USA earns titles during event finals at Pacific Rim competition!

 A day after taking the team title and the top two spots in the junior and senior all-arounds, the U.S. women picked up an additional 12 medals in event finals at the 2018 Pacific Rim Championships in Medellin, Colombia.

Jordan Chiles advanced to the floor final, where she beat out teammate Grace McCallum to win gold with a 13.650. Chiles improved on her performance in the team competition by four-tenths after posting 13.250 on Saturday.

Chiles also won gold on vault with a 14.188. She rounded out her competition with a bronze medal on balance beam where she bounced back from a fall to earn a 12.175.
McCallum, picked up bronze on vault with a 13.425 average and silver on floor with a 13.600. She struggled just a bit on uneven bars and balance beam and finished seventh on both events.

On the junior side, Kayla DiCello earned gold medals on vault and uneven bars. DiCello scored a 14.525 to win the vault title with a 13.625 for a solid uneven bar set. DiCello narrowly missed a third medal on balance beam when she finished fourth by less than a tenth.

Sunisa Lee earned three silver medals after solid performances on vault, beam, and floor.

Jordan Bowers added to her all-around title with a bronze medal on uneven bars when she earned a 12.900. Bowers also won gold on floor exercise with a 13.725.

Team USA did great at the Pacific Rim Championships and it was an amazing competition to watch. What team did you guys enjoy watching the most?


USA dominates the Pacific Rim Championships!

In their debuts with the U.S national team, Grace McCallum and Jordan Bowers came away with the all-around titles at the Pacific Rim Championships in Medellin, Colombia. McCallum finished with a 54.850 to win the senior crown while Bowers finished with a 53.600 to win the junior crown.

The U.S. women brought home the team title with a score of 218.850. Canada finished second with a 203.400 and Australia was third with a 197.550.

McCallum was the only U.S. all-around competitor to hit all four routines. Her performance earned her a spot to all four event finals on Sunday afternoon.

Bowers overcame a fall on balance beam to earn the junior all-around crown with one of her strongest performances on floor, where she scored a 13.350. Bowers. She also has a unique series on balance beam—a front handspring to a front tuck which is different to see. gym

I think the gymnasts did great in their US national team debuts. I think they will continue to do great as they continue with their gymnastics careers.


Peng-Peng Lee earns the Honda award!

  Peng-Peng Lee of UCLA was awarded the 2018 Honda award for gymnastics.

    The long-time and successful member of the Canadian national faced a lot of setbacks. A serious back injury in 2008 took her out of the sport for two years, then a torn ACL in 2012 pulled her from Olympic competition. She then underwent surgery and looked forward to a fresh start by starting her college career at UCLA. Unfortunately, she re-injured her knee, resulting in her having to red shirt her freshman year and come back her sophomore year.

Another surgery put Peng-Peng on the injured reserves list in 2013.

Fortunately, she had many shining moments as a gymnast. She made her college debut and shined. In 2018, she earned five perfect 10s on beam and two more on bars.

We also watched her claim the National Championship title for UCLA during the Super Six. After a 10 on bars already in the bag, Peng-Peng also nailed her beam routine and scored a 10.00.

The Honda Sports award is perfect for Peng-Peng. It has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 42 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. Lee becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles.

Personally, I think Peng-Peng deserves this award. She is an athlete that has been through a lot and has worked hard to overcome all her injuries. This award could not be a better fit for her. Do you guys think Peng-Peng deserved the award as well?



UCLA wins National Championship!

After an incredible competition, UCLA won their seventh national title with a 198.075 at the 2018 NCAA Championships in St. Louis, Missouri. The Bruins are one of only six teams that have won an NCAA title and this was their first since 2010.

Following a bye in the first rotation, UCLA started their meet on floor. Kyla Ross had a fall in her double pike pass, but the team was able to drop her score and earned a 49.625. The top routines came from Felicia Hano, who scored a 9.9 and Katelyn Ohashi who scored a  9.95.

On vault, the Bruins were strong, scoring a 49.225. Their highest score came from Anna Glenn who posted a 9.8875.

UCLA was on bars next. The Bruins scored a  49.6375, counting three scores in the 9.9s and a perfect 10 from Peng Peng Lee. Kyla Ross anchored with a nearly flawless routine.With this rotation, UCLA passed Florida heading into the final event but was still behind Oklahoma.

Grace Glenn lead off the Bruins on beam with a 9.9375. Madison Kocian was second and had a surprising fall on her series, putting the pressure on the rest of the lineup. The final four gymnasts delivered though, and the rotation topped off with another perfect 10 from Peng Peng Lee, pushing the Bruins past the Sooners
The Sooners started off on beam where they had a fall mid-rotation. This fall did not through them off though, because the final three competitors nailed their routines and they totaled a 49.425 to take the lead after the first rotation. Maggie Nichols and Anastasia Webb both scored 9.9125s.

After a bye, the Sooners went to floor to score a 49.5875. Their lowest counting score was a 9.875 Breanna Showers. Brenna Dowell scored a 9.9375 mid-rotation and Webb and Nichols close with a  9.925 and a 9.9625.

Continuing the momentum to vault, OU scored a 49.4875. Dowell and Nichols both posted 9.9375s and Jade Degouveia scored a 9.9.

The Sooners finished on bars and scored a 49.5375. Nichols delivered a perfect routine scoring a 9.9625. Finishing early in the rotation, the Sooners had to wait to see if their score held up. Ultimately, they were beat out and took second place.

Florida started on vault where they posted a 49.4125.

On bars, the Gators totaled a  49.5375. Megan Skaggs and Amelia Hundley both scored 9.9s and Alex McMurtry anchored with a 9.975. With six amazing routines, they were able to drop a 9.85.

Moving to beam, Florida put up five great routines, but McMurtry fell in the anchor spot. Fourth-up Rachel Gowey scored a 9.9125 followed by Alyssa Baumann with a 9.9375. The team was still able to score a 49.3375.

The Gators finished on floor with a  49.5625 and four scores above a 9.9, to put them in third.

After a bye in the first rotation, LSU came out with a 49.475 on bars.  After a solid 9.775 for first-up Sami Durante, the rest of the bar rotation went well. Sarah Finnegan was set to anchor but had a minor mistake casting over on the high bar. She was able to cover it well and still finished with a 9.8125. An impressive five routines out of their six routines in the lineup stuck their landings.

The Tigers moved on to beam where they put up six strong routines for a 49.3875. They were able to drop Erin Macadaeg’s 9.7375. Sarah Finnegan anchored with her beam work to score a 9.9375.

On floor, the Tigers were strong and aggressive. They totaled a 49.5125. Onto the vault, a lot of the line up stuck their vaults. They totaled a 197.8375 to finish fourth.

Utah started on floor where minor mistakes earning a 49.1875. MyKayla Skinner was great in the anchor spot, scoring a 9.925. Utah moved on to vault but didn’t have the outing they were looking there. Skinner posted a score of a 9.8625.

On bars, the Utes earned a 49.2875, once again Skinner anchored a 9.9125. MaKenna Merrell-Giles also had a great bar set and scored a 9.8625.

The Utes finished with a 196.9 for fifth place.

Nebraska had trouble from the start after a rocky bar rotation posting a 48.825. On beam, they ran into more trouble with a fall , but the rest of the lineup did well and they were able to score a 49.275.

On floor, the Huskers looked more themselves and earned a 49.4, led by a 9.9 from Sienna Crouse and a 9.925 from Megan Schweihofer. They ended their meet with a 49.3 on vault.

The Huskers finished with a 196.8 for sixth place.

I was surprised that UCLA took first place in the meet. I was expecting Oklahoma to win again because they were the two-time reigning champions. Who did you guys think would win the meet? Were you happy that UCLA won?


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?