

Stanford posted its best score of the season,196.650, to celebrate senior Elizabeth Price’s final home competition. Price earned a 9.975 for her stuck Yurchenko double twist and a 9.950 for an awesome bar routine. Price capped off her day with her third 10.0 of the season, this time on floor after a flawless final routine. UCLA earned the win in the meet with a 197.800, including three 10.0s — two from Peng Peng Lee and one from Kyla Ross.

Oklahoma posted its sixth score over 198 in the last seven meets with a 198.100 in a quad meet against Arizona State, Denver, and Arkansas. AJ Jackson, who has struggled a little bit with her landings on floor this season, had an impressive performance on floor and finished with a 9.950 to win the event.

Overall, its great to see how the DI teams are competing and which teams are major competitors with other teams. What teams do you guys believe will stand out this year for post season?






NCGA Event finals champions!

  The National Collegiate Gymnastics Association (NCGA) crowned four individual event champions at the Division III National Championship in Springfield, Massachusetts.

   The night started with vault, and Dani Barmore beautifully executed a yurchenko-full which scored a 9.825. The UW-La Crosse sophomore won the event. Second place went to Brockport’s Candis Kowalik’s with a  9.8, followed by Stephanie Mager (Brockport) and Samantha Wiekamp (La Crosse) tying for third with  9.775’s.

Bars was next, the defending NCGA bars champion Baylee Tkaczuk took first again. The Wisconsin-Oshkosh sophomore posted a 9.85, above La Crosse’s Amy Enright’s second-place score of 9.825. Another La Crosse athlete, Lauren Wilson, was third with a score of 9.775.

Next, was the beam rotation. La Crosse freshman Sam Wyker won with a routine of a  9.825. Kate Mierow of Whitewater was second with a 9.775. A three-way tie for third place was between Kowalik, Cortland’s Emma Schulz, and Whitewater’s Franchesca Hutton—each scoring 9.75.

 Finally, the last rotation was floor. Tali Twomey was crowned national champion for her score of 9.9. Kowalik’s 9.875 second, while Carolyn Nichols (Ithaca) and Whitewater’s Acacia   Fossum tied for third with a 9.85.

I had the privilege of attending the competition and I can say that it was a great meet to watch. DIII gymnastics has definitely improved and grown from previous years and you can tell by the skills that were competed at the individual competition.


NCGA gymnasts qualify to NCAA regionals!

This year, four NCGA gymnasts and one alternate have qualified to compete in the all-around competition at the 2018 DI gymnastics Regionals on April 7 at the University of Minnesota’s Maturi Pavillion.

Individuals who aren’t part of a qualifying can be selected to compete in specific events or all-around based on their performances throughout the season. According to NCAA, four all-around competitors (who are not on a qualifying team) and two individual event specialists per event (who have a minimum RQS of 9.4) will be able to compete.

This year, the athletes representing the NCGA (DIII gymnastics), at NCAA regionals (DI gymnastics) is Lisa O’Donnell of UW-Whitewater, Tori Erickson from UW-Eau Claire, Brooke Terry of UW-Stout, Samantha Wiekamp from UW-La Crosse, and Sierra Beaver of UW-Stout as the alternate.

O’Donnell, the Whitewater junior, won back-to-back NCGA all-around titles: 2017 and last weekend’s championship in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a nine-time recipient of NCGA All-American honors. O’Donnell holds school records on bars (9.825), floor (9.875), and all-around for her 2017 score of 38.875.

Erickson earned an All-American after placing third in the 2018 NCGA individual all-around championship. The senior also took seventh on vault, tying the program record with a score of 9.675 which earned her with her second set of All-American honors for the weekend.

In her first season competing in all-around, Brooke Terry set her career-high score of 38.275 to place fourth in last weekend’s NCGA Championships. The UW-Stout sophomore earned All-American honors for her performance.

Terry’s teammate, Sierra Beaver, earned All-American status for her bar routine that placed fifth at NCGA’s last weekend. Beaver has been named the all-around alternate for the NCAA regional meet.

Samantha Wiekamp is the fourth qualifier to the all-around NCAA regional competition. The UW-La Crosse senior was the fifth-place all-around winner at the NCGA Championships, earning her seventh career All-American honor. She also tied for third on vault and won the all-around at the WIAC Division III regionals.

I personally am looking forward to seeing Lisa O’Donnell (my teammate) compete. She is a talented individual and it will be great to see her in the DI environment. Also, I think it will be great to see the gymnasts from NCGA from compete at DI regionals because it’s always great to have DIII gymnasts prove that they can hang with the DI gymnasts.